Wasn’t it great to watch a Tottenham Hotspur match that didn’t make you want to poke your eyes out with a red-hot fork? Tottenham Hotspur hosted Brentford, a team that has given a number of top clubs issues already this season, and rolled to a comfortable 2-0 win on Thursday. Ben Davies should’ve had a goal (it was credited as an OG) off a corner in the first half, and Son Heung-Min tapped in a lovely team goal to double their lead in the second half.
For the theme this week I wanted something where pretty much everything is good, because pretty much every Tottenham player was good. And what’s better than fried potatoes? There are so many ways to fry a potato, and all of them are good. So we’re going with that!
When discussing this in the writer’s Slack, we were all aghast that this hadn’t been a theme before now, as it’s been a FREQUENT discussion (née argument) over the years. Well, time to remedy that. Here are your player ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win over Brentford to the theme of Ways to Fry Potatoes. Send all complaints and vitriol to email@example.com.
6 stars: Frites
How do you make french fries even better? Do what the French actually do and fry them twice, preferably in duck fat. The result is a tooth-shatteringly crisp exterior and a silky middle that doesn’t fall limp in your hand or your mouth and stands up to any condiment. All fried potatoes are good, but these are the most goodest. Vive la France!
In a world of five-star fried potatoes, these are the best of them all. No Tottenham player comes close (except maybe Erik Lamela).
5 stars: Tots
There were some in the writer’s Slack who argued that tots deserved to be lower in this list of 5-star fried potatoes because they’re not actually potatoes, they’re reconstituted fried potatoes. I say: poppycock. Tots are the shining, bite-sized lights of the fried potato world and I will broker no argument.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 4.5): Quite easily Skippy’s best performance in a Tottenham shirt. If this match is any indication, he is THRIVING under Conte’s direction. He’s finally starting to pick his head up and get forward in possession with the ball, and this bodes VERY well for his future and that of Tottenham’s midfield.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): Outstanding performance. Played a very simple game, content to sit back and shield the back line and let Skipp shine, but that simplifies what was a really, really solid match from him.
5 stars: Hash browns
Oh, you want to make your OWN fried potatoes? Easy. Try some hash browns, which are basically God’s gift to breakfast. Grate some potatoes, squeeze out the liquid (important!), fry them in some hot fat like butter or oil, season with salt/pepper, and don’t forget the runny egg on top. Sister, there’s not much better in life.
Harry Kane (Community — 3.5): Why does Kane rank here and not at one of the other five star categories? Because while Kane was unquestionably good out there, he screwed up a number of good counterattacks (even though he redeemed himself with the hockey assist for Sonny’s goal). Therefore, he’s at five stars instead of at five stars.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 4.0): Good Reggie! He was showcasing all the really good things he can do at the wingback position in a system like Conte’s — a huge engine, good vision and ability to get forward, ability to pick out a cross. Wonderful.
5 stars: Curly fries
Curly fries are amazing entirely because of their shape. Sure, you can add seasonings and make them even tastier, but I love picking up one of those curly fries that looks like it’s an whole goddamn potato in one spiral. Amazing. Truly a 5-star fried potato.
Ben Davies (Community — 4.0): Antonio Conte has resurrected Ben Davies’ Tottenham career, transforming him into a somewhat passive, defensively lax left sided fullback and into a progressive left sided centerback who can get forward and head in goals off of corner kicks. (I don’t care if that was an OG, he gets the credit.) I tell you friends, I did not see this coming.
Antonio Conte (Community — 4.0): Boy, you sure can see the plan emerging as to how Conte wants this Tottenham team to play, can’t you? Spurs came out and pressed, pushed forward, and looked very good for the money. It seems like things are finally starting to click, even if there’s a lot further to go before they become REALLY good.
5 stars: Waffle fries
I love waffle fries. The way they’re cut leaves lots of room for craggy fried goodness, but they’re thick enough so that there’s still plenty of pillowy potato in the middle. But what makes waffle fries stand out is their flat shape which makes them a perfect vessel for chunkier foods like, say, pulled pork.
Son Heung-Min (Commuinty — 4.5): Truly a five star performance from Sonny, who looked better than he has in more than a month. He was a terror on that left side and should’ve had two goals after he fired a rocket that was (well) palmed away by Fernandez.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.0): I said this in the reaction thread yesterday, but Hugo had a sneaky good performance in goal yesterday. Brentford’s xG was comically low, but they had a few dangerous looks at goal, and Hugo made some really good stops that were probably a lot tougher than he made them look.
5 stars: Crinkle cut
Crinkle cut fries over standard fries? BLASPHEMY! But hear me out. Basically, standard fries and crinkle-cut fries are the same, but the addition of the extra crinkles makes these fries superior vessels for ketchup or your sauce of choice, and let’s be honest, that should tip the balance. Even if standard fries are also five star fries (see below).
Eric Dier (Community — 4.0): Brentford’s xG was 0.29 in this match and a lot of that was because Ivan Toney couldn’t find a way past Spurs’ defensive wall. Dier had a ton to do with that on Thursday.
5 stars: Standard cut fries
Standard cut fries are amazing. This is a fried potato ranking after all, and thus the baseline fried potatoes are still utterly fantastic. My god, this list is like trying to rank my children.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.5): Clearly a five-star performance, but a quieter five-star performance for Royal who looked as though he had more difficulty getting forward than usual.
5 stars: Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries probably shouldn’t even be on this list, as sweet potatoes are sufficiently different from potatoes to make them practically their own thing. Might as well include parsnip “fries” or rutabaga, maybe beets, pick your own tuber here. But they are undeniably delicious when cooked well, and thus deserve inclusion. Definitely a five-star fry.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.5): Lucas is maddeningly close to being an excellent player but it’s his decision making that lets him down at times. That said, he was a little terrier in the press, enough to give him a five star rating from me.
Harry Winks (Community — 3.0): In the absence of Gio Lo Celso (presumably?), Conte seems to trust “Winky” for whatever reason as a midfield late substitute. He was perfectly fine in his five-star performance, and though he had his moments getting dribbled past as per usual he also had a couple of nice progressive passes forward, including a lovely one to Son.
5 stars: Steak fries
Steak fries, while still 5-star fries, have the dubious distinction of being undercooked 95% of the time, resulting in barely golden, limp potato wedges that end up more rubbery than floppy. Yes, you can make them well but come on, when was the last time you had a really REALLY good plate of steak fries?
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.0): If there was a player who struggled in the midst of his five-star performance against Brentford yesterday, it’s Davinson, who missed a bunch of easy passes that could’ve kick-started attacks and had a few more sloppy possessions. That said, it’s still five stars for me, Clive.
5 stars: Shoestring fries
I struggled with this. Shoestring fries are still fries and therefore a 5-star fried potato application, but they are very clearly the least among the 5-star fried potatoes. Look, I know that shoestring fries have their devotees. Well, so does Skyline Chili and those people are wrong too. Shoestring fries, while delicious because they are fries, get the balance between crunch and potato flavor all wrong. Don’t mistake me, I’ll still stick my entire face into a basket of these suckers, but they’re at the bottom of this amazing 5-star fried potato list for a reason.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as amazing and simultaneously not amazing as Shoestring Fries.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating: Latkes
I couldn’t really not include latkes because it’s Hannukah, but as good as they are latkes aren’t quite up to the five star standard of everything above it. So they get their own category. Please go eat yourself some latkes and enjoy them. Chag sameach!
Japhet Tanganga, Steven Bergwijn