Let's face it - Neither AVB or Dempsey wanted each other in the first place

Clint Dempsey

So Tottenham Hotspur fans must cut the American some slack as the manager tries to accommodate him into the first team.

If anybody thought Clint Dempsey was at the top - or even the bottom - of Andre Villas-Boas wishlist when he arrived at White Hart Lane in July they are very strongly mistaken.

The attacker was plucked from the transfer deadline 'bargain bin' with hours to go, after a move to Liverpool collapsed, and he snubbed Aston Villa, and faced being left on the scrapheap at Fulham. 

And it has been a mixed start for the American, who can count a historic winning goal away to Manchester United to his name, but was certainly lacklustre against Manchester City, and tamely missed the penalty which saw Spurs eliminated from the Capital One Cup.

He has come in for criticism from supporters, some of who have described him as a 'Poor man's Van der Vaart', and not of the desired quality.

We'd urge them to stick with it, consider the background to his signing, and give him time to adjust.

The problem for Villas-Boas and Dempsey of course, is that there is very little patience for bedding in. Not when Redknapp was sacked after finishing fourth. Against the odds, after selling their two most creative players, Spurs are expected to do what they haven't done since 1995 - Finish above Arsenal; at least that is the ambition anyway.

AVB is a man up against it, and he was left high and dry by chairman Daniel Levy in the transfer market this summer, who strung along the Modric saga for a few extra million, and then bungled the signing of Joao Moutinho on deadline day by leaving it too late to agree personal terms with the Porto midfielder.

Bringing in Dempsey with a few hours to go almost seemed apologetic from the chairman.

So supporters would do well to remember this and cut both player and manager some time on the pitch to get it right.

The perceived wisdom was that Dempsey was a Premier League veteran of six seasons, scorer of 23 last time out, and voted the fourth best in the division by his peers, and he would adjust instantly.

Well it isn't always that simple.

A player he did not originally want, AVB has to figure out how to get the best out of the American, and how to fit him into his system. He wants to give him a fair chance, the player's record and showings last season certainly suggest he deserves it.

Dempsey is too learning how to play under AVB - What he asks for, his system, and get used to his teammates, who are in turn acclimatising to him.

Fans should certainly give both the benefit of the doubt, Dempsey always has a goal in him and is a matchwinner, and no doubt he will endear himself completely to fans and his boss should he net the winner over Arsenal this weekend.

Are you confident Dempsey will shine for Spurs? 

image: © NathanF

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