What a weird match. Spurs did a Spursy thing (go down 3-0 to Liverpool in the opening 12 minutes), then did a very not Spursy thing (came all the way back to draw), and then finished it up by doing the MOST Spursy thing possible (a Lucas Moura hospital ball backpass that led to a last-gasp match-losing goal).
That said, considering the way the match at Anfield on Sunday went, it wasn’t all misery, was it? There was actually some decent football... somewhere in there... for a little while.
Now some of you have probably already given up on Spurs this season after everything that’s happened, and that’s totally fine. You might even be looking for a new sport to indulge in until you get sucked back in by the promise and hope of a new season in August. Or maybe you’re just trying to diversify, anticipating the long, slow summer without footy. Well, this post is for you!
Here are your Tottenham player ratings to the theme of weird sports for when the footy’s not on.
5 stars: Aussie Rules Football
Ok I’m a little biased here because I feel deeply in love with this stupid sport during COVID when there was literally nothing else on, but Aussie Rules football (AFL) is the best. I feel it’s best described as what might happen if you gave a bunch of violent criminals with a mild understanding of rugby an American football and told them to invent the NFL. It’s bonkers, deceptively difficult, features dudes with wild hair (head and facial) and skin-tight shirts (“guernseys”), and is incredibly, ludicrously watchable. Pictured is Scott Lycett and I literally picked Port Adelade as my team because of his mustache.
No Tottenham players were this good.
4.5 stars: Sepak takraw
Wanna make volleyball even more badass? Make it so you can only use your feet. Asia does sports right, man.
Nothing here either, but I had to include this sport.
4 stars: Whatever the hell this is
I have no idea what this is but it’s the most compelling thing I’ve seen in ages.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.0): I like this Son more than Son’s brother that we saw earlier this season. Dynamic, line-splitting runs, took his goal well (that pass from Kane was exquisite), and hit the post twice. On another day he has a hat trick and we win this match 6-3.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.0): Continuing his renaissance now that the Conte shackles are off and he’s free to drop deeper to facilitate play. Combined well with Son, took his own goal very well with a clinical finish.
Richarlison (Community — 3.5): Oh man, Richy. I was so happy for him — finally the Pigeon Pru Pru Pru celebration — only to see his joy snatched away by his Brazilian compatriot. But a pretty great display, and should’ve earned a penalty if Paul Tierney was good at his job.
3.5 stars: Kabaddi
I happened across some Kabaddi on Fox Sports 2 here in the States on some random late night weekday. It’s wild! An almost exclusively Desi sport, it’s almost like sanctioned freeze tag, where a “raider” must dart across a line and tag as many opponents as possible before they get tackled. Did I understand what was going on? Nope. Did I watch it for a half hour, entranced? You bet.
Ivan Perisic (Community — 3.0): Pretty good! Had some pretty excellent crosses into the box, got an assist to Kane. Also worked better with Son than I remember in past matches. Maybe it was Conte?
Ryan Mason (Community — 3.5): Showed some fresh tactical wrinkles again in this match, engineered a brilliant comeback from 3-0 down. But also set up the team to go down 3-0 to begin with, and yes I’m dinging him for bringing on Lucas Moura. He’s gone in a couple months and he’s been bad all season... why not give a youngster like Mundle or Devine a chance to see out the match?
3 stars: Pickleball
Seems like you can’t go anywhere outdoors in the USA anymore without tripping over a pickleball court. And it’s... fine? But it’s not substantially different from any sport involving racquets and a net like badminton or tennis. And it doesn’t include pickles, so it sucks.
Ben Davies (Community — 2.5): Was pretty awful in the first 10 minutes but stabilized and was one of Tottenham’s better defenders (such as it was) over the course of the match.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.0): Left tons of space in midfield in front of him that Liverpool ruthlessly exploited. I wasn’t much pleased with his performance overall but he did some good things in the second half.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): I think we as a fanbase tend to overrate Skippy’s performances. He had one really good progressive pass in the buildup to Kane’s goal but got dribbled past a number of times defensively and probably should’ve been sent off for that tackle on Luis Diaz. Also, he literally got kicked in the head, so I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on him.
Pape Sarr (Community — 3.0): Tidy, though in an abbreviated appearance. I’d really like Mason to give him more of a shot. What’s he got to lose?
2.5 stars: Competitive face slapping
Like, fine, if you think about it, it’s really not that different than boxing. Or actually, it might have similarities to sumo. Just... weird, man. I’ll give a miss to any sport that requires me to get literally hit in the face so hard I fall down.
Fraser Forster (Community — 2.5): Look, I realize that it’s not really his fault but you just can’t expect to let four goals past you in a game and get a good rating.
Cuti Romero (Community — 2.5): Gave away a stupid and rash penalty, bad on Liverpool’s second goal, still not combining well with Pedro Porro. I get the sense that he’s the kind of player who excels with good players around him but isn’t one to lead a line.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 2.5): A match to mostly forget. Lost Jones in the buildup to LIverpool’s first goal, never really got going offensively, somehow missed a wide-open Kane for a blocked chance. Hooked for Pape Sarr midway through the second half.
Pedro Porro (Community — 2.5): I might be overrating Porro here, as he was completely at sea for Liverpool’s opener, but he somewhat redeemed himself on the offensive side of the ball in the second half, and forced a smart save from Alisson.
2 stars: Wife carrying
Weird-ass Scandinavian sport where dudes carry their wives through an obstacle course. Vaguely sexist — where are the LGBTQ+ categories? Hard pass on this one until the sport is more inclusive.
Eric Dier (Community — 1.5): I’m trying hard to remember the good times with Eric because the times are pretty bad at the moment.
Lucas Moura (Community — 0.5 lollll): YOU DON’T RUIN THE BIT.
1 star: Quidditch
This is not a sport, this is cosplaying that makes participants say words like “quaffle” and “snitch” unironically. Put the broomstick down, nerd.
No Tottenham players were as bad as playing actual Quidditch.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non Rating: