By IVES GALARCEP
If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan who had grown frustrated by Clint Dempsey’s lack of minutes during his loan to Fulham, you probably wondered whether a coaching change might help the U.S. star get on the field.
The coaching change has happened, but it probably won’t change things much for Dempsey.
Fulham fired Rene Meulensteen as manager on Friday, appointing German boss Felix Magath to the position. If the name rings a bell, it is probably because of his reputation for being one of the biggest taskmasters in the coaching profession (and possibly because of his well-documented feud with Jermaine Jones).
Will Magath’s arrival help Dempsey get on the field at Craven Cottage? Probably not. Fulham only has one more match before Dempsey is due to return to the Seattle Sounders (Feb. 22 against West Brom) and it’s difficult to imagine Magath giving minutes to a player who is about to leave the team.
With Dempsey unlikely to get on the field again before his loan ends, the Sounders will probably have to consider bringing him back early. Two more weeks of training with the Sounders would probably serve him better than enduring the notorious practice sessions Magath is known for putting his teams through. Nevermind the fact that, at this point, there’s no real point in sticking around.
Dempsey’s disappointing return to Fulham has certainly raised some questions about whether it was worth him going on loan in the first place (questions that were asked before the loan as well). If he had skipped the loan, Dempsey would have spent January training with the U.S. national team, playing against South Korea, and would have rejoined the Sounders a week ago. Would that run really have been worse for him than the past six weeks have been at Fulham?
What do you think of this situation? Think Dempsey should return early from his loan, or do you think he should finish out the loan and push for one more appearance for the Cottagers?
Share your thoughts below.