When Clint Dempsey finished last season at Fulham, he proclaimed that his decision to leave the London club was in order to achieve a personal dream of playing in the Champions League of Europe. For a player of his talents, such a hope and aspiration is entirely reasonable and would be a high honor for Americans by showing their talents at the major European competition. Although moves to massive clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool failed to transpire this past summer, Dempsey eventually was transferred to Tottenham at the last minute. Does this club have what it takes for Dempsey to finally live that dream?
The current EPL season is going quite well for Tottenham, who currently sit in the cherished 4th position in the table (the lowest position awarded with Champions League soccer next year). Clint Dempsey has fit well into the side and scored several important goals, most notably a goal at Old Trafford to give Tottenham their first win at Manchester United’s home in over 20 years. Additionally, he recently scored a brace and an assist in a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Coventry City.
The club has an exciting array of talented players like Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, and Emmanuel Adebayor. On their day, they can compete with anyone in the world. In their famous Champions League appearance two seasons ago, the club reached the quarterfinals with victories over clubs like Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, and AC Milan.
Last season, the club did enough to finish 4th in the table, but were denied a spot in the tournament due to Chelsea’s 6th place finish but success in winning the Champions League. Thus, Tottenham was relegated to the Europa League where they will be set to face Lyon in the first knockout round. Yes, the tournament is not quite as prestigious as the Champions League but it does provide exciting European soccer, especially in the latter rounds.
Dempsey has already proven himself in the Europa League with Fulham when he helped the club reach he 2010 final match. Along the way Dempsey secured his finest career moment when he chipped a magnificent goal against Juventus. However, he wants to take the next step and is desperate to do so with his new club.
Recent history suggests he may have to wait several seasons to achieve that dream. Tottenham has been in this position before and has often slipped late in the season outside of the vital standings. Arsenal, currently in 6th has finished ahead of Tottenham every season since 1995. Similarly the current top three clubs of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City are far too talented to slip. Everton also has been strong and occasionally competes for that 4th place finish.
Needless to say, the task will be very hard for Clint Dempsey and “The Spurs” to qualify for tournament this season. He and his teammates will have to keep up their impressive start to the season and hope a bit of fortune falls their way. Hopefully that dream will be achieved in the near future. However, one must commend Dempsey on avoiding a transfer to Liverpool, who is struggling once again in 8th position in the league.