Look friends, I could go on and on about Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-3 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday — about how City dominated xG, about how going into this match Spurs probably had no business getting a result, about how the Big Ange vibes just won’t die, about how Simon Hooper whistling a play dead instead of calling advantage combined with the past history between these two clubs made Erling Haaland make a never-before seen facial expression and made the result completely hilarious — all of that.
But I won’t, because dammit I have TAKES about root vegetables, and frankly that’s why you’re here, right?
Here are your player ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-3 draw against Manchester City to the theme of root vegetables.
5 stars: Parsnip
A lot of people don’t eat parsnips. A lot of people should. Parsnips look like albino carrots but they taste way more interesting — earthy, sweet, slightly peppery, complex. They’re fantastic roasted, in soups, or braised. I make a wicked mash of parsnip, carrot, and rutabaga at Thanksgiving. If you don’t eat parsnips, what the hell are you waiting for? They’re the GOAT, come at me.
Simon Hooper: Everyone’s talking about his failure to play advantage after a midfield foul that might (might!) have led to a winning goal for Jack Grealish, and truthfully that’s pretty hilarious in the context of Tottenham’s recent history with City. But honestly, Hooper got almost all of the decisions right in what was a delightfully bonkers match. Plus we got to see Erling Haaland go absolutely apeshit and you can’t put a price on that.
4.5 stars: Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes aren’t actually potatoes (see below), which is good because they’re way, way better than potatoes could ever hope to be. There are very few food applications that call for a potato that aren’t improved by using sweet potato instead. Baked. Yeah. Mashed? Hell yeah. Fries/chips? Well ok, you got me there, but I’m still stanning for mashed sweet potatoes over mashed non-sweet potatoes. And I’m not sorry.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 4.5): Another match where Deki has played centrally and he was even better on Sunday than he was vs. Villa. Took his equalizing goal beautifully and also earned an assist for his long pass to Son for Tottenham’s opener. Fantastic.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.0): The Sonny giveth and the Sonny taketh away. Honestly I can’t blame him much for the own goal as there wasn’t really anything he could do about it, and it’s far outweighed by that spectacular box to box run for the opening goal. Passed well too, picking up an assist for the Lo Celso goal. Without the own goal, he gets a 5.
Ange Postecoglou (Community — 4.5): It continually impresses me how often he has to defend his tactics and how frequently he proves his critics wrong. We’ve gotten three losses and a draw from our last four games and I’ve never felt better. I love him.
4 stars: Beet
Beets are maligned, but that’s probably because most people who hate them likely have never had them prepared properly. Boiled, overcooked beets are garbage, canned ones only slightly less so, but they are an incredibly versatile root, equally good cooked or grated or thin sliced on salads or other applications where you just need a burst of color. You can (and should) also pickle them! The only reason beets aren’t five stars are because they stain your hands when you peel them and after eating them your toilet frequently looks like a murder scene.
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 4.0): I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a player’s redemption arc more than I have Gio’s. Has capably played in the midfield and provided a spark of creativity in midfield that’s desperately needed. Tired late, was subbed. Two goals now in two matches — finally he’s looking like the player we thought we signed from Betis all those years ago.
3.5 stars: Carrot
OK, FINE. You want carrots? You get your goddamn carrots. And they’re good! I have nothing against carrots, they’re delicious and orange and they sometimes hug each other underground. They’re just... basic. The Aston Villa of root vegetables. So come on, y’all. Branch out a little. Live life to the fullest. There’s more to life than carrots.
Pedro Porro (Community — 3.5): Some absolutely superb passing, exemplified by a long ball from deep to Brennan Johnson. Had a difficult time at times defending City’s attackers, which... fair.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): Honestly pretty impressed with Gentle Ben in this match. Stretched by City in the first half, but he played fearlessly in the second — his headed clearance by the halfway line is what started the move for Gio’s goal.
Brennan Johnson (Community — 3.5): Another match where Brennan didn’t have too many touches of the ball, but when he did he did some pretty cool things with it. His speed was an asset in his matchup against Gvardiol, and he should be given some credit for drawing players out of position on Sonny’s goal, but he also disappeared from the match during large stretches. Still waiting for... IDK, more something from him.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): A halftime substitution for Bryan Gil, Hojbjerg helped stabilize the midfield. Did a lot of unsung yeoman’s work to break up play and helped Spurs get a foothold in the match once City backed off on their press.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): Normally Skippy probably wouldn’t get a rating, and I’ve been extremely hard on him lately so I want to be sure and acknowledge his role in the late equalizer, holding off two City players before getting the ball to Son in the lead up to Deki’s goal. He also put in a couple of good tackles. One of his better cameos since Conte’s first season?
3 stars: Potato
Do I have to tell you about potatoes? I don’t have to tell you about potatoes. There’s nothing I can say about potatoes that you don’t already know. They’re absolutely acceptable, but their only sublime applications are the fry/chip and the chip/crisp. Which are good! But not good enough, sorry potato. I’m going to get yelled at for this.
Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 3.5): Not sure he was at fault or could do anything about any of City’s goals, but he also had a couple of quality stops. Honestly, he didn’t have a ton to do in this match, especially in the second half.
Destiny Udogie (Community — 3.5): Showed a touch of naïveté at times and picked up a silly, cheap yellow card that might have limited his effectiveness some. But also showed some real grit in a very tough defensive assignment.
2.5 stars: Daikon
It’s a long, nude radish. Hard pass.
Just filling out the categories.
2 stars: Turnips
I would like to like turnips more than I do. I find that I cannot. They’re a little peppery, which is interesting, but not flavorful enough to eat raw compared to other roots like radish or kohlrabi. They’re too watery to really do well roasted, so then end up just kind of mushy and blah. I find I often don’t really know what to do with a turnip so they just kinda sit in my fridge looking sad until I eventually throw them away. Womp-womp.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.0): [checks notes] ... Nope, still not a central defender. I honestly feel bad rating him this low but he was not great — a number of sloppy passes out of the back, some positional lapses, and fell asleep marking Haaland on a number of occasions. Cuti’s back now which is good but I hope this puts paid to the notion that he can play as an RCB. Maybe in a three? But not under Ange.
Bryan Gil (Community — 2.5): I was not impressed with Gil against City. Dribbled a lot of players, got into some space, but was easily muscled off the ball, struggled with his final ball, and killed a number of attacks including one where he dallied on the ball instead of passing to a wide-open Son who could’ve easily scored. Rightfully hooked at halftime. Regularly smoked by Kyle Walker, which... fair. He’s a warm body at this point and we need him, but I don’t see how he gets into the side once more wide players return from injury.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 2.5): A tough day at the office for Bissouma, who struggled with most aspects of his game against City. The most visible was giveaway in the second half that led to a goal after he tried to dribble through three City players, but he also looked tentative and lost.
1 star: Sunchoke
Look, I actually quite like the taste of sunchokes. But sunchokes, or the Jerusalem Artichoke, definitely don’t like the taste of me, considering my bowels practically exploded the last time I ate them. It’s no wonder they’re called “fartichokes” for the gastro-intestinal distress they cause upon consumption. I’m married and have to live in a state of constant harmony with my partner. I’m told this cannot happen if I consume fartichokes. So sorry, fartichokes.
No Tottenham players were as bad as the fartichoke.
Rutabaga Memorial Non-Rating
Richarlison, Jamie Donley
Eric Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award
Richarlison – I missed this in live play (too busy jumping around) but Richarlison gets this award for taking the ball after Deki scored and punting it into the Etihad’s upper deck, earning himself a yellow. Welcome back, Richy.