Well, today’s been a day. I meant to get this article out on Monday morning and had the best of intentions, but instead had the most Mondayest of Mondays so here it is nearly 6 pm and I only just started it.
You know who else had a day on Saturday? Tottenham Hotspur. How else do you describe a 1-0 home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion, a match in which Spurs only had five shots, none on target? Spurs looked as sluggish as I felt after Easter Sunday dinner.
There’s no real good theme that I could come up with where all the categories were only meh to bad, so instead I’ll use one of my reliable tactics for when I’m trying to distract from a poor result: deflection. And what better way to deflect than with something that everyone loves? Like homemade cookies.
Here are my Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of homemade cookies.
5 stars: Chocolate chip
I could try and be hipster and go with something that isn’t chocolate chip for this category, but that’d just be lying. Yes, they’re ubiquitous and the first thing most kids learn how to bake when they’re young, but there’s also a good reason why chocolate chip cookies are that way: they’re absolutely delicious. So with that out of the way, we can argue about all the cookies below this which are now jockeying for position.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as good as chocolate chip cookies.
4.5 stars: Oatmeal raisin
Imma just say it: oatmeal raisin cookies are chocolate chip cookies for grown-ups. It’s definitely a taste more suitable for... mature palates. The oats add a toothsome quality (and a bit of fiber, important for us Olds), and a textural contrast. Raisins are good and those who disagree are wrong and raisinist. And the hint of cinnamon and/or nutmeg adds excitement to the more subdued brown sugar sweetness of the dough. I’m convinced people don’t fully appreciate an oatmeal raisin cookie until they turn thirty. That’s okay with me. Damn kids don’t know what they’re missing. Come back when you’re adulting.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were this good either.
4 stars: Peanut butter
Peanut butter is good. Ipso facto, peanut butter cookies are also good. I’m not really sure how the creaminess of peanut butter results in one of the flakiest, crumbliest cookies in the canon, but I’m here for it. Plus you get to put those fork marks on the tops of them, which is kind of a fun identifying feature of these cookies (although I don’t really understand why they need to be there but whatever). Or better yet, smash a hershey’s kiss on top of one and make a peanut butter blossom which is basically a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie and wow maybe this should’ve been 4.5 stars.
Alas, no Tottenham Hotspur players were peanut butter cookies either. This sucks. I want cookies.
3.5 stars: Thumbprint
Shortbread cookies with jam in the center? What’s not to like?
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.0): Really wasn’t tested all that much, and can’t really fault him for Trossard’s goal. A few nervy moments passing out of the back as Brighton selectively pressed. Telling that one of Spurs’ best performers was someone who didn’t have a whole lot to do.
3 stars: Gingerbread
Ok look, gingerbread cookies are a staple of the Christmas holiday and there’s something to be said about a crispy ginger flavored cookie. Everyone loves looking at a plate full of gingerbread figures. However, I’d argue a lot fewer people actually enjoy eating GINGERBREAD. It’s the cookie equivalent of Tottenham Hotspur manager Ryan Mason — nice in theory (especially after being force-fed burned cookies for 18 months), but not that great in execution.
Cutieriben Romiervies (Community — all 2.5): OK, the portmanteau sucks and... so did the back line, kinda? All three of Davies, Romero, and Dier had decent defensive spells, important blocks, and good challenges in the box, and all three had times where they looked pretty frail. None of them were able to play through Brighton’s mid block, nor were they effective in passing the ball long. I suppose, gun to my head, I’d elevate Romero above the other two but nobody played especially great. That said, they were all above average performers in this garbage-ass team performance.
2.5 stars: Sugar
Do sugar cookies actually taste like anything? I argue — not really. Sugar cookies are a cookie that require icing or other flavor enhancements to make them anything more than pretty. There are so many better cookies out there. Choose one of them.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 2.0): Disappointing, but one of the few sources of offense Spurs had in this match. Hard to fault him too much because nobody was getting him the ball, and had a decent effort deflected early in the second half. Still, not one for the memory books.
Rodrigo Bentancur (Community — 2.5): Maybe his worst performance in a Spurs shirt, unfortunately. Struggled with Brighton’s well-organized press. Picked up a cheap yellow and just looked off his feed.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 2.5): Like Bentancur, looked visibly frustrated by Brighton’s gameplan, but did little to actually mitigate or break it over the course of the match. Nearly created a chance with a pass to Reggie, but was completely outshone by Yves Bissouma.
Harry Kane (Community — 2.0): Looked like he was still recovering from walking 36 holes at Augusta. Wasn’t allowed space to drop deep and in the few times he tried the midfield couldn’t get him the ball. Precious few chances and didn’t really take the ones he had.
2 stars: Ted Lasso’s cookies
These cookies were a major plot point over the first season of the show, but according to Hannah Waddingham, they were actually pretty garbage. Figures.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 2.0): I don’t know what’s going on with Reggie, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s just not good at what Conte’s asking him to do. With the midfield clogged, he should’ve had plenty of space up the flanks and instead he flounced around not doing much defense or offense. Really poor.
Emerson Royal (Community — 2.0): See above. I’ve defended Emerson a lot lately, but it’s also important to be honest when players have been bad. On Saturday, he was just bad and for his sake we should probably sell him this summer to a club where he can be a very good defensive fullback.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 2.0): I’m not sure he touched the ball at all in the first half and absolutely should’ve been sent off for throwing an elbow at Cucurella. Deservedly hooked.
Harry Winks (Community — 1.5): In the first two minutes after he came on, he was caught out of position, got dribbled past, and misplayed a pass straight to an opponent. I know the bench is short, but it’s wild that this guy was called on to be a difference-maker against a clogged midfield.
Antonio Conte (Community — 2.0): I know he feels like his hands are tied with this particular group of players, but got the tactics wrong from the start and refused to change Spurs’ shape with his substitutions when he knew things weren’t working. This loss was as much on him as it was the players.
1 star: No-bake cookies
Who makes these? Who likes these? They’re generally full of ingredients that should be good like oats, peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, etc., but left in a raw form and smooshed into a cookie shape. I would quite literally rather have no cookies than one of these things.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as no-bake cookies.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn