Clint Dempsey: Game-by-Game Grades for His Tottenham Performances so Far

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2012

Clint Dempsey: Game-by-Game Grades for His Tottenham Performances so Far

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    When Clint Dempsey joined Tottenham for a reported £6m fee in the wee hours of deadline day, it seemed like the best possible move for both parties.

    For Spurs, the move brought a capable goal scorer (Dempsey finished fourth in goals scored in the 2011-12 season) into a team that was lacking strikers.

    As for Dempsey, the move provided top competition and, most importantly, a new start after a messy breakup with Fulham.

    Since then, though, the road has been rocky for Deuce at White Hart Lane.

    So where does Dempsey stand after his first several matches at Spurs?

    Let's analyze each of the American's Premier League and Europa League matches with the help of our friends at WhoScored.com

September 16: Reading 1-3 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 100%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 12
    Fouls -
    Total Shots -
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 1
    Rating 5.98

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Dempsey's Spurs career got off to a subdued start here, as the American came in for Gareth Bale in the 78th minute with his side already 3-0 up.

    With just 12 minutes on the pitch, Dempsey didn't have much opportunity to show what he had.

    Clint completed all nine of his passes, but it's hard to give him full marks when he had no impact on the match (albeit through no fault of his own).

     

    Grade

    5/10

September 20: Tottenham 0-0 Lazio

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 78%
    Aerials Won 29%
    Touches 40
    Fouls 1
    Total Shots 3
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 1
    Rating 6.22

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Dempsey's first start for Spurs came in this Europa League clash with Lazio, Tottenham's first European match of the season.

    It seemed like a dream first start for Clint at one point, as he put a header into the back of the net.

    Unfortunately, that one was ruled offside and this one didn't end up being much of a match to write home about.

    With both sides struggling to get anything going offensively, Dempsey was largely ineffective. Besides Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe, the American had the least touches of any Spurs starter.

    Clint only lasted 76 minutes here, making way as the first player substituted.

     

    Grade

    4.5/10

September 23: Tottenham 2-1 QPR

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 68%
    Aerials Won 55%
    Touches 52
    Fouls 1
    Total Shots 6
    Dribbles Won 1
    Tackles 1
    Rating 7.4

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Dempsey's second start and first in the Premier League lasted 88 minutes, but was still a pretty nondescript showing.

    Kieran Dyer kept the American quiet in the first half, though it happened while Gareth Bale struggled behind him in the left-back role.

    After moving more toward the center of the pitch, Dempsey had a better second half, creating a few chances, but again failed to distinguish himself.

    Best performance up to that point, but still not great.

     

    Grade

    6/10

September 29: Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 82%
    Aerials Won 44%
    Touches 38
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 2
    Rating 7.54

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    One moment obviously stood out here: Dempsey scored the goal that ended up being Spurs' match-winner to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

    It's hard not to give Clint full marks just for that.

    However, there's one problem: He was nearly invisible for the rest of the match.

    Further, Dempsey's goal was more of a poacher's goal, as he took advantage of a parried save off of a Bale strike to tap the ball into the net (not taking anything away from the importance of it, but worth mentioning).

    Add on a poor mistake in the first half that was lucky not to turn into a United goal and you get a fairly average performance.

     

    Grade

    6/10

October 4: Panathinaikos 1-1 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 91%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 26
    Fouls 3
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 6.56

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Another start, another performance on the periphery.

    To be fair, Dempsey did come close with a free kick.

    All in all, though, Dempsey seemed invisible out there.

     

    Grade

    5/10

October 7: Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 85%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 40
    Fouls 1
    Total Shots -
    Dribbles Won 1
    Tackles -
    Rating 7

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Again, completely nondescript play from Dempsey in the first half.

    Luckily, as his side took off in the second, he upped his game and provided the pass that led to Aaron Lennon's goal.

    On the other hand, he did have a poor miss and still seemed a bit lost in attack.

     

    Grade

    6/10

October 20: Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 71%
    Aerials Won 20%
    Touches 36
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 3
    Rating 6.43

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    With Gareth Bale a late scratch due to the birth of his first child, Dempsey got the start on the left wing.

    He did okay there, but again failed to wow or even make his presence felt.

    Eventually, he swapped with Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle and took a more central role, where he again did alright.

    With his team trailing in the 76th minute, Andre Villas-Boas brought in Emmanuel Adebayor in his place to try to get Spurs a spark.

    Unfortunately, it didn't come and Dempsey suffered his first defeat at Tottenham.

     

    Grade

    5.5/10

October 25: Maribor 1-1 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 100%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 8
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 1
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 6.29

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Despite coming on in the 75th minute for goal-scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dempsey was much more active in his time in this match.

    He fought hard for the ball and had a nice shot on target.

    Again, it's hard to say much about his production because he was a sub, but Clint did well here.

     

    Grade

    5.5/10

October 28: Southampton 1-2 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 86%
    Aerials Won 30%
    Touches 48
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 1
    Dribbles Won 1
    Tackles -
    Rating 7.61

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Lots of landmarks occurred for Dempsey in this match.

    For one, he scored his second goal for the club. Once more, it was a poached goal (in fact, this one was scored from less than a yard) that ended up being the match winner.

    Further, the match marked the first time that Clint played a full 90 minutes for Spurs.

    The American was good for his minutes too, playing well and finding space.

    There was clearly room for improvement, though, as he looked befuddled in possession and faded in the second half.

