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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Tuesday, December 14

Quotes of the Year, Part 4: light honesty

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Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, all!

Tom Holland is trying to use his clout as a Marvel superhero to get Tottenham world class players. I can’t say I don’t respect it.

Ramble of the Day

A weird or delusional quote provides a certain amount of entertainment value, but we are truly searching for honesty when we search for quotes. It comes in many forms, and I will spotlight two over the next couple of days. Today’s batch of honest quotes is subtle, illuminating in one way or another, and occasionally a demonstration of relatability. I like to call it light honesty.


—Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Pugh on the goal she scored against the Houston Dash, May 29

I am not always searching for quotes I deeply relate to, but this one is an exception. Who amongst us hasn’t had fatigue or burnout get in the way of something?

—OL Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe on getting a first-round be in the NWSL playoffs, October 30

There’s a universality to a quote like this. Days off are always great, and Rapinoe is so blunt about the perks of it. She sums up the point succintly.

—Rapinoe on what was said during a US player meeting ahead of the Olympics bronze medal match, August 5

Here’s another example of Rapinoe’s particular ability to add color to a situation, and why those who cover her find her to be a great quote. This quote is also plainly blunt, a fun combination of simple but illuminating. It also perfectly captures the story of a successful team that’s out of form, which the US was at this year’s Olympics.

—Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte after the team’s 3-2 victory over Vitesse, November 4

Course-correcting is a classic sports story, especially from a manager’s point of view. Conte was hired with the task of improving an out of form Tottenham, and he very honestly revealed his own approach. My favorite part is how brutal he is with his language. I don’t think it suggests a particular violence in Conte, but a true seriousness in his intent. That one word makes it a particularly expressive quote, and one that truly speaks to Conte’s thought process.

—FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead on beating Austin FC, August 7

Speaking of revealing one’s point of view, I found this quote to stand out amongst the many players give about a team’s relationship with its fanbase. I have, in all honesty, never heard a player acknowledge Twitter beef or even take it on as part of the game day responsibilities. Hollingshead validates that type of interaction amongst supporters of rivaling fanbases, and seems to simply appreciate it. There’s an almost mundane quality to the quote, but it still feels refreshing.

—Tottenham Hotspur defender Emerson Royal on dietary restrictions imposed by Conte, as published on November 24

One of English football’s big stories of the year was ketchup, and Royal provides both the facts and the lightness the topic requires. I also love that he exclaimed, “Butter!”

—Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers on the UEFA Europa Conference League, December 9

This quote feels like the definition of honest. It is a funny quote, but I actually have nothing chide him about. He has a lot on his plate as the Leicester manager, and paying attention to a tournament that gets limited press coverage is hard to work into the list of regular tasks. (That said, he officially has to get familiar with the league after Leicester dropped into it.) The unfiltered candor is very much appreciated.

tl;dr: Today in quotes of the day, lighthearted honesty.

Stay informed, read this: Alice Park and Sean Gregory profile gymnast Simone Biles, who was named Time’s athlete of the year for prioritizing her mental health at the Olympics

Links of the Day

42 Premier League players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Additionally: Multiple training ground staff at Arsenal tested positive for COVID-19.

Brentford-Manchester United was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak at United.

US Soccer will no longer play USWNT players’ club salaries.

The San Diego Wave acquired Alex Morgan in a trade from the Orlando Pride.

UEFA had to redo the Champions League draw after there was an error.

A longer read: Jonathan Wilson on Roma’s struggling form and the José Mourinho doom cycle getting quicker and quicker for the Guardian