Originally posted on Finishers Forum  |  Last updated 1/22/13
Picimg_football__manchester_f3ee
Two more good matches on the docket in the Premier League today, but I’ve chosen Tottenham vs. Manchester United, so we can take our first MOTW Review look at the top American outfield player in the EPL (apologies to Geoff Cameron, but he hasn’t made this a discussion yet). And what a match it was for Dempsey, whose late equalizer secured an important home point for Tottenham in their quest for Champions League football next season. Match of the Week: Tottenham vs. Manchester United @ White Hart Lane Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas lined his side up in a 4-5-1 with Dempsey in the attacking midfield/withdrawn striker role, which seems to be his preferred place in the team. The attacking midfield berth gives Dempsey the most freedom to roam the field, getting up in attack to support Jermaine Defoe, the lone striker, while also allowing him to drop deep to receive the ball, turn and run at central defenders or manufacture a space to get a shot away. While Deuce is actually a very well rounded player, the position also helps to mask some of his weaknesses; he is neither pacy nor bulky enough to operate upfront on his own for long stretches and doesn’t have the defensive chops to play as a holding midfielder.  Dempsey was able to take full advantage of the wide open match by finding space in behind the United midfield and in front of the defense, especially when the excellent Phil Jones ventured forward to join the attack for Manchester United. While he only passed at 61% accuracy, lowest of the outfield players among the Tottenham starting XI, he was often able to change the point of attack from one side of the field to the other, especially in advanced positions, which was critical with Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale hugging the touchline. When Tottenham had the ball in the attacking third, (which was often during the second half) Dempsey was constantly on the move, providing an option to switch the field when necessary, but getting himself into the box when the wingers were looking to pick someone out. Deuce was also able to work David De Gea in the United goal, with 4 of his 5 shot hitting the target, tops on the team. Indeed, he was unlucky not to score earlier in the match when he made a run through the middle of the United penalty area, with the ball seeming to get caught underneath him as he went to strike, with the resulting effort parried away by De Gea. His goal showed another side to his game, that of a poacher, often able to turn up at the right place at the right time. Benoit Assou-Ekotto picked up the ball on the left wing after a blocked shot and floated a hopeful ball to the back post where Steven Caulker was lurking. De Gea came and punched, but only as far as Lennon, who quickly controlled and cut the ball back to Dempsey. Dempsey’s first time finish slotted into the corner of the net. It was certainly a scrappy goal, but Dempsey’s followers from his Fulham days will know that Deuce can be a scrapper when need be. The tally secured a  deserved point for Tottenham who sit 4th in the table, only 4 points behind Chelsea. It also means Tottenham have taken 4 points off United this season, with Dempsey having also scored the match winner in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Even more importantly, with 4 goals in his last 4 matches, Dempsey is impressing his manager at just the right time; Emmanuel Adebayor having recently departed London for the African Cup of Nations will open up more playing time for central attacking players in the coming month.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker