“Clint Dempsey wants some respect”

With a headline like that, what year is this again?

Regardless of having proved himself invaluable time and again, Dempsey was initially relegated to reserve status by all four managers that he’s played under at Fulham…This time [under Hughes], Dempsey came off the bench in three of the team’s first four Premier League games before again becoming a regular the rest of the way.

That’s not true. He came off the bench on the season opener at Bolton when Hughes played the same 4-2-3-1 lineup that worked well for us in Europe, and then away at Blackpool two matches later mainly because Dembele had more than a few days with the team and Hughes wanted to pair him with Zamora up top in a 4-4-2. After that he started every match. At no point did Hughes not rate Dempsey. Just ask Zoltan Gera.

I experienced that connection with Stevie Nicol and Bob Bradley. They believe in me, and they know I’ll run through a brick wall for them, and I do miss that. I haven’t felt that way in Europe; I haven’t felt that connection with a manager that when the chips are down and you’re going into battle that I’m a guy they look to try to make things happen.

Yikes. I really can’t tell if Clint is talking nonsense or has a point.

The time for Dempsey is ripe for him to make the jump to a bigger club. Such a move seems natural now — Liverpool was allegedly interested — but has never come close to materializing.

No it’s not. Sorry, I love Clint, but I don’t see where he could go and fit in as well as he does here. Manchester United have enough players like him, he’s not sexy enough for Chelsea Roman Abramovich nor Manchester City; doesn’t fit Wengers’ mold (and would probably be too expensive anyway); Liverpool could work but it would be a serious struggle to get in front on Rodriguez, Gerrard, Meireles, Kuyt, and whoever else they sign this summer; Everton and Spurs are what’s left but, in all honesty, how much of an upgrade would they be? (Like switching a Honda for a Saab. Sure, it’s a better car, but might as well get the BMW, no?) And besides Germany, where in the continent could he go?

He walks off. Fans stop him to sign more autographs, and he poses with more children. Then he slips into a room to have lunch and prepare with the one team that truly loves and appreciates him.

Um, WHAT?!?

27 thoughts on ““Clint Dempsey wants some respect”

  1. Look – I’m a Fulham supporter, but you’ve got to realize two things: 1) the treatment that Clint gets from the fan base and the coaching staff are likely different and 2) being the underdog is what has always driven Clint to excel. On the face of it, he’s right about having to prove himself to his coaches at FFC. Roy didn’t rate him at first and Sparky had him on the bench until all our injuries. Hell, had he not scored the big goal against Liverpool to keep us up (did he start that match?), he might have gone the way of EJ and never seen much of the field. So, I don’t think it is crazy for him to be a bit nervous about Jol (if he is) when ever other manager has doubted him. But, furthermore, I think it is just a matter of personality. Clint thrives on being the man with something to prove, which speaks to his desire to be in the Champions League. Of course he wants to prove himself. I don’t see anything wrong with this. In fact, it would be weird for any of our players to say, “nah, I don’t particularly care about that.” None of this means he’s going to leave; it just shows that he is competitive!

  2. Ah, give Clint a break. It’s gotta be frustrating to have to deal with a new manager practically every year. I agree with the point that Hughes likely didn’t rate him at the beginning of the season and then changed his tune once he got familiar with what he could do on the pitch.

    The writer of the article is clearly looking for an angle which will drive page hits and comments (sort of like your post).

    Am I bothered about it? Nope.

  3. I don’t think Timmy was having a dig at Clint, George. (I think that’s a pretty good coverage of the article, Timmy). I hadn’t known what to do but felt that the writer was a bit off – you’ve hit the nail on the head for me. I mean, yeah, it must be a bit wearisome, particularly as he was surely Hughes’ first name on the teamsheet, but Jol isn’t stupid and I’m sure Clint will be okay.

    I do think part of this is just personality. Michael Jordan was famously driven this way, Sir Alex Ferguson too. They both pick up on any hint of a criticism and never forget it; Jordan was relentless in this sense. Clint’s chip seems to be being all he can be to an obsessive degree.

    But it’s a pretty crap article – are page hits really what it’s all about?

