I think I speak on behalf of the majority of spurs fans in saying that it was somewhat underwhelming that we had signed Clint Dempsey on last summer’s deadline day; especially as fan favourite Van der Vaart was shipped out and a big name replacement failed to materialise despite being linked to the likes of Moutinho. It seemed to me that Dempsey was a panic buy as there was such a big expectation for AVB to sign an attacking midfielder after selling one of our standout players. I was never a fan of Dempsey and the fact he chose to wear the number 2 shirt despite being an attacking midfielder annoyed me further, the disappointment of this signing and Spurs’ slow start to the season had me looking forward to the January transfer window already.
However, in supporting the team you want every player to succeed and so I kept faith in Dempsey and hoped he would come good. His first goal for us will always be remembered to Spurs fans as it was the crucial goal which meant us younger Yids finally witnessed an away win at Old Trafford. However, the easy nature of this finish was obviously not enough to win over the doubters like myself and I went through the majority of season still feeling that although he pops up with an important goal every now and then he was not up to the club’s standard. But remember, a player is always remembered for the goals he scores and throughout the season he netted 7 league goals making him our third top scorer. A last minute equaliser against Manchester United at the lane was another important goal, albeit a goal which many other players in that position would have scored but the point being Dempsey gets into these positions and finishes them well. He is never a stand out player who can dictate a match but his work ethic and passion is something to be admired. It was that work ethic that over the course of the season made my strong dislike toward him weaken; and obviously along with those important goals and assists! The match that really cemented this was against Stoke in the closing stages of the season, his great goal and assist kept the dream of Champions League football alive and it was in that game I really saw him as a Spurs player who I would enjoy to support.
Unfortunately, we all know how the season turned out and there are so many different things to blame for the “failure” that is finishing fifth. We can review Clint Dempsey’s season as a whole and see that he scored some crucial goals in all competitions and his work ethic is admirable, but there are too many games in which he was absent, 7 goals in the premier league is not enough for our third top scorer. My opinion of Dempsey has changed throughout the season and he certainly won me over in the closing stages of the season and I now think he can be a valuable part of the team but I think the part he will play next season should be from the bench. We look to strengthen our attacking options and Dempsey is certainly not a player who we should rely on week in and week out to help us compete with the big rivals despite his hard working attitude.
Going into the summer, any fan would hope to keep Bale and add to the squad significantly, bringing in a striker and hopefully adding Paulinho to centre midfield. Dempsey will be likely to lose his starting place, which is something I would be happy with providing we bring in someone who will finally fill the boots of Van der Vaart or someone who will contribute with a lot more goals. I will then be completely happy to support Dempsey when he comes on to score crucial last minute equalizers! Over the course of the season I have gone from groaning every time I see him on the starting line up to really seeing his value as a goal scoring squad player- now all we need is to add the big name signings!
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