Well, that was certainly an exciting match. Tottenham Hotspur hosted Leeds United on Saturday in both clubs’ last Premier League match before the winter break to accommodate the World Cup. It was certainly a fun one for the neutrals, and also (I guess) for Tottenham fans — Spurs went down three times to Leeds, but battled back, and thanks to two late goals from Rodrigo Bentancur came away with a thrilling 4-3 win. The result keeps Spurs in the top four in the Premier League table until December, and that should feel pretty good.
Friends, I struggled with a theme for this week. Nothing felt quite appropriate. But then another member of Carty Free’s slack channel reminded me of one that we discussed a while ago during a quiet summer day — food at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Most of you know about @FootyScran, a Twitter account dedicated to posting photos of food available at English football stadium. We’ve used it as a theme before. But it’s been around long enough now that there are plenty of tweets that’s just about Tottenham stadium food. And what better time to talk about Tottenham Hotspur Stadium food now, when there isn’t another match there until after Christmas? The best part about the food in the new stadium (I’m told, haven’t been there yet obviously) is that the food is, on balance, excellent and with significantly more options than your standard pie and Bovril offerings.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their 4-3 win over Leeds United to the theme of Spurs stadium scran.
Wow. That is some epic scran, right there. Just look at it! That looks like something I’d order in any mid-upscale modern American restaurant, but the difference is that with this sandwich I get to watch Tottenham play football live along with it. I don’t know what the green stuff is on top — it looks crunchy so there’s a textural element along with the brisket and cheese. Plus you get chips! Incredible. It might be worth the cost of the ticket just to get a chance to order this.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 4.5): Man. MAN. Where would Spurs be without Deki? Well, we kind of know this already. The better question is “where would we be if he hadn’t missed two months” and thinking about this makes me cry. He was Spurs’ most dangerous player, earned an assist, created havoc in the box. God, I missed him.
One of the things I appreciate about Tottenham’s food offerings at the new stadium is that they appear committed to providing a good amount of varied options from different cultures and countries. Indian food at a football stadium? Hell yeah! I especially appreciate the dosa along with the dal rather than serving it over rice — one of the important things about stadium food is that you should be able to eat it with one hand from your seat. This stretches that definition a little with the addition of the chutneys and a container of dal, but I can overlook it because it looks absolutely delicious.
Rodrigo Bentancur (Community — 4.5): Lolo didn’t especially impress me on Saturday... until he did. Those two late goals did more than enough to offset some decidedly loose passing in the first half. The guy is just on a tear right now and it’s a shame that his momentum will now carry into the World Cup for Uruguay rather than for Spurs.
I believe you cannot legally serve food at a stadium anywhere in the world without offering at least one kind of meat in tube form. There are probably plain hot dogs available at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but why order one of those when you can get your hot dog with PULLED PORK? This is a great idea and reasonably priced, too.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): I’ve enjoyed watching Ben in his new role as a left sided central defender primarily because how he has been given license to move forward with the ball. It’s been a pretty effective role switch for Ben after being somewhat criticized as a left back. It also allows him to pop up and fire home long range blasts every now and then, like what he did yesterday. Solid match.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.0): That goal was extremely well taken, a lot more difficult than he made it look. Looked a little tired, which makes sense, but he was involved in most of the good things that Tottenham did on the offensive side of the ball. A very good, if not dominant, match.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 3.5): I was quite impressed with Bissouma’s sub appearance — this was perhaps the most like his solid performances at Brighton as any we’ve seen thus far. Solid with the ball, good tackling, and earned Tyler Adams’ second yellow. If this is what he’ll look like in the back half of the season after adapting to Conte’s tactics, then it was worth the wait.
Antonio Conte (Community — 3.5): Leeds are a tricky team to play against — under Jesse Marsch they press high and have a competent attack, but are ridiculously open at the back. I think Conte’s tactics were spot on — just that defensive errors were what led to the high score.
There are few things better when at a game than eating wings, but eating Korean wings might be right up there. The wings themselves look well cooked, and the addition of the peppers and green onions suggest heat, plus an Asian-inspired spiciness on the wings themselves. I feel a little uneasy that the “Korean” aspect of these wings might only be that they’ve added sliced chilis and green onion on top; hopefully they’ve either been marinated in something or there’s a sauce somewhere off camera. I do feel like the chips are unnecessary — just add more wings! — but that’s definitely a plate of food I can get behind, especially at that price.