    1. Rich, I think that you’re wrong. Timmy was having a dig at Clint which is fine for him to do, but that was a pretty big leap that he took from Clint’s actual quotes to the CCN posting.

      1. I was more having a dig at the article than Clint. Note I only use one of his quotes. But the one I used is HUGE.

        Like, its just sort of a bombshell for someone like him to basically say “Oh, only coaches in America believe in me. The ones from my club in England all suck.” Perhaps that was taken out of context, perhaps Clint feels this way.

        1. He played for 3 years under Steve Nicol. Bradley’s been his USMNT coach for 5 years.

          In 4 1/2 seasons at Fulham, he’s played for 4 managers and will start next season with #5.

          I has nothing to do with American coaches v English ones, it’s the lack of continuity and earning a reputation with the manager. He’s had no chance to do that at Fulham due to the rapid turnover.

          I didn’t think the article was all that bad other than the “one team that truly loves and appreciates him” bit. It implies something that isn’t true and lends a divisive element to the piece. Sparked a bit of a debate though, which I’m sure was the intent.

  4. (as for the “I’m the guy they look to” – well no, and I don’t imagine he is sad about this. If he goes and plays in the SPL next year he can be “the man” again. If he wants to play with the big boys less so. I imagine he gets this and it was just taken out context for the article. I felt the same when I used to play cricket – sometimes I’d much rather have been the star player in a lower side than struggle at a higher level, but a) we don’t always get the choice and b) ultimately you know what’s best, and that’s to test yourself. I think he’s just thinking aloud here.)

  5. Well, first you have to look at the audience for that article. It’s an American web site talking to American fans on the occasion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup opener.

    Second, you have to have a look at the realities of Roy. Dempsey had to prove himself multiple times over — not just once.

    Third, it is true that he had to prove himself with Cookie, with Sanchez, with Roy, and with Hughes. He’ll have to do it with Jol as well

    Yes, it spurs him on and makes him more determined, but there is a limit to how long any player is going to be able to hang with a new boss every year — especially an American player. Americans have always been appreciated for their fitness and discipline, but not taken seriously for their technique and football knowledge. Witness the grudging respect given to Donovan’s performances with Everton last season, and witness the constant carping on Dempsey in every season, including the last one when he [arguably] saved our bacon.

    Finally, I disagree with the opinon that Dempsey does not have what it takes to play for a Champions League contender in the Prem. Clint will play even better given better teammates to work with. He won’t be lost. He will excel — providing he gets the opportunity.

  6. I think Dempsey gets more respect from the coaching staff than many of the fans.

    For the more casual fan, he is an easy player to say is Fulham’s best, but many who sit around me in the season ticket heavy Hammersmith End (and many fans on the messageboards) consistently moan about his contribution/falling over/picking the wrong pass. (Note: I realise that CCN have always supported him)

    He does deserve more respect from the fanbase because he has become the heart and soul of the team. I hope he gets a chance to play off Zamora next season with Dembele coming in from the wing – could be more exciting!

    1. Voted player of the season and his song is as often sung as anyone’s. What else are fans meant to do: erect a statue?

      1. I know it seems a ridiculous thing to say, but as much as we sing his name (I still think that is because he has a good song/has scored so we sing it) there is not a huge section of people who would say he is a Fulham great.

        1. Well it depends what you mean by Fulham great, I suppose. He is definitely a key player in this team though and has been my favourite player for the last couple of seasons. A lot of the negative comments I have actually seen about him have actually been a reaction against the overly enthusiastic American support rather than the player, which is a bit weird.
          A few years ago I was quietly saying that Dempsey was just what Man United needed – adding a few goals and a bit of bite from midfield, but I think that time has passed now. I think the only CL team he would get into would be Man City’s and they are aiming a wee bit higher these days.

  7. I think that just because Clint excels under pressure it doesn’t mean that he likes it. A player’s view of himself might not always jibe with the manger’s view even if the manager is savvy and knows what he’s doing.

    I think Clint has a view of himself that is slightly askew with reality. He needs a kick in the ass but doesn’t want one. He’s a very good player but not world class. He want’s to play in the Champions League but would probably spend a lot of time on the bench at any team that could offer him that.

