Dempsey's relief appearance can't save Spurs in Arsenal rout.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, November 20, 2012) -- Tottenham Hotspur got off to a torrid start this season on the way to what it hoped would be a top four finish in the English Premier League. But in recent weeks, Spurs have hit a rough patch, losing four out of five and dropping to eighth in the standings following Saturday's 5-2 loss at bitter North London rival Arsenal.
Four miles from home at Emirates Stadium, Spurs got off to a fine start with a goal from Emmanuel Adebayor in the 10th minute, but the lead lasted only six minutes. By the time United States midfielder Clint Dempsey entered to start the second half, Tottenham trailed 3-1.
Dempsey, coming off several lackadaisical efforts, had little impact. American goalkeeper Brad Freidel, who has played well in recent losing efforts, watched from the Spurs bench as manager Andre Villas-Boas chose French keeper Hugo Lloris. Lloris was coming off a fine performance for France in a 2-1 victory over Italy.
On November 11, Friedel started and was strong, making three saves, but Spurs fell 2-1 to Manchester City.
Dempsey played 90 minutes. That followed a 3-1 win over NK Maribor of Slovenia in the group stage of Europe's second-tier Europa League. Lloris was in goal and Friedel did not dress.
American keeper Brad Guzan has been starting for Aston Villa and played quite well in a pair of losses.
On Saturday, Villa lost to league-leading Manchester City, but the rout would have approached epic levels had not it been for Guzan's heroics. Guzan ended with five saves and kept United off the scoreboard until halftime. In the second half, Villa's defense collapsed and Guzan fell to a barrage of goals
The previous Saturday, Guzan had three saves and was hardly responsible fpr a 3-2 loss to second-place Manchester United. American defender Eric Lichaj did not dress for Villa in either match. Against United, he served a one-game yellow-card suspension.
With the season approaching the one-third point, Villa is 2-7-3 with nine points, sitting in the releagtion zone in 18th place.
In other Premier League action, it was up and down for Everton and its U.S. keeper Tim Howard. Howard made only a single save Saturday in an unexpected 2-1 loss to Reading.
A week earlier, Howard was strong, making two saves in a 2-1 defeat of Sunderland, 2-1.
U.S. defender Geoff Cameron is now fitting into Stoke City's back-line as a regular. On Monday, he played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
On November 10, he went the distance inn a 1-0 decision over Queens Park Rangers.
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke in either match.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector went the distance for Birmingham City Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Hull City.
During the prior week, he played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers and the final 48 minutes in a 2-0 shutout of Bristol City.
American defender Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham in any of the games.
American defender Zak Whitbread played 90 minutes Saturday for Leicester City in its 6-0 whitewash of Ipswich Town. That followed a 90-minute effort in a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest. In the previous outing, Whitbread sat out a one-match, red-card suspension for a 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers.
American striker Robbie Findley did not dress for any Nottingham Forest matches over the last two weeks.
U.S. defender Tim Ream dressed, but did not play in Bolton's three matches over the past two weeks. U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden is still in his long recovery from knee surgery and was not available to Bolton.
Irish-American forward Conor Doyle is recovering from appendicitis and sidelined for Derby County.
In the third-tier League One, American defender Frank Simek went the distance in all three Carlisle United matches over the past two weeks. On Saturday, Carlisle lost 4-1 to Leyton Orient, following a 1-1 draw with Preston North End and a 2-1 loss to Brentford.
On Saturday American midfielder Robbie Rogers did not dress for Stevenage in a 4-1 loss to Sheffield United.
The previous week, Rogers dressed twice, but did not play.
American forward Mike Grella dressed, but did not play for Scunthorpe United in three matches over the last two weeks.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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