     

    Grade

    7/10

November 3: Tottenham 0-1 Wigan

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 85%
    Aerials Won 14%
    Touches 34
    Fouls 1
    Total Shots 3
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 1
    Rating 6.02

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    In a match where fans at White Hart Lane booed their team off the pitch at half-time and full-time, Dempsey was one of the biggest catalysts for the fans' ire.

    Despite getting involved much more than he had before, Dempsey made terrible decisions and couldn't help find the breakthrough.

    Still, it was good to see Dempsey contributing out there.

     

    Grade

    5/10

November 8: Tottenham 3-1 Maribor

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 67%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 10
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 1
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 6.11

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Not much to report on here.

    Dempsey came on as a late substitute, played for eight minutes and helped ease Spurs to victory.

    Didn't do much, but didn't have to do much.

     

    Grade

    5/10

November 11: Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 83%
    Aerials Won 29%
    Touches 30
    Fouls -
    Total Shots -
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 3
    Rating 6.51

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    I completely disagree with the rating system of WhoScored.com on this one. I saw this as Dempsey's worst performance for Spurs.

    Yes, City were stifling across the board, but Dempsey was utterly invisible out there.

    At one point late in the match, I was surprised to see him on the ball because I had forgotten he was playing, let alone had started.

    Amongst all starters, Dempsey was only ahead of Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart in terms of touches.

    Not a match to remember.

     

    Grade

    4/10

November 17: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 88%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 20
    Fouls 1
    Total Shots -
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 5.87

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Once more, I must disagree with the rating system of WhoScored.com here, who give him the lowest rating of any match he has had as a Spur.

    After being benched to start this match, Dempsey came on at half-time of his first North London derby facing an impossible situation, his side trailing 3-1 and a man down.

    Granted, Dempsey offered little to nothing in his time on the pitch, but a quick look at the circumstances makes this performance a bit more understandable.

     

    Grade

    4.5/10

November 22: Lazio 0-0 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 77%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 20
    Fouls 4
    Total Shots -
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles 1
    Rating 6.05

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    In a match where Tottenham didn't see much of the ball as a team, Dempsey really didn't do much.

    When he was on the ball, Clint was wasteful and ineffective.

    After an hour, Jermain Defoe came in to give Spurs another dimension.

     

    Grade

    4.5/10

November 25: Tottenham 3-1 West Ham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 91%
    Aerials Won 25%
    Touches 57
    Fouls 4
    Total Shots 5
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 7.9

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Up to this point, this was by far Dempsey's best performance as a member of Tottenham.

    The American was very involved in the match and looked a threat throughout.

    He sent a perfect pass to Gareth Bale for the second goal of the match and could have had his own had he not struck the woodwork.

     

    Grade

    8/10

November 28: Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 94%
    Aerials Won 17%
    Touches 27
    Fouls 2
    Total Shots 4
    Dribbles Won -
    Tackles -
    Rating 6.48

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Dempsey suffered a slight regression here, but it was just three days after his fine performance against West Ham.

    Still, he got into the match, had a few good chances and won the free kick that led to the winning goal.

    Not too shabby for a player who was subbed out in the 63rd minute.

     

    Grade

    6.5/10

December 1: Fulham 0-3 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 77%
    Aerials Won 33%
    Touches 60
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won 1
    Tackles 2
    Rating 7.92

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    You had to know Dempsey would get up for his first match back at Craven Cottage.

    Despite the boos raining down on him, Clint recorded more touches in this match than any other he has had as a Spur and mustered some of his best building play.

    He provided a perfectly slid pass to Jermain Defoe for the final goal.

    The only thing missing was a goal, as he struggled with his shot.

     

    Grade

    8/10

December 6: Tottenham 3-1 Panathinaikos

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 78%
    Aerials Won -
    Touches 59
    Fouls 3
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won 2
    Tackles 1
    Rating 7.87

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    After another good performance, it was clear that Dempsey had found his feet at Tottenham.

    Taking over for an injured Bale on the left, Dempsey really looked at home and bossed the game.

    An awesome ball to Adebayor led to the opener, while another fine through ball saw Defoe hit the post.

    It was Dempsey's header that essentially won the match for Spurs, as it hit off the bar and went in off of the keeper's back.

    Fine performance.

     

    Grade

    8.5/10

December 9: Everton 2-1 Tottenham

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    Stats

    Pass Accuracy 79%
    Aerials Won 38%
    Touches 57
    Fouls -
    Total Shots 2
    Dribbles Won 1
    Tackles 1
    Rating 8*

    * = Man of the Match

    (via WhoScored.com)

     

    Analysis

    Dempsey may have won man of the match on WhoScored.com, but I was less impressed with this performance than I was with his past few.

    Don't get me wrong, he did well here.

    With Bale out injured, he did some good work on the left and even got Spurs' only goal.

    However, he seemed to lack many ideas going forward and was really very fortunate to get that goal thanks to a nasty deflection.

    Still, he was the most threatening Tottenham player and got a goal, so it's hard to begrudge him a good score.

     

    Grade

    7.5/10

Conclusion

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    So how is Clint Dempsey doing at Tottenham?

    Well, after a rough start, it looks like the American has found his feet.

    Just looking at the grades I gave to him in each match, it's clear that his play has improved dramatically over the past few weeks.

    If he keeps this play up, he will be a very valuable asset to Spurs going forward this season.

     

    So what do you think? How is Dempsey doing? What would you like to see him improve upon?

    Let me know in the comments below.

     

     

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