    1. “he needs a kick in the ass but doesn’t want one”
      what does that mean?
      this is guy seems to be one of the most driven athletes i have ever seen. everything he talks about is in relation to competing and improving.
      i don’t get that comment.

      1. i meant that we would all probably agree that he needed a little extra motivation from RH and MH in the form of making him prove himself. That was the “kick in the ass” that he benefited from but might not have liked.

  8. There is no question that Dempsey can play in the Champions League. He could quite easily go to Liverpool and be that player who will always bag them a goal, a lot like Benayoun did when he was there. For me he is our Benayoun only better in the air and quicker across the ground. He has his moments when at time he runs around like a headless chicken but he moment of sheer brilliance too. Who can forget the goal against Juventus and more recently the goal against Bolton. He just needs to realise that the fans do love him here and he is a very important member of the squad and that is what Fulham is about…. A squad… NOT individuals like chelsea or man city.

  9. This is very important: The author consistently gets the angle wrong on almost every story he does. It’s not just this one with Clint, but consistently ever since his first article. Clint says what he says, but I’m pretty sure LS lost the plot of what was being said. This is not hard to prove…please read his other articles and you will see I am right.

  10. clint dempsey was voted player of the season, so the “the one team that truly loves and appreciates him” actually showed this by voting for him as the best player last season. i could swear that the good ol U S of A actually loves and appreciates Donovan a whole lot more than clint!

    1. Yup, partly because Donovan consistently scores and sets up goals for the US. Clint, not so much. I agree with most of what has been said in the comments above (Clint is awesome; Clint is driven; the article is crap; skewed to interest Yanks) but no one has pointed out yet how Clint plays so so much better for Fulham than he does for the US National Team. I don’t know if this is down to the system, the coaches, or the type of players around him, but it makes his comments that much even more strange.

      1. Also, Donovan is a “better” interview and plays for America’s anointed team. Dempsey plies his trade elsewhere, which to American sports media is a big no-no.

        1. Actually, Timmyg, Donovan is praise for two reasons:

          1. He plies his trade in the MLS. If we believe our best player plays in our domestic league, it increases the perceived value of the league as something to … what’s the word? … support

          2. Also, the fact is that Donovan is immensely talented and a brilliant player.

  11. I think it’s a pretty silly article. It seems pretty clear to me (from here in New York anyway) that Fulham supporters appreciate Clint plenty.

    Re. aekbaltimore’s comment above, I would guess (though don’t have time to do the research) that Clint would have a better strike rate for the USMNT than Landon if you excluded penalties from the calculation.

    1. Josh – I suspect your right. I would venture to guess, however — and, again, I haven’t done the research, — that Donovan sets up for more goals and scores more goals against better teams. Not positive about this, but I think its true. Donovan is a wicked smart/creative player, and I don’t think he always gets the full appreciation he deserves in these Dempsey comparisons because Donovan plies his trade in the States.

      1. Oh man. The Dempsey/Donovan debate. I think Donovan absolutely gets the full appreciation he deserves — I just think it’s only recently that it has actually been deserved.

        Yes, Landon is incredibly talented. Probably more so than Clint – he is faster, passes better, and has been on the scene much longer. But, and it’s a big but, until recently Donovan hasn’t shown that fire, that desire, that Dempsey, love him or hate him, has ALWAYS shown.

        Donovan was the kid who cried homesick when things didn’t go his way in Europe, after he burst onto the scene at a young age. Dempsey was the one who had to go the college and MLS route, and fought harder to get back on the pitch when he was initially benched at Fulham. This aspect of Donovan for a very long time rubbed US fans the wrong way. Dempsey is very workman-like in his approach, and for a long time Donovan was, fairly or unfairly, viewed as a prima donna. Clearly he has realized over the last few years that his legacy was at stake, and that fire was lit.

        Finally, Donovan chose to play in the US, where he has never fully tested his skills on a regular basis against the best in the world, so it really is hard to compare him, playing against Columbus, Portland and the like week in and week out and Clint, who just surpassed Brian McBride…

        Anyway, sorry for the ramble, as always a fantastic debate on here, I really enjoy reading everyone’s viewpoints. Thanks. Oh, and what a horrible article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s