Brad Friedel got the start while Clint Dempsey came off the bench in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw to Lyon. The Spurs needed a last minute goal from Moussa Dembele to advance in Europa League, 3-2 on aggregate.
Here are all of Dempsey’s touches.
incredibly interesting game today… A few weeks ago I had predicted that Dempsey would eventually play his way out of Spurs starting lineup due to overall ineffectiveness. With Holtby playing in his spot to start the game, Holtby was much more effective in the midfield using his vision to spray balls about the pitch, long and short, and nipping in tackles when he could, things Dempsey doesn’t do much of. However, Holtby was almost completely absent in the second half and with the introduction of Dempsey the Spurs chances started to come. Dempsey squandered a couple of opportunities that he created by great runs off the ball, but he showed that he is unique in this spurs team. There is no other player on this squad that I have seen this season that can offer what he brings from the mimdfield. The intelligent well timed runs, the scrap and grit, the determination, and the ice cold blood that runs through his veins in clutch situations. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him still be relegated to the first man off the bench for Spurs. It looks as though Holtby needs to play, he’s too talented to continue coming off the bench. Either way, with the squad as it is, all Dempsey fans can sleep easy knowing that he has a role to play in this team for the foreseeable future.
The Spurs are a really interesting team, individual brilliance seems reigns supreme in this squad through Defoe, Bale and others. What an example of this through that wonder moment provided by Dembele.
Mitch…interesting post…seems objective in it’s reasoning. It does seem to shows a dismissive nature toward Dempsey and his skills combined with a what appears to be a genuine appreciation for the intangibles he brings to the game. Are you a Tottenham fan? Do you watch all the games? It strikes me as the WOW phenomenon. Simply put…setting a low expectation of someone and are astounded when they succeed even to a mediocre level…(thus you say wow!!)
For transparency I am from New York and I am a fan of any team that has an American on it(especially EPL teams because I can see more games). The qualities that you have described above are what make Dempsey successful. I have watched every televised EPL game that I can of Dempsey’s since he has moved overseas. He certainly isn’t the most athletic. He is not fast by any means but he has a tenacity and often times makes something out of nothing. In his career, he has had his ups and down, played through several managerial changes and always seems to rise to the top. I am not sure people really believed that he would come in and score 20 goals for Tottenham this year but rather that he would come in, do the hard work and gain the respect from his teammates. Seems like he is on his way and I agree that the future is exciting for Tottenham fans and Dempsey fans alike. Selfishly, as an American fan, I hope this means that Dempsey continues to contribute and rise to a starting position.
Sounds like you and I are one in the same Todd. I too watch any top flight games involving Americans that I can, and often adopt the teams as my own that sign american players. At Fulham, Dempsey played in a slightly different manner. More confidence. Willing to take more chances. He seems to play too tentatively with spurs compared to his normal play style. The above mentioned qualities are indeed why he does succeed, but those qualities alone usually don’t translate to a starting spot in a top four team in a top four flight. My two heroes are Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Landon because he’s the best American that has ever played, Clint because Of what he’s done in England (there is no doubt he has trail-blazed, he has single handedly changed how some Europeans view American attacking players). I agree, he is well on his way to earning the respect of his teammates. A guy with Clint’s attributes is always one to respect on and off the pitch. I’m a tottenham fan since they signed Dempsey and I do watch all the games as that’s the only way to have a truly valid opinion.
With Spurs playing a 4-2-3-1 I can Demps staring 2/3 of their games because he is so versatile. He can play central, on either wing and as the up top striker. And of course, like you said Mitch, he can certainly come off the bench as a spark or to shut down one side of the field.
Mitch I agree..,Fulham was Clint’s team to lead and I think he is trying to adjust to being part of this talented squad and deferring to others. I also agree that he is going against his better nature to try and fit in…he is certainly playing more safe. I think as he gets more time with the team he will start letting go and the real Clint will come through. Otherwise he will have to settle for cup appearances and the super sub role. That was the gamble he took by moving to a bigger club and if nothing else we have to give him credit for risking everything for this move.
If he fails all the good work he has done at Fulham will be forgotten. Failure to get playing time will mean that he isn’t game fit and would lack sharpness for potential national team call ups. All of which could lead to being left off the world cup team. I know that seems dramatic but it is feasible…s my hats of to Clint for taking such a big chance!!!!
William I agree with you as well…I think it is Dempsey’s versatility that will make the disaster mentioned above…unlikely.
@ William: Dempsey cannot play either wing. He doesn’t have the speed or desire to do the things a good winger is needed to do. When’s the last time Dempsey put in a really good cross? When played out on the left or right he always drifts in so it’s rather pointless.
He can only find his game behind the striker in a more central position. That’s where he cleans up and gets his 2nd opportunity goals. One of the reasons he isn’t scoring as much for Tottenham is because teammates like Defoe, Adebayor and Bale are always looking for their own shots, and well, Clint hasn’t been quite as lucky or good with his opportunities. He doesn’t have quite the same chemistry with teammates that he did at Fulham…..yet. He is a cog in a much bigger machine now.
@Todd T: There is NO CHANCE Dempsey wold ever be left off the WC roster. Unless he breaks a leg. Even if he is relegated to being a sub at Spurs he will still be on Klinsman’s team.
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