Clint Dempsey acknowledged last month the "slow start to the season" he had after joining Tottenham at the end of the summer transfer window (via the London Evening Standard).
The 29-year-old's preparations for the season had already been undermined by his dispute with Fulham over his desire to leave the club. Now he was adjusting to different surroundings, while developing a rapport with new teammates.
Doing so with the campaign already underway, without the acclimatization period of preseason, it is not surprising it took him time to settle.
Those early appearances saw Dempsey display intermittent flashes of quality, on occasion linking up positively with others from his advanced position just behind Jermain Defoe up front.
For the majority of his first two months in a Spurs shirt, though, he was more a passenger than a genuine contributor.
The standout moment of that early spell was the winner Dempsey scored at Old Trafford. That goal against Manchester United showed how he could be a threat for Tottenham. It was just a case of finding a way to involve himself more frequently in between those intermittent moments (more about that on the next page).
From November onwards, Dempsey has found his way inwards from the periphery of games, playing a part in Tottenham's own upturn in form. Big wins against West Ham United and Fulham were due, in no small part, to bright performances from Dempsey, who featured prominently in many of his team's advances forward.
After briefly being sidelined through injury over Christmas, Dempsey had to wait his turn again as Andre Villas-Boas experimented with two strikers for a period.
Commendably, though, when Dempsey got his chances, he took them, grabbing goals in good results against Reading, Coventry City (in the FA Cup) and Man United.
These were important contributions in weeks when goals dried up elsewhere in the team. Despite his career-high 22 goals last season with Fulham, he probably not so prolific as to be relied upon as Tottenham's chief source of goals however.