Good game! Tottenham Hotspur hosted Newcastle United, aka Nuevo-rich-castle, aka Geordie Arabia on Sunday in the Premier League and took their pants off them, winning 5-1. They scored a lot of goals. It was great fun.
Coming up with new and unique themes for these items gets harder the more I do them, but sometimes I ask the team for help and they give me one right away that seems like it. quite obvious. It’s one of them. We played Newcastle? Let’s rate players at new castles. It’s thematic!
Here are your New Castles themed Tottenham Hotspur player ratings.
5 stars: Magic Kingdom
Listen, say what you want about the company as a modern media giant, but the ruler of Disney theme parks. There’s something about walking through the park and seeing that gigantic modern castle straight out of a storybook looming before you. Pretty cool.
Cristian Romero (Community — 4.5): Imperial rear. I’m so used to his good performance that I forgot to mention it in the match report. Very composed on the ball, but the signature moment was that incredible tackle on Joe Willock which probably saved a goal.
Matt Doherty (Community — 4.0): I’ve given Doherty a lot of stick since he arrived, and to be honest, his performances have deserved it. But under Conte, it flourished. He’s averaging 0.45xg+xa/90 this season — a small sample, but elite numbers. Very good crushing the box, got a goal for his hustle and should have had an assist… still not sure why he didn’t. Easily his best game in a Spurs shirt. The biggest turning point since Zoolander.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.5): He is back. Second game in a row with an elite production. A goal and an assist were also involved in the fifth goal. That headshot from Davies for Spurs’ opening goal was exquisite. Just forget that his foul on the edge of the box is what led to Newcastle’s only goal.
Antonio Conte (Community — 5.0): I feel like manager ratings are basically tied to whether or not the team wins, but I can’t criticize how Conte set up or executed his plan here. Tottenham feel like a team no longer switching to a new system – they’re already there.
4.5 stars: Castlevania
There aren’t many video games from the 1980s that inspired entire media franchises. Castlevania is one of them. A scrolling platformer about vampire hunters, the original Konami game was ported to cartridge and became a mainstay of the original Nintendo NES libraries. It has since spawned SO many sequels, most recently in 2014, as well as a popular Netflix show that I haven’t watched. One of the best of the new castles, clearly.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 4.5): Another game, another assist. He linked up extremely well with the other forwards and created four great chances. I can’t sing his praises high enough.
Ben Davies (Community — 4.0): A goal from Ben Davies! The wonders will never end! It was his first (credited) goal since 2017 and it was a nice header in the corner. Put on a solid defensive display as well.
Harry Kane (Community—4.5): Didn’t score or have as many chances to score but was integral to everything Spurs did well on Sunday. He’s such an amazing passer; I’m confident he could play as a top No.10 until he’s 40 (or until his ankle ligaments give way).
4 stars: Man in the Top
This perhaps stretches the definition of “new” as it was originally a 1962 novel by Philip K Dick, but the story – a dystopian alternate history of a future world where the Axis have won the Second World War, is convincing. Made for half-decent television, too.
Rodri-Emile Bentanbjerg (Community — Bent. 4.5 / Hoj. 4.0): Newcastle made a decent change in the first half hour of the game but Bentancur and Hojbjerg put in solid performances through the middle, working well defensively and recycling the ball into possession. Solid services.
Steven Bergwijn (Community — 4.0): Normally I wouldn’t rate Stevie for a ten minute appearance, but he came in and immediately scored a golden goal, so there’s Steve, 4 stars.
Eric Dier (Community — 4.0): I don’t really have much to say about Eric. Had two shots on goal, had a solid enough defensive performance, never really let Newcastle stand out. Good product.
3.5 stars: Château (Nathan Fillion show)
Yeah, I watched that for a while. I bet you too, admit it. Nathan Fillion was handsome and it was a decent, dumb vehicle for him after Firefly.
Emerson Royal (Community — 4.0): So happy for Emerson. That goal feels like vindication, as he’s never been as shitty as many Spurs fans like to pretend he is. Feel free to rate him on an opponent-based curve, but it looked like he’s started to figure out what he needs to do as a Conte winger.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.5): Short appearance but looked sharp as he scored three goals and was involved in Bergwijn’s goal. Late sub against tired legs is now his ideal role.
3 stars: Average American McMansion
If a man’s home is his castle, then I guess they qualify? There are so many terrible gargantuan cookie-cutter American homes out there right now (including the worst are documented at the excellent McMansion Hell blog) that there is great variance in this particular category, but there are also some very good ones. I suspect most won’t last as long as the ruins in Europe, though.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.0): Much has been said about Hugo’s performance when it comes to the Newcastle goal. I tend to agree with Tim Howard on NBC’s comment that Hugo should have trusted his wall and covered further left to cover that space. As it stands, he didn’t miss the shot anyway, and that’s pretty much moot as it was basically the only thing he had to do the whole game.
Harry Winks (Community – 3.0): Was he okay? Sure. He was fine.
2.5 stars: Mudurnu, housing estate in Turkey
In the tourist town of Mudurnu, Turkey, reside the now crumbling ruins of an intentional community where all the houses are mini-castles with turrets and battlements. The photos are stunning – halfway through the project the pandemic hit and the funding completely collapsed. Now it is this vast expanse of partially completed castles that will likely remain so. Weird, weird and yet weirdly Disney. The full New York Times article is here.
2 stars: White
Look, far be it from me to shit on this. White Castle definitely fills a niche for cheap late-night dining, and yes, I’ve made more than one pilgrimage to the embattled capital of drunken dining. But let’s not pretend that White Castle is really GOOD. It’s not.
No Tottenham player has played so badly.
1 star: Duncan
No Tottenham Hotspur player was as bad as Duncan Castles.