I don’t want to write this. Tottenham Hotspur hosted league-leading Arsenal with a chance to get a signature win under their belt and get back into the top four conversation and instead took a big ol’ dump on the pitch in the first half, conceding two goals. A better second half provided some small hope, but not enough. Arsenal won, will probably win the league, and everyone’s now talking about whether Antonio Conte will see out the season. Pain.
So let’s make this quick. We’ve done player ratings to the theme of derbies (football) before, but never derbies (disambiguation). So that’s what we’re doing. Here are your player ratings. Read this article once and then forget this match ever happened.
5 stars: Hat
Look at that hat. What a great hat, why don’t people wear derbies anymore? I mean, I can’t pull it off, but more people should try.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as good as a good derby hat.
Take a pecan pie, add bourbon and chocolate chips in the filling. Get a local Amish woman to bake it for you. And then eat the whole damn thing you animal because yeah that’s friggin’ delicious and you deserve it after having to watch that abomination of a football match.
Nothing here, I just needed the extra category.
4 stars: Roller
Hell on wheels. Roller Derby is fun as hell. It’s one of those sports that’s so crazy and intense to watch — I barely understand the rules, like rugby or Aussie Rules football — and that fact doesn’t matter a bit because it’s insane and incredibly watchable. It’s also become a sport welcome to women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and a lot of teams are glam as f—k. Roll on, you crazy diamonds.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were this good either.
3 stars: Kentucky
The Kentucky Derby is a spectacle, maybe the biggest spectacle of them all, and spectacles are fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in the entire pageantry of the thing that it’s easy to forget that somehow every single year they award the prize to the OWNERS of the horse and not the horse itself. Now that’s injustice. #FreeHorses
Dejan Kulusevski (Community - 3.0): Spurs didn’t do a ton going forward in this half, but what they did do was mostly started or created by Deki. On another day, one of those cut-inside-and-shoot curlers goes in and we have a different match on our hands. That shot is fast turning into his signature thing.
Pape Matar Sarr (Community - 3.0): Encouraging stuff from the young Senegal international. Yes, he got lost on Arsenal’s second goal, but it’d be unfair to pin it on him, plenty of blame to go around. But he continues to show a composure that belies his years and is solid on the ball. Put him in a midfield three and we’re cooking with
Harry Kane (Community - 2.5): Can’t ask too much more from him, I guess. Except a goal. A goal would’ve been nice. I would’ve liked him to catch Greaves against Arsenal.
Cuti Romero (Community - 2.5): Not the worst of the back line, and was at times erratic, but didn’t let a whole lot past him. Even so, was lucky not to be sent off with two yellows in this match with some pretty rash challenges.
2.5 stars: Shire
Look, I’ve never been there, but I’ve looked at some pictures online and boy it sure looks pretty and agrarian. I mean, I like sheep. Who doesn’t like sheep?
Clement Lenglet (Community - 2.5): Got turned around a few times by Saka, which, y’know, ok that happens. Got stretched a lot in transition and never looked particularly comfortable.
Eric Dier (Community - 2.0): Got turned around a few times. Still looks unconvincing out there and his form has fallen dramatically since the start of the season.
Matt Doherty (Community - 2.0): Doherty’s better going forward than in defense, and he had to do a ton of defending in this match to his detriment. Regularly pinned back by Martinelli, looked frustrated.
Richarlison (Community - 2.0): Would be churlish to expect too much of him in his first match back from injury, and we didn’t get much.
2 stars: Demolition
It’s too loud and crashy for me. Two stars. ‘Merica.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community - 2.5): Outmanned in midfield as he was, this was a real stinker of a performance from Pierre. Odegaard, Xhaka, and He Who Shall Not Be Named just ran rings around him.
Ryan Sessegnon (Community - 1.5): Created two of Tottenham’s best chances in the first half, but it’s hard to overlook the godawful crosses and the rash challenges in what was on balance a really disappointing match. I am really unsure he makes it at Spurs.
Son Heung-Min (Community - 2.0): He’s not getting service, but he’s also not doing anything with the service he does get. Mostly he just looks ineffective and sad out there which makes me sad.
Hugo Lloris (Community - 1.0): Hugo is the best Tottenham keeper I’ve watched in my 16 years of Spurs fandom (even better than Heurelho Gomes lol) but watching him gift Arsenal two goals in this match clinched it for me. He’s done. The cliff came and he’s already 50 feet down the side. I hate it, but it’s time to cut ties this summer and move on. (Incidentally this is I believe the lowest mean score for any player I’ve seen since starting the Qualtrics polling.)
Antonio Conte (Community - 1.5): I get that Conte doesn’t have the team he wants, but he’s also not trying to do anything with the team he has. He can ask for better players while he’s here, but he’s absolutely not blameless for what’s happening right now.
1 star: North London
I hate it. Even when we win, it’s never fun except for the winning part. Why are sports?
No Tottenham Players were as bad as the... oh hell, you can’t ruin the bit.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Bryan Gil, Ben Davies
Erik Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award
Richarlison: Got into a little scrap with Ramsdale at full time and was jawing with Martinelli and Gabriel. Probably stupid of him, but hell, I appreciated it and will take any little joy that I can out of that match.