Matt Doherty (Community — 3.0): Certainly more direct going forward than Emerson. Stretched Leeds’ back line a few times and put in a very good cross into the box ahead of Tottenham’s third goal.
I still do not understand British people’s obsession with mushy peas — and this looks more like a paste than the loose green stuff I commonly associate with mushy peas. That being said, there are a lot of ways that you can screw up fish and chips at a large stadium and you don’t have to look hard on Footy Scran to find them. This actually looks pretty good — the breading looks crisp and not soggy, and the portions are more than ample. The gherkins are a little weird, but pickles and fried fish are good so sure, let’s go with it.
Clement Lenglet (Community — 3.0): Man, I dunno. He was pretty okay? Like, baseline Lenglet okay? Didn’t do anything especially noteworthy, but also didn’t really screw up either. Subbed off for Davinson Sanchez.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): Ran around a lot again but his efforts didn’t have as much of an impact, possibly due to Leeds’ robust press. Got smoked by Aaronson in the lead up to Leeds’ first goal.
Ivan Perisic (Community — 3.0): As designated corner kick taker in Sonny’s absence he should get credit for setting up the first goal, but it was a pretty quiet match otherwise.
Richarlison (Community — 3.0): I didn’t expect Richy to be earth-shaking on his first start since the injury, and he wasn’t. Popped up a few times to make plays and looked okay getting forward, but didn’t have a huge impact.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.0): You know who had a weirdly decent match? Davinson, that’s who. And he did it on the offensive end! Yes, he got smoked for Leeds’ third goal and that was bad, but Davi was one of Spurs’ better creative playmakers in the back half of this match due to his grasp of The Patterns™, and if you don’t believe me, Nathan A. Clark put together a compilation!
Not really sure how to process this but had to compile and share it https://t.co/2ukPls7eJi— NathanAClark (@NathanAClark) November 14, 2022
Maybe it’s just me and this actually tastes really good, but I’m a little underwhelmed by this burger. The meat sits on top of a limp bit of lettuce and a tomato that probably was grown in a lab along with a sad looking piece of cheese. The chips look light and soggy. This might be an execution thing, but this looks more like the kind of food you’d get at one of those cafes inside museums where the main emphasis is on getting people through the line and not on the actual food being served.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.0): I said it on Carty Free twitter, but friends it might be time that we consider sending Hugo to a quiet farm upstate. Yes, Leeds’ goals were all well-taken, but Hugo could’ve done better on all three of them. He looks a step slower this season, has made some really weird decisions, and his shot stopping is now starting to fade. I will love him forever but this match really solidified for me the fact that we need a long term post-Hugo plan.
Emerson Royal (Community — 2.0): Not great, but not as bad as what a lot of Spurs fans think he was. Had one smart shot saved, and blazed another one over the bar. Looked lost in possession often, but had the vision to take a quick (and good) throw-in that set up a goal. Not an especially good performance, but he did NOT deserve the boos and ironic cheers when he was subbed off. Spurs fans should be better than that.
Interestingly, this one was submitted by Tottenham super-fan and musician AJ Tracey, and the implication is that this was served to him as a VIP at the new ground by stadium hospitality. I dunno man, extra points for the fun looking decorative bit on the pie, but it looks pretty meager there with the braised purple cabbage and a bit of light sauce. I’d honestly expect stadium VIPs to get something... a little more VIPish?
Eric Dier (Community — 2.5): Whoof. Two straight games where Eric has just looked utterly poor in the back line when played in a position that is not central. It’s probably good for him that he has a lot of credit in the bank from Gareth Southgate, because that is not World Cup form.
What in God’s name is that? Look, I know England can do pizza better than whatever this is. A few points from the crust which does look like it is woodfired, but the rest of it goes straight in the bin. They’ve gone super light on the pepperoni, you can hardly see the cheese, and I can only guess at what the white stuff is. Mayo? Alabama-style BBQ? Chez? Ranch? You can do so much better for £10. Hell, for an extra £1 you can get the brisket roll AND fries! Skip it and head to Chick-King.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as this pizza.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating