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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham news and links for Monday, February 14

For the love of pancakes

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Birmingham City Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Good morning and happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Ashleigh Neville graces today’s header photo after scoring in yesterday’s 2-0 win against Birmingham.

After the men’s squad’s putrid match against Wolverhampton yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in years: go out for some pancakes.

I threw on my winter coat and grey knit beanie, and embarked on my snowy Sunday morning trek. Fifteen minutes later - and dotted with snowflakes - I stepped into a lively cafe just off main street in an oceanside Connecticut town I call home.

This homely establishment seats no more than perhaps two dozen people and I sat myself at what appeared to be the lone vacant table. As my chilled body thawed, a kind waitress served me an illy coffee. Grabbing the too-small mug handle, I sipped the hot coffee as my knuckles warmed against the toasty ceramic mug.

I ordered a full stack of blueberry pancakes (for the antioxidants), a side of bacon and another cup of coffee.

Three pancakes were served on a white plate, nestled on top of each other with softened butter delicately placed on top. Golden brown in colour, these pancakes looked too irresistible to be left untouched for more than five seconds. My second cup of coffee in hand (and a plate of bacon on the side) I judiciously poured the sticky-sweet maple syrup and dug in.

After a calamitous showing on the pitch, these pancakes were the perfect palate cleanser. Surgically cutting through the slightly crisp exteriors revealed three pillow-light centres. The buttery flavour of the batter was cut through by the slightly tart, slightly sweet blueberries, which I washed down with a cup of coffee.

Studiously eating my way through the plates, the exhibition lasted only minutes. I examined my handiwork: two empty plates, one unopened container of maple syrup and not a rogue berry in sight. All gone.

Satisfied, I sipped the remaining half cup of coffee. I read the Tottenham match report on my phone. Oh no, none of this is good. Don’t let the match spoil the pancakes. I closed the tab, put my phone away and finished the rest of my coffee.

I paid the bill, threw on my coat and beanie and stepped back out into the frosty tundra. The town was just as quiet as when I had first stepped out - silent, still, mesmeric. The only difference was that I was slightly warmer and positively uplifted by my mid-morning meal.

I laboriously made the 15-minute walk back home, plopped down on my couch and began typing. Those pancakes were too good to not share.

Fitzie’s track of the day: Cupid by Sam Cooke

And now for your links:

Antonio Conte insists ‘you cannot buy winning mentality’ after Sunday’s loss to Wolves

Christian Eriksen doesn’t want his Brentford teammates to ‘go easy’ on him and insists he has no health concerns

Barcelona president Juan Laporta confirms the club is close to a sponsorship deal with Spotify (translated)

The Athletic ($$) reports on Ajax, Marc Overmars and ‘a culture of sexual misconduct’ (content warning: sexual misconduct)

A feature on Leatherhead FC manager Luke Tuffs: ‘‘I’m showing young people you can be gay and a success’

Christian Pulisic says he put too much pressure on himself to ‘save’ USMNT

Three-time Welsh champions face expulsion from league if they don’t pay outstanding fines