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Tottenham 3-1 Bournemouth: a themeless player ratings for busy people

Who’s got the time for this?

Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

OK, look — I’m not going to apologize for this. It’s the new year, my day job is in academia, and the holiday break is over. Constantly finding themes and writing these articles is a chore at the best of times, much less during the holiday fixture season when matches come every three days interspersed with holidays when you’re gathering with friends and family.

So I don’t have a theme today, but it’s Wednesday after a Saturday match and you’re all champing at the bit for player ratings. But today you get the Great Value brand of player ratings articles and I’m not sorry.

Here are your player ratings. I got shit to do.

5 stars:

Destiny Udogie (Community — 4.0): Saved Spurs’ bacon on at least three occasions in the first half by racing back to tackle Bournemouth attackers or nudge them off the ball to prevent challenges. Outstanding defensive performance. Got forward okay too.

Giovani Lo Celso [2nd half only] (Community — 4.0): God, he was good. Outstanding assist to Son for Tottenham’s second goal and flat-out ran the offense at times. We need a lot more of that from him.

4 stars:

Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 4.0): I really can’t fault anything he did against an in-form Bournemouth side. Made a nice stop against Solanke and commanded his area well.

Pape Sarr (Community — 4.0): So, so good for that first half hour. Bossed the midfield and took his goal well. Glad the injury was not severe. Good luck at AFCON, Pape.

Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): After one of his worst matches this season, Sonny bounced back strong with a goal and a fairly dominant performance. I really worry about where the goals will come from this month without him around.

Richarlison (Community — 4.0): Took his goal well, should’ve had two but shanked a big chance. Even so, he’s at 0.73 npxG+xA/90 this season, which is pretty friggin’ good and that includes the matches in which he was playing hurt. Keep scoring, buddy. We need you.

Ange Postecoglou (Community — 4.0): Gets an appreciative nod from me for the surprise Bentancur selection and for getting in the face of the Bournemouth coaching staff after Veliz’s injury, then downplaying the incident to the media. I love him.

3.5 stars:

Emerson Royal (Community — 3.5): He’s not a center back he’s not a center back he’s not a center back... but he actually did ok in this one. Appreciated the rip at goal from distance.

Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): Ben’s been quietly very good if unspectacular while filling in for Micky van de Ven. Here’s another example of that. Not a superstar, but another overall solid defensive performance.

Rodrigo Bentancur (Community — 3.5): A surprise addition to the starting lineup and gave a little extra oomph to the midfield. Looked a touch rusty, which is unsurprising, and tired quickly, which also makes sense. Welcome back, Lolo.

Brennan Johnson (Community — 3.5): I’ve seen enough from Brennan now to know he has basically one trick — dribble past a dude with his pace and put in a low cross. When it works, like the cross to Richarlison for his goal, it’s awesome. It doesn’t always work, and he sees so little of the ball otherwise that you sometimes wonder what the point of him is. IDK, maybe this will work itself out once Spurs’ best players are back and healthy (but would he be in the lineup then?).

3 stars:

Pedro Porro (Community — 3.5): IDK, a little wasteful going forward to my eyes but made some important stops. Not as influential as in past matches.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.0): Stabilized the midfield as a second half sub for Bentancur. Not flashy, but got the job done. Set up Gil for that big missed chance late.

2.5 stars:

Oliver Skipp (Community — 2.5): Spurs’ midfield took a major step backwards as soon as Skippy came on for Sarr. To his credit, he got better as the match went on but Spurs were pretty fortunate that Bournemouth didn’t capitalize in the first half.

2 stars:

Giovani Lo Celso [first half only] (Community — 4.0): God, he was bad. Wasteful in possession, looked lost positionally, gave the ball away in dangerous areas. We need a lot less of this from him.

Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating

Eric Dier, Bryan Gil, Alejo Veliz