Here’s a secret: I hate midweek league matches. The Premier League grind is already bad enough what with midweek cup and European cup matches, but there’s just no great way to do a Premier League match coverage justice when you only have three days in-between games. Especially when the matches end up pretty blah affairs like this one was. Yes, Tottenham Hotspur won over Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage, and I know a win’s a win but this match was at times pretty painful to watch.
So let’s talk about something else instead. M&Ms are iconic candies in the United States, mostly because chocolate covered in a candy shell is a friggin’ brilliant idea and also because they were in fun colors that made you smile when you opened a bag. Over the decades, the core colors have also changed — did you know there used to be a violet M&M before it got discontinued and replaced with tan in the 1940s? True story!
This isn’t the most exciting of themes, but this also wasn’t the most exciting of matches, so let’s rank and argue about subjective color choices because why the hell not. Here are your player ratings to the theme of core M&M colors.
5 stars: Green
I was one of those kids that, upon sorting a bag of M&Ms, immediately sorted the candies into color groups so that I could use them to depict things like NFL football plays on the table. And I was also one of those kids that always saved the green ones to eat for last. To me, green meant money and success and luck. I swear, the green ones tasted just a little bit better, too and you can’t convince me otherwise.
No Tottenham players played quite this good.
4 stars: Red
Those of a (cough) certain age may remember when there weren’t red M&Ms, and those of a greater (cough cough) certain age may even remember when there were red M&Ms and then there weren’t, and then there were again. During the Red Dye #2 scare of the 1970s, Mars pulled the red ones for a decade, even though the public had nothing to worry about from eating them. They came back in 1987 to great fanfare. They’re great and bright and fun. Besides, you can’t do Tottenham vs. Arsenal lineups in candy form without red M&Ms, right?
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.0): Made a number of good stops over the course of the match, including an outstretched tip over the bar against Joachim Andersen and a smart reaction stop against Lemina. If there’s a MOTM in this match, it’s him.
Dele (Community — 4.0): I don’t care what the league says, that was a goal and he is being rated accordingly. Pressed well, had some good passes to set up chances and half-chances. Thought his early sub for Sissoko was harsh.
3.5 stars: Yellow
Yellow is one of the three colors, along with green and brown, that have been inside a bag of plain M&Ms since the beginning of time. You may not like the color personally, but it’s bright and happy and belongs in there. These are my takes.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): Maybe the fittest guy on the team right now. Good pass to set up the
own goal, looked bright for the first half. Faded out of the game in the 2nd half, not entirely his fault.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.5): His second consecutive good defensive match after the fanbase basically gave him up for dead. A couple of very nice tackles and blocks in the box. Had some shaky moments in the second half, including playing the ball that led to Fulham’s disallowed goal, but the entire team was pretty poor.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 3.5): Still doesn’t look fully comfortable playing on the left and his passing was a little wayward, but he’s formed a pretty ok partnership alongside Sanchez. Also still our best defender, even if he’s lost a step.
Erik Lamela (Community — 3.5): Had one glorious run along the end line towards the end of the match and fed Kane for a saved shot and fed Kane for a saved shot attempt. One of the few bright spots for Spurs in that second half.
3 stars: Blue
Yes, there used to be two different shades of brown in a bag of M&Ms which always seemed weird to me. There was a contest in the mid-90s to choose a color to replace the tan ones, and the winner was blue (over a field that included pink and purple). Blue’s fine, but I’d have rather had pink or purple, tbh. And this is a Chelsea blue.
Gareth Bale (Community — 3.5): Did well to win the ball in midfield and make the pass to Son that resulted in Spurs’ goal. Looked to tire pretty quickly in the second half... but we should be used to that? Not exceptional against Fulham, but above his previous average.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): Body-checked a Fulham player into next week in the opening 10 minutes and did his usual workman-like performance, but he looks absolutely exhausted. Can we rest him a week, please?
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 3.5): He didn’t have a bunch of “wow” moments with his dribbling, but Tanguy he had a number of lovely balls forward to set up Kane, Bale, and Son. Not as influential as we’re used to seeing from him. Tired in second half, subbed.
Moussa Sissoko (Community — 3.0): Occupied space in the center of midfield but apart from a “hockey assist” pass to Lamela that set up a saved Kane shot, he wasn’t really noteworthy either good or bad.
2.5 stars: Orange
Hear me out: screw orange.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.0): We really needed a fullback to get forward and actually do things with the ball. Davies didn’t offer that, though he did decent on the defensive side. Picked up a dumb yellow in the first half.
Harry Kane (Community — 3.0): Missed a couple of golden chances over the course of 90 minutes and went down easy for a penalty shout that wasn’t called anyway. Not one of his better games.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.0): Not sure what exactly he did out there, to the honest.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 3.0): Yeah, Kane missed some sitters and Spurs didn’t take advantage of their chances, but ceding that much possession to Fulham because your fullbacks are bad instead of making adjustments to fix it is a choice. Spurs still too frequently look like a team without an identity and that’s on the manager.
2 stars: Tan
I don’t necessarily hate the tan M&Ms, and I understand the impulse to replace one of your poop-colored candies with something brighter like blue. I just think they chose to replace the wrong brown.
Matt Doherty (Community — 2.5): Still don’t understand why we bought this guy when he’s obviously not doing the good things he was doing at Wolves and is unsuited to the way we play. Nearly put one in the back of his own net, too. Another really poor match.
1 star: Brown
I never understood this color choice. Brown isn’t a sexy color to begin with, but when you’re trying to sell your candy covered chocolate candy, why do you choose a color that is also the color of the chocolate that you’re covering? Makes no sense. All the colors in the rainbow and you choose brown. Which isn’t even in the rainbow ffs.
No Tottenham players were as bad as brown M&Ms.