Tottenham Hotspur have returned to winning ways! Huzzah! It wasn’t the prettiest of matches, but Spurs’ 2-0 away win over Nottingham Forest officially gives them a winning streak of two, after five matches without one. That’s good, even though Yves Bissouma picked up a straight red card that will cause him to miss the next four league matches, while Destiny Udogie is also suspended for one match due to yellow card accumulation. But that’s a tomorrow problem.
You know who else has returned? Beth England! Spurs Women’s club captain made her first start of the season in Sunday’s North London Derby win after undergoing hip surgery this summer. And while she’s clearly not 100% yet — she was substituted at halftime for Jessica Naz — you can already start to see the makings of a superb strike partnership between her and match winner Martha Thomas. I can’t wait.
There are four things that, as far as I can tell, Beth England loves: scoring goals, her dogs, her fiancee Stephanie Williams, and making money through spon-con on her Instagram account. If you’ve ever scrolled through her Insta, it’s a weird combination of sweet photos of her loved ones, training or match photos, and the weirdest product placement ads you’ve ever seen.
So — in collaboration with Abbie, who first pointed this phenomenon out to me, that’s today’s theme. I want to be clear that there’s no judgement here — women’s footballers don’t get nearly the pay that the men do, even at the very top level so augmenting salaries with endorsements is both normal and perfectly fine with me. Go on, get the bag Beth. Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of spon-con on Beth England’s Insta.
5 stars: Heinz Beanz
I unironically love this. It’s perfect. Full stop, no notes, etc.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 4.5): There’s no such thing as a perfect performance, but this was close enough to earn five stars. Superb in and around Forest’s box, put a ball on a plate for Richarlison to score, and scored one of his own. My annoyance at this match does not extend to him.
4 stars: Invisalign
Beff’s getting her teeth fixed! Good for her. This post makes it this high really on the strength of the preview photo, though.
Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 4.5): Elmo didn’t have to make many saves, but the ones he did were pretty spectacular. I honestly think he’s the best keeper in the league so far this season.
Cristian Romero (Community — 4.0): Played very well in defense with a couple of vital tackles and most importantly didn’t pick up a yellow card.
Ben Davies (Community — 4.0): He’s never going to be a first choice option for Big Ange and his time at Spurs is likely limited, but he’s put in some super solid performances in that LCB role. Championships are won with solid role players like Ben who can come in and do a job. And he sure did a job on Sunday.
Richarlison (Community — 4.0): Skied high to head home the opener, his third goal in two matches. Evidence increasing that we’ve just never seen him play fully healthy while at Spurs. He could be the key to unlocking low blocks. Faded a bit late, subbed off.
3.5 stars: Tingly Ted’s Hot Sauce
This was capped by Abbie from Beth’s Instagram Stories, which is a wealth of potential spon-con that I have not fully tapped since I’m late to the knowledge of this existing. All I’m going to say is — Tingly Ted’s. TINGLY TED’S.
Pedro Porro (Community — 4.0): Continues his evolution into one of the most well-rounded fullbacks in the Premier League. Got fouled a ton (so did everyone) but still managed to look dangerous going forward.
Destiny Udogie (Community — 3.5): The yellow was weak and soft especially in the context of the entire game, but Destiny also needs to cut out some of that edgy play so he can stay on the pitch. Solid match otherwise.
Ange Postecoglou (Community — 4.0): Not sure why he opted for Skipp after the Johnson injury, don’t think it was the right call. Still, continues to tinker around the edges tactically against select opposition and got the win so... sure.
3 stars: Her Volvo
In fairness, this ad isn’t for Volvo, it’s for a local auto dealership which either gave Beth a car or (more likely) a temporary lease. Also illustrates the difference in money between the men’s and women’s game — the men are driving Lambos and Aston Martins while Beth has a Volvo. Good way to get the doggos back into the ‘gram, which I’m sure helps sell cars.
Pape Sarr (Community — 3.5): I’m trying not to overreact to bad passes in midfield when Ange asks his players to take risks but Pape had a couple of hospital balls, one that nearly led to a chance for Ryan Yates. Also involved in the buildup to Richy’s goal, so it’s a give/take with him right now. And that’s okay.
Brennan Johnson (Community — 3.0): Poked a ball at goal early on before getting bloodied and having to come off after a head collision. Glad he’s okay and not concussed.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): Got pushed around (and fouled) a lot, and struggled to get service to break Forest’s low block. Got one shot away early. Not his best match, but also not entirely his fault.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.0): Obligatory “he was fine” substitute performance. I have no strong takes.
2.5 stars: LEGO
Professional footballers, they’re just like me fr
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): Almost completely ineffective and loose in possession, but in fairness had a couple of strong dribbling moves late. I worry about having to rely on his midfield play too much in January.
2 stars: adidas
Maybe the most bog-standard spon-con on her feed. Utterly inoffensive, but also doesn’t exactly make me want to go out and buy that hoodie. The beige walls of spon-con, and that’s fine, this is not a criticism.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 2.0): In one of those “other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play” matches, Yves was at best ok in midfield before that rash and definitely red-card worthy challenge on Yates. Stupid, stupid, stupid and now we’ll likely not see him again in the league until late February.
1 star: Tattoo removal
Okay, now I’m REALLY curious about which of her tattoos prompted so much regret that she opted to have it professionally removed. Is it her Chelsea tat? Ex-partner? A permanent reminder of one drunken night out with her pals when she was in her early 20s? I gotta know.
No Tottenham players were as bad as advertising for a tattoo removal service (without telling us what it is).
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating:
Emerson Royal, Alejo Veliz