Dear Lord, do I have to? Tottenham Hotspur went to the Emirates with a chance to go ten points clear of tenth place Arsenal and stake a claim on maaaaaaaybe sneaking into fourth place, and instead laid an egg, losing 2-1 to a Martin Odegaard blast and a (controversial?) penalty converted by Alexandre Lacazette.
I hate doing player ratings after a loss when we play bad, especially themed ones. And this season in particular, with matches coming fast, finding good themes has been a grind. This time, inspiration simply did not land, and I’ve gotta get this article on the blog before people yell at me.
Not some of my best work, clearly. But I guess it’s topical? Here are your NLD player ratings to the theme of things that suck.
3 stars: Vacuum cleaners
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.5): An island in a sea of turgid crap, Lucas is on a bit of a hot streak over the past few matches, and was one of the few players to do progressive things with the ball. I’m seriously grading on a curve here, though.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 2.5): I don’t see much that he did wrong against Arsenal. Was pretty good against Saka and was unlucky to see Odegaard’s shot take a deflection off him and past Hugo. If we’re going to blame players for this loss, it’s not on Toby.
2.5 stars: Being lonely
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 2.5): Talking about his performance without mentioning the penalty (yes, it was a foul) is a bit “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play.” But he WAS quite good otherwise. A continuation of his recent good defensive performances undone by a rash challenge in the box.
Erik Lamela (Community — 3.0): That goal. That goal! Easily worth 10 stars. Unfortunately, everything else about his game was about at the 2-2.5 star level, including (incredulously) picking up two deserved yellows and being sent off in the first time in his Spurs career. I choose to focus on THAT GOAL.
Harry Kane (Community — 2.5): Kane only seemed to wake up in the last 20 minutes or so when Spurs were down a man. His free kick that clanged off the bar was good and had a lovely cross that just missed Dele’s head, but otherwise was completely absent.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 3.0): Wasn’t great, but wasn’t abject either. Distressingly disappointing defensively, especially late.
2 stars: Global pandemics
For these ratings, I’m not going to write out full sentences for all these players, just the noteworthy ones. There are only so many ways you can vary how to say “They were bad. It was bad. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Gareth Bale (Community — 1.5): Blah.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 2.0): Pierre’s form has dropped off a cliff in recent matches, probably because he’s played literally every minute of every Premier League game this season. I don’t blame him for being bad as we’ve run him into the ground. But hoo buddy, this was probably his worst match in a Spurs shirt.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 2.0): I don’t like saying bad things about Tanguy because like Pierre we know his quality. But he didn’t have it against Arsenal, and it’s baffling.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 2.0): I struggled as to whether to give him a rating, but he played 20 minutes and barely made an impact before his injury.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 2.5): Blurgh.
Moussa Sissoko (Community — 2.0): Yarp.
Dele (Community — 2.5): Guuh.
1.01 stars: Losing to Arsenal
YOU DON’T RUIN THE BIT. But you CAN cheat a little.
Matt Doherty (Community — 1.5... barely): If you are charitable you can say that Doherty didn’t get any help and Arsenal targeted him the entire match. But that would overlook the fact that he’s been atrocious all season and shouldn’t have been playing ahead of Aurier in the NLD to begin with. Honestly, I feel like I’ve given this guy plenty of chances. I’m done with him now.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 1.5): People are going to argue (again) about “players vs. managerial tactics” or assert that this match had more to do with Arsenal playing well than Spurs playing badly, but I simply do not understand how you can set up this side to attack like in the past few matches and then decide to cede possession to Arsenal the way they did. Yes, the players were bad, but I assert they were set up to fail by Mourinho’s tactics. I’m still mad.