Good morning and happy monday, hoddlers.
Did anyone else love watching that Tottenham game on Saturday? Sure, the first half was a bit nervy but the second half was absolutely sensational.
And I keep replaying the buildup to that fourth goal in my mind. Dejan Kulusevski’s silky footwork in his own half started the movement between him, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. That trio has quickly become one of the deadliest in the Premier League.
And it was a lot of fun to watch. But not everyone thinks so.
ESPN released its third round of “Watchability Rankings” and judged 98 teams on seven criteria: Quality, Shots and Goals, Pressure and Intensity, ‘At Least a Little Verticality’, Switches and Through-balls, Tension and Entertaining big matches.
Tottenham finished right about smack in the middle at No. 48, in the “Could be Great Fun, Could be Awful” tier. Here’s a look at the entry:
“48. Tottenham Hotspur
Juve ... Sevilla ... Arsenal ... Freiburg ... Spurs ... This is evidently the place on the list for teams that don’t press or attack a ton, or do many exciting things whatsoever, but are firmly in the hunt for Champions League spots all the same.”
I’m not one to go after other outlets, so I won’t here. But it’s confusing to me how someone could have watched the last several weeks of Tottenham and given them this ranking. If this were published before February 23, I would understand. But this came out on Friday after Tottenham scored tonnes of goals and provided some of the most exciting, fast-paced football.
But my bigger problem is how we don’t even know how any of these teams were graded in the seven listed criteria. It makes its methodology far too arbitrary for me, and the phrase “at least a little” is not scientific whatsoever. I don’t understand the avenue this article was going.
And compare Tottenham’s place on this to Manchester United, who are ranked 23:
“If there were point deductions for “You should be much better and much more organized!!” then United would drop down this list, just as they would have last season. But their propensity for close matches puts them in the top 25 for the season year in a row.”
Are 1-1 Southampton, 0-0 Watford, 1-1 Leicester and 0-1 Everton considered “watchable”? Take a note rom David de Gea, who yesterday complained his team create no chances whatsoever. How that team ranks so high is beyond me.
Not that it really matters, I know. Manchester United seem well out of contention for fourth and are playing turgid football, while Spurs are flying high. The Premier League table will always matter more than “Watchability Rankings”.
Still, it’s frustrating to not even know how each team were graded for the criteria listed. And to not even write an entry for half of these teams doesn’t make sense. It detracts what could have been a very fun project.
You can check out the entire “Watchability Rankings” here.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Myself When I Am Real, by Charles Mingus
And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold’s latest YouTube: How Antonio Conte stitched Spurs back together again
The Athletic ($$): Tottenham behaving more like a ‘top, strong’ team
RB Leipzeig reportedly could hijack Man United’s Erik ten Hag bid
Merseyside police launch investigation into Cristiano Ronaldo phone incident