clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Tuesday, January 18

the Tottenham angle

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Barclays FA Women’s Super League - The Hive Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Hey, everyone!

At the top today is forward Jessica Naz.

Ramble of the Day

As you probably noticed, The Best FIFA Football Awards came and went yesterday. (Congratulations to Érik Lamela on winning the Puskás Award!) I would never dare accuse it of being a particularly interesting event — the winners are somewhat predictable and the presentation is generally dry. The Best FIFA Football Awards, though, have something few awards shows do: an element of transparency.

FIFA publishes the ballots soon after the awards end, and several Tottenham players got to cast votes because they just so happen to be the captains of their national teams.:

Harry Kane, England

Best men’s player: Robert Lewandowski in first, Lionel Messi in second, N’Golo Kanté in third

Best men’s goalkeeper: Édouard Mendy in first, Gianluigi Donnarumma in second, Kasper Schmeichel in third

Best men’s coach: Antonio Conte in first, Thomas Tuchel in second, Pep Guardiola in third

Hugo Lloris, France

Best men’s player: Karim Benzema in first, Kylian Mbappé in second, N’Golo Kanté in third

Best men’s goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma in first, Manuel Neuer in second, Édouard Mendy in third

Best men’s coach: Lionel Scaloni in first, Roberto Mancini in second, Thomas Tuchel in third

Son Heung-min, Korea Republic

Best men’s player: Robert Lewandowski in first, Lionel Messi in second, N’Golol Kanté in third

Best men’s goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma in first, Édouard Mendy in second, Alisson Becker in third

Best men’s coach: Antonio Conte in first, Thomas Tuchel in second, Pep Guardiola in third

These ballots are generally normal, but provide another example in my longstanding theory. The thing I’ve noticed year after year is that the main way to make a ballot for The Best FIFA Football Awards interesting is to appear as biased as possible. Kane and Son did a light version of this when they voted for Conte, but Lloris went all the way when he voted only for France teammates for the player award.

I can have a little fun cracking jokes about Kane and Son being the teacher’s pet, but do have some normalcy to them. It is almost entirely by design — the shortlists are almost entirely full of qualified candidates, making most combinations on a ballot perfectly normal. (A lot of people are also not eligible to just vote for their friends.) As a result, it is conceivable that Kane and Son really do believe Conte was worth the vote even before they started working with him — winning the title with Inter was genuinely impressive. It’s also entirely possible they just voted for their guy — tons of people do this.

It was not just Conte’s friends picking him, though. He received a serious number of votes, including 13 for first place. His friends clearly do not make up the majority of those votes, so I congratulate him on a job well done. (I do mean it when I say that winning Serie A last season was impressive.)

tl;dr: There’s a Tottenham angle for everything, so here’s the Tottenham angle on The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Stay informed, read this: Wolves’ Adama Traoré on his recent goal, which he dedicated to those fighting against racism (via Instagram)

Links of the Day

Burnley-Watford was postponed because of COVID-19 cases and injuries at Burnley.

Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina returned to their clubs to address medical concerns.

The women’s Champions League tie between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou will be played in front of a sellout crowd.

Wolves signed Chiquinho from Estoril.

A longer read: Kevin Baxter interviews referee Natalie Simon, the first Black American woman to receive her FIFA badges for the Los Angeles Times