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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Friday, March 12

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the Welsh mafia

Brighton & Hove Albion Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Michael Hewitt - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Hi, all!

That’s forward Rianna Dean at the top today.

Ramble of the Day

I realized that I have waited too long to comment on a very new development amongst the Tottenham men’s team: the Welsh mafia!

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolfsberger AC - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

There’s enough intrigue tracking the friendships on any given team. For Spurs, there’s also been interest in noticing the different clusters of nationalities that have been in the team over the last decade or so — the team’s had a trio of Croatians, four Belgians, and the team currently has three French players and three Welsh players.

I’ll be blunt — the Welsh mafia earns its significance primarily through the fact that it’s good for content. Let’s start with the video Spurs shared teasing Joe Rodon’s arrival that sees Gareth Bale jokingly tell security to send the “Welsh lad” back — it’s funny in the simplest sense, and really is the beginning of a dynamic that plays out all over Spurs’ socials. They mention each other separately, too — Joe Hart gave it away that Bale and Ben Davies tease Rodon quite a bit.

Welsh mafia content makes the cut on Instagram now, for Spurs as well as Bale and Davies. After all, it makes for good Instagram content if you can poke fun at Davies for being bad at making an M with his fingers. (Side note: there’s something to be said about Bale being very present on Spurs’ social media, probably because of mutual appreciation supporters have for him and he has for the club. There’s a lot of obvious ties to the story of his own career, but I do think it’s worth noting that he seems awfully happy, and that’s great.)

Really, though, the content delivers even outside the confines of Spurs’ video content. Bale revealed much about the dynamic of the Welsh mafia this week, to the point that a few media outlets even wrote about it. (Another side note: I do think people crave content about athletes that allows us to think of them as fully fleshed out humans.) I love a good quote, and Bale provided a few (via football.london):

We knew the other Mafia was Moussa [Sissoko], Serge [Aurier] and Tanguy [Ndombele] — La Mafia. So we decided to create a Welsh Mafia. But the original Welsh Mafia had four of us because Sonny is in it. He’s basically Welsh to us. We’re a bit disappointed because all the pictures have us three and Lucas [Moura] — but really Sonny should be the fourth man.

One revelation is that there are two mafias, but the main one is that Lucas keeps inserting himself where he doesn’t belong. It’s really funny to have the context of Bale’s celebrations against Burnley.

It is really funny to watch how seriously Bale takes this thing.

tl;dr: Gareth Bale finally provided some context on all the Welsh mafia content, and it’s simply enjoyable.

Stay informed, read this: April Glasser and Char Adams on how Google has mishandles incidents of racism in its company for NBC News

Links of the Day

Referee Darren Drysdale received a retroactive four match suspension for “snarling” at an Ipswich player.

The IOC will pay for COVID-19 vaccines from China for athletes competing at this year’s Olympics.

The FA launched the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, a program aimed at furthering education for young female footballers.

A longer read: Tom Hamilton on Chelsea’s Fran Kirby’s battle with a heart disease and her journey back to the pitch for ESPN