Dempsey: Active Up Top Against Chelsea

Ruthless.

Up top at the expense of EJ?

Up top at the expense of EJ?

If you are watching the Fulham-Chelsea game as TSG is this morning, you are seeing an extremely active Clint Dempsey who is aggressively heading to the Chelsea net. Ruthless you might say. Dempsey is clearly looking for offense, though Fulham is currently on the wrong side of the scorecard after a Drogba first half strike.

So many storylines off Fulham’s line-up this morning.

Dempsey is playing up top today at RCF for the Cottagers with the addition of Damien Duff to the squad–somewhat telling that for some a major EPL game, Duff is in the squad at left wing just days after his acquisition.

Also, remember Fulham brought in even more midfield firepower with the addition of Jonathan Greening (primarily a holding midfielder, but he can play anywhere) this week. Might that spell more time up top for the Deuceman.

Next, pundits can drop the exhaustion rationalization around the Deuceman’s play. Dempsey, who played fulltime on Thursday, is returning today and playing an extremely active role up top against arguably one of the stingier and more physical squads in the Premiership.

Finally, what does it say that Dempsey is up top for another American abroad? Deuce’s placement might spell doom for American Eddie Johnson. Despite starting Fulham striker Andy Johnson being out at least 5 weeks with a knock, you are seeing Dempsey and Zamora up top with 31-year-old Norwegian Erik Nevland backing. EJ hasn’t even found his way to the squad this Sunday–yikes. (See our notes on Eddie from last week’s column).

More later if warranted.

—–

And more…

Just an exquisite counter right now by Chelsea, Drogba placing it on to Anelka who beat the central defense and then rounded Fulham’s keeper Schwarzer to grounder it in, 2-0 Blues. That’s what Anelka does really well and if Drogba can continue making those passes all season, watch out for that combo. The parallels to Jozy Altidore and Drogba are just spot-on.

Frank Lampard is just a classy player and I’m not talking about his play. Just subbed out for Deco, he applauded the crowd’s support–I’ve never seen him not do that. I remember last year when Phil Scolari was on the outs as Chelsea’s manager and the Blues were playing Stoke. Lampard hit a late game winner and immediately found Scolari to offer a vote of confidence and show Chelsea were together as a team. The guy is pure class. TSG applauds you Frank (though were not huge Chelsea fans).

Okay, Dempsey, despite the score being 2-0 with 10 minutes left continues to pester Cech and put pressure up top when Chelsea has possession, hoping for an errant pass out of the backfield. Demps is running around like a chocolate lab hopped up on Scooby snacks. Exhaustion, I think not.

As we discussed on Thursday, Burnley were brimming with confidence and dismissed Everton and our own Tim Howard today 1-0. Everton is just a mess–this Lescott thing has really thrown them for a loop to start the season. Phil Neville deputized in Lescott’s stead today in the middle. I don’t see how Everton can’t rectify this situation this week with the addition of Tyneside’s Steven Taylor, West Ham’s Matthew Upson, or by some incredible swipe, the Potters’ Ryan Shawcross.

Update: Man City confirm Lescott purchase — where does Everton seek central help?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. [...] (Update:  How Clint Looked Versus Chelsea) [...]

    Reply

  2. Posted by Berg on 2009/08/24 at 6:09 PM

    Sorry if you’ve already addressed this but I think the idea of moving Dempsey to a full time striker for the USMNT needs to be examined.

    1. He already moves over to the forward position in many games when Bradley institutes a substitution that isn’t one-for-one. Why not let him begin the game in a spot in which he has had success?

    2. The US team is much, much deeper at the midfield position than at forward. As such, the US might be better served moving Dempsey up and putting someone like Holden in his place. A 4 deep at forward of Altidore, Davies, Dempsey and Ching better serves the team than forgoing a promising midfielder in favor of taking a true 4th striker. (At least at this point, as Cooper has shown quite while thus far in Germany. Have to see if it continues). I imagine Dempsey and Davies starting up top with Altidore giving defenses headaches as a sub in the 2nd half.

    Reply

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