It will be a happy/merry Christmas indeed for Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to their 2-1 win on Saturday over an in-form Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The win was Tottenham’s third straight after a winless run of five matches, and ensures that they will spend Christmas Day in the top four before their next match at Brighton on Dec. 28.
This match will be scheduled to post on Christmas Day, because the last thing I want to do is spend my holiday writing articles. But it’s the perfect time for a Christmas theme — we’re going to rank the 12 Days of Christmas from the ubiquitous carol.
From my family to yours, merry Christmas! I hope today is one spent with people you love. Here are your player ratings to the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas.
5 stars: Five Golden Rings
Look, your other options are either, apparently, birds or people doing weird things. Take the rings, sell them and live your best life.
Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 4.5): Amazing match. Saved a sure goal with his thigh, raced out to head away a chance in front of his box before the shot could happen, and made a couple reflex saves to keep Everton out. He’s twice the keeper David Raya is and we got him for a song.
4.5 stars: Eight Maids-a-milking
OK this is super heteronormative of me and I apologize for that, but seriously — who doesn’t love milkmaids? And if you have eight milkmaids the transitive property implies you have eight cows. That’s a lot of milk, and beef. I’ll take the milkmaids, they seem nice.
No Tottenham players are in this category.
4 stars: Ten Lords-a-leaping
Now we’re talking. Birds are birds, but I’d rather have the spectacle of watching upper-class Englishmen jumping around like fools.
Richarlison (Community — 4.0): Another goal, his fourth in three matches, more notable because he apparently wasn’t 100% with a sore back from training. Love watching him do well, he should be in line for a Player of the Month nomination.
Cuti Romero (Community — 3.5): Did well in the first half — calm, composed, and few (if any) rash challenges. Subbed off as a precaution for Eric Dier, hopefully he’s fine.
Brennan Johnson (Community — 3.5): I liked what I saw from Brennan in this match. Beautiful assist to Richarlison’s head and got into good positions. Blazed a golden opportunity over the bar and seemed to shy away from contact at times, but does the things he’s good at quite well.
3.5 stars: Six Geese-a-laying
OK, we’re in the bird section now and given the choice, why not take the option that will give you the most eggs? I’m assuming these are like, meat/egg geese and not Canadian geese, which are assholes. If it’s Canadian geese this falls all the way down to one star, fuck those birds.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): Took his goal well, but fluffed a big pass to Brennan Johnson late and disappeared for a while under Everton’s press.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.5): Not super assertive going forward (playing on the opposite flank from his usual position) but did a lot of solid defending that mostly went uncommented.
Pape Sarr (Community — 3.5): Put in a lovely long pass in the buildup to Spurs’ first goal. His effectiveness waned a bit as the match went on, but you can see he’s going to become a very, very good player.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 3.5): Took a step back in effectiveness in this match but still forced a save from Pickford and tried to run the offense centrally. Moved wide later in the match.
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 3.5): Looked exciting in possession with the ball at his feet as a late substitute. Good to see him back out there.
Ange Postecoglou (Community — 4.0): I question the choice of Skipp over Hojbjerg but the substitutions were pretty good and Spurs got their third straight win. Would like to see more good play as opposed to grinding out wins, though.
3 stars: Three French Hens
A quick Google tells me that when this carol was written, French chickens were highly prized as table birds in France and England. Presumably they were more expensive than your average chicken which is I suppose why your True Love only gave you three of them and not because they’re just cheap or your love isn’t worth, IDK, eight French hens. Sounds sketchy. Maybe you should consider loving someone richer.
Pedro Porro (Community — 3.5): Looked like he was trying too hard at times. Got beat on a couple of plays down his flank but was involved in Spurs’ second goal and did pretty well on the offensive end.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): I saw a lot of complaining about Ben Davies in the comments, but apart from a couple of loose passes I thought he was mostly fine.
Eric Dier (Community — 3.0): Honestly, considering Everton’s offensive threat, Dier did a pretty capable job in relief of Romero. No real complaints.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.0): He was fine. Should’ve started in Skipp’s place.
2.5 stars: Seven swans-a-swimming
I’ve told this story already in a past article, so I’ll just repost it from a 2020 article: When my daughter was very young, she loved swans. She’s no dummy, she knew The Ugly Duckling by heart and by age 4 was mesmerized by the swans that swam in the pond by her grandmother’s house. Until one day when she decided to walk up to one and talk to one of them. That damn swan rose up like some white Lovecraftian god, extended its wings to full length, hissed like a fiend from the pit, and chased my precious girl for a good 20 yards. It ended when she got suitably away from that hell-beast’s pond, where the swan retreated and my daughter tripped and did a face plant in the dirt. What I’m saying is, fuck swans.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): Had a couple of good progressive passes, but gets sucked to the ball way too easily leaving space behind him. His positional waywardness was a big reason Andre Gomes was able to be as effective as he was. Saw Skipp described elsewhere as a “net negative” — I couldn’t agree more.
2 stars: A partridge in a pear tree
What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? The bird just flew away, and I don’t even get to pick pears because it’s the middle of winter. Worst gift ever, thanks True Love.
No Spurs players were this poor.
1 star: Eleven pipers piping
Many many years ago as a young man I worked at the University of Notre Dame for a few years after finishing graduate school. My building was on the quad where the basilica and Golden Dome sits (the “God Quad”) and my window faced the quad. That was great and convenient, except in the spring because the God Quad was where the Notre Dame Beginning Bagpipe Ensemble liked to practice. Friends, if you’ve never experienced beginning bagpipers playing outside your office window for a couple hours a day in the spring, well then now you understand why eleven pipers piping is so damn low in these ratings. Your True Love clearly hates you and wants you to experience misery.
No Tottenham players were as bad as your True Love giving you 11 bagpipers outside your window.