Tottenham Hotspur snapped a dismal three match league losing streak at home with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa a White Hart Lane on Sunday. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg struck in the first half, before Villa levelled the score through Ollie Watkins. But Spurs stormed back a few minutes later with a
goal by Lucas Moura own goal by Matt Targett, and held on for what felt like a critical three points.
But now, onto the real business. We, the founding members of the Tottenham Hotspur Hair Club for Men, know a little bit about the subject. It’s an issue that has grown out (hah) organically from the pages of this website over the years. So it falls to us to discuss the scourge of our little club — male pattern baldness.
It’s always sad when one of your favorite footballs begins to show the signs of their hairline sliding back towards oblivion. Some lean into the skid and just shave their heads, but thanks to science! there’s now a better way — hair transplants. The procedure has come a long way since its early days in the 1980s, and professional athletes who are uh follicularly challenged are some of the prime candidates. No longer can those who partake be resigned to having their scalps look like a newly planted Christmas tree farm — there are real success stories! We’re here to help identify some of those today, along with some that were... maybe less successful.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their 2-1 home win over Aston Villa to the theme of footballers’ hair transplant procedures.
5 stars: Andros Townsend
If there was ever a positive sales pitch for hair transplants, it’s Andros Townsend. When he was playing at Tottenham, Andros was clearly destined to shave it bald, which wouldn’t have been especially great because he’s got kind of a funny shaped head. Now look at him! His ‘do was a lush coiffe of bushy locks that at one point rose several inches off his head. He looks so good now, and honestly, we’re just thrilled for him. His football output has seemed to rise along with his follicular output, and there may be a correlation in this essay I will
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.5): Sonny didn’t score, but he did everything except. His movement and dribbling, especially in space, were outstanding and he was a big part of almost everything good that Tottenham did on Sunday. Should’ve had an assist on his excellent ball to Lucas that was given as an own goal. With Kane still kinda absent in the scoring department, Sonny is the focal point of this team.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community —4.0): Tireless effort on Sunday. Five take-ons, did well defensively, and completed 59 passes, more than anyone else on the pitch even attempted. Took his goal well after being in the right place at the right time. Really, really strong performance.
4 stars: Antonio Conte
Conte has, by his own admission, had three different hair transplants since his playing days. Few can say that it hasn’t been a successful procedure, even if it may have taken a few tries. Say what you want about the hairstyle, the sheer volume of the hair itself is worthy of recognition. Honestly, if you go from nearly losing all of your hair to being able to grow that much of it, you can pretty much do whatever you want with it without much concern for criticism. Go on, Antonio.
Emerson Royal (Community — 4.0): There were grumbles about Royal leading into this match, but in hindsight it seems like he just needed time to adapt. His forward passes were at times a little wayward, but had one shot blocked, created a big chance for Son, was 2/2 on take-ons, had two tackles, 7 clearances, and wasn’t dribbled past once. Wonderful stuff.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 3.5): He had the hockey assist for Spurs’ second goal with a great pass to set up Sonny, but I was more impressed with his defensive contributions. No one had more tackles — 4 — than Reggie, on either side.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.5): I appreciate that Lucas was right where he should’ve been for Spurs’ second goal (and also should’ve gotten the credit). Created three big chances but I do wish he’d stop dropping into central midfield.
Gio Lo Celso (Community — 3.5): Came in as Tanguy’s substitute and improved on the performance. If Spurs are going to play with a 10, it should be Gio starting there.
3.5 stars: Dimitar Berbatov
For a while there it was very clear what was going on up there with Berba’s scalp, and that regression left him with an even more severe (and adorable) widow’s peak than he had before. Since then, he’s clearly had the procedure done, and you know what? He looks even more amazing now. I mean, he’d look amazing with a mullet, but you know what I mean, right?
Cuti Romero (Community — 4.0): You certainly can’t say that Cuti isn’t brave. Led the team in both blocks and clearances, and commanded his area relatively well. BUT... rushed out rashly for a yellow card challenge that left Spurs’ back line open and contributed to Villa’s goal.
Eric Dier (Community — 4.0): Was the most visibly culpable defender on Villa’s goal — he let Watkins slip past him — but I thought he had a very solid match, with seven clearances, most of them with his head. Not sure he’s the perfect partner for Romero, but he’s certainly benefitted from having a little more protection in front of him during matches.
Harry Kane (Community — 3.0): Six shots for Kane in this match and normally he scores with one of them. Didn’t help today, and he was dropping off so incredibly deep that he’s practically a midfielder at this point, but it was still one of Kane’s best performances, and he created a couple of good chances including one from a backheel.
3 stars: Wayne Rooney
Few footballers were so obviously heading towards male pattern baldness in their early 20s as Wayne Rooney, and few footballers received as much crap about getting a hair transplant as Wayne Rooney. In some ways he was the trend setter, a sponge for criticism from the UK football media. He was refreshingly up front about it too — basically “I’m rich, and balding in my 20s — hell yeah I’m getting a transplant.” The thing is, Wayne’s hairstyle never really changed that much — he never tried to rock a ponytail or anything — but his hairline definitely showed some improvement.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.5): I don’t think he could’ve really done anything about Villa’s goal which was a pretty comprehensive defensive breakdown. Made one big stop and otherwise only a few routine saves to make on the day.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 4.0): I continue to not like the Hojbjerg-Skipp midfield pairing due to the lack of ball progression and the similar positional skillsets, I also still think Skippy still tends to underhit passes and is prone to the rash challenge. In this case I thought he looked pretty good in the first half, but his effectiveness lessened after he picked up that cheap yellow. Had two important clearances, though and did the stuff we all wish Harry Winks did but doesn’t.
Nuno Espirito Santo (Community — 3.5): Better tactically in that the 4-2-3-1 resulted in less gaping wide open spaces in midfield but I thought dropping Dele was weird and putting Tanguy higher doesn’t play to his strengths. Very important win, but despite it this still felt pretty Nunoballish to me, and that’s not a compliment.
2.5 stars: Christian Eriksen
Christian was never blessed with amazing hair, but you can understand how as he ran the channels and his hairline did the same he might want to do something about it. Unfortunately, Eriksen’s results seemed to be a bit underwhelming. Even today, those channels are filled in a bit, but he doesn’t look substantially different than he did in, say, 2015.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 3.0): Real mixed bag for Tanguy. Uncharacteristically wayward with his passing and didn’t assert himself at the 10 position the way we might have expected. That said, he had some real incredible moments including a play where he split two Villa defenders with a dribble and got a shot away. Play him deeper, let him cook.
1 star: Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs blamed his hair falling out on “the stress of playing as a footballer” which sounds kinda bullshit to me. And while his procedure seems like it worked and his hairline has improved, he’s still a domestic abuser and a terrible person. F—k that guy, and his hair.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Ryan Giggs.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Bryan Gil, Sub #3 (RIP)
Erik Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award
Oliver Skipp: Skippy clearly learned a thing or two about how to shithouse while on loan at Norwich last season. Isn’t afraid of a 50/50 challenge and gave John McGinn a cheeky little shove.