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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Thursday, February 11

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a tribute to silliness

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Emirates FA Cup - Fifth Round - Goodison Park Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

Hello, all!

Let’s talk a tiny bit about yesterday’s game.

Ramble of the Day

I have to get something off my chest: yesterday’s match was one of the most thrilling Tottenham games I’ve watched in a while. Sure, it ended in a loss after Spurs conceded five goals, but ... it was entertaining, right? Not in a way that I’d like the team to replicate frequently, of course. As much as I dislike José Mourinho’s style of play, this is not the ideal change of style. It has been a while since Spurs were in a truly silly game, and it made me do some reflecting.

I think, as a Spurs fan, one has to appreciate when a match descends into chaos. Not just regular chaos — I don’t want to call conceding a 3-0 lead to West Ham normal, but it isn’t downright silly. Yesterday’s match, though, was downright silly. There’s no other way to explain it! And it happens with some level of frequency, probably not just to Spurs (by “some level of frequency,” I mean every few years). What springs to mind are the FA Cup tie against Wycombe in 2017 that ended 4-3, the 5-4 win over Leicester in 2018, and the 3-3 draw against West Brom in 2013. They’re all outliers in their back and forth ridiculousness, and sometimes the result doesn’t go your way, but the rhythm of each match was just comedic. I can’t help but laugh. Those games were objectively funny!

Yesterday’s game was objectively funny, too. Spurs go up after only three minutes, only to concede three goals in seven minutes, but manage to pull one back for a halftime score of 3-2. A center back who has had a below average season in Davinson Sánchez scores a brace, but still Spurs fall 5-4 after extra time, a scoreline that looks much more like a penalty shootout than 120 minutes of football. If that wasn’t funny enough, just check out the xG:

A cup elimination should sting, but I really can’t help but laugh. Silliness should always be a fixture in football, and all teams should succumb to it every now and again. For a neutral, it’s brilliant. For a biased party, it can provide some levity, and a chance to distance ourselves just enough from the emotions of following a sports team to laugh at something so innocently ridiculous that (most likely) won’t happen again anytime soon.

tl;dr: Yesterday’s game was really funny, and I kind of appreciated that.

Stay informed, read this: Aaron Dodson on Venus and Serena Williams’ 2001 Australian Open accomplishment, becoming the first Black pair to win a career grand slam in doubles for The Undefeated

Links of the Day

Former Ivory Coast international Yaya Touré retired after a 20 year career, and has begun his coaching career by taking a job as an assistant at Ukraine’s Olimpik Donetsk.

FIFA suspended Haiti’s head of referees Rosnick Grant for 90 days as part of its investigation into sexual abuse in Haitian football.

Instagram updated its policies after footballers faced abuse on the platform, saying users who send abusive direct messages may have their accounts permanently blocked.

Liverpool owe Fulham at least £300k for Harvey Elliott, per a ruling from the Professional Football Compensation Committee.

A longer read: Paul MacInnes on the PFA’s newly launched Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme, providing a network for Asians in English football at all levels of the game for The Guardian