Dear Clint

Posted on October 25, 2009

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Dear Clint Dempsey-

Hi, it’s me, Andrew.  Luckily, you’ve never heard from me before.  I’d hate to be one of those crazy fans  who writes strangers once a week and tells them about their pet chickens or how their Gone With The Wind action figures are missing.  I like to think that I’m better than that.  After all, we’re the same age- and you’re really only supposed to idolize athletes that are older than you, like Chris Redman or DeJuan Wheat were when I was growing up.  But you are my favorite soccer player ever, and because of that, I feel I have an obligation to encourage you.

Today is the Manchester City game, and my request is simple- please dominate.  It was so simple, you probably skimmed over it by accident, so I’ll say it again.  Please dominate.  I know you can.  Please go out and showcase the skills and  effort that won you a job in Fulham’s starting 11 last year.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Zoltan Gera is starting to play pretty well again, Simon Davies is coming back from injury, and Bjorn Helge Riise had a fine game against Roma earlier in the week.  Counting you, that’s 4 guys for 2 positions.  That midfield is going to start to get crowded, and I’d like for you to be head and shoulders above that crowd when it all shakes out.  Make Roy Hodgson’s job easy.  I don’t want you to get moved back in the shuffle.  Like I said, favorite player.

But the way you’ve been playing recently, you have been making Roy’s job a little difficult.  See, I think he wants to play you constantly.  Somehow, the way you forced yourself into the lineup last year made you a bit of a Hodgson favorite- a Roy Boy, if you will.  So, in an effort to help you out, I’ve compiled a short list of Do’s and Don’ts for your game.

DO: make the killer pass 3x more often than you look for the killer shot, run yourself into the ground every single game, understand that starting in the Premier League week in and week out can never be taken for granted.

DON’T: fall down a lot (it makes you look clumsy), do a lot of fancy moves, shoot from distance (a good rule of thumb is, ‘only one shot from beyond the 18’ per game), jog around the field unless you’re on the attack, look like you don’t care.

I dig everything about your game, Clint.  I’ve watched ‘Don’t Tread’ so many times on YouTube I might have even crashed the site a couple of times.  I dig your story, and I dig that you were the main reason I started following Fulham in the first place.  It pains me to watch these last few games and see you seeming so out of it.  I know you have the skill set to be a huge performer for Fulham and to have the career of your dreams.

Anyway, good luck today against Manchester City.  Put one past Shay Given for us.

Sincerely,

Andrew

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