After an embarrassing London derby defeat to West Ham United before the international break, Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs side needed to get back on track with three points at Villa Park.
Luckily they have one of the in-form players in the country, who helped the North London side to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Andros Townsend has had a very busy few months, making his Premier League debut for Spurs against Swansea, winning a penalty in the process, bagging two goals against Dinamo Tbsili in the Europa League, and scoring on his debut for England versus Poland.
What may be a bit too soon, are the comparisons with Real Madrid’s new acquisition, Gareth Bale; but, Jan Vertonghen has told the media that Andros Townsend has all the characteristics to emulate Bale.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”” cite=”Jan Vertonghen on Andros Townsend” quotestyle=”style02″] I remember playing against Andros in training last year. I never enjoyed it when he played on the right wing and I was at left-back. I’m so glad for him that he’s doing his thing now because he always works hard in training and he’s always doing extra shooting practice. He’s 100 per cent professional and I like him as a person as well. I think Andros can be our new Gareth Bale. He has so much pace, tekkers and skill, and he can destroy you with both feet. I just hope he can keep going like this and he can be our best-ever player. I really think that, maybe one day, he could reach that level if he keeps working, which I’m sure he will. He’s still young, and in another two or three years I think he can reach that level. [/sws_blockquote_endquote]
A bit too soon maybe, but the characteristics between the two players are very similar.
In his early career Gareth Bale struggled to effect games on a consistent basis, and to an extent Andros Townsend is doing that so far this season. Although, he has been instrumental in most of the Premier League games he has played.
The young England player plays with no fear, but now teams will start to plan on how to disrupt his game when facing opposition.
For the first 30 minutes of the game at Villa Park, Antonio Luna, Fabian Delph and Gabby Agbonlahor did a great job in closing down any space for Townsend to attack, with most of Townsend’s touches coming on the halfway line.
The intense pressure could not last the whole 90 minutes, and eventually Andros Townsend found space to attack Antonio Luna, who ended up having a nightmare second half against the young English winger.
Townsend probably would have liked a better finish for his first Premier League goal for Spurs, but at the stage where he had the most Premier League shots without a goal, a cross-cum-shot goal should give him a bit of confidence. Brad Guzan also denied him a goal just before half time with a superb save.
In terms of creativity, Townsend was instrumental in his side getting a foothold in the game. Lewis Holtby dropped very deep in the first half, with Gylfi Sigurdsson dropping in central positions, leaving Spurs very narrow – meaning, the only outlet was Andros Townsend.
He struggled for the majority of the first half but, as described before, the second half was the performance that Townsend is capable of.
Townsend made up nearly half of Spurs’ total crosses, contributing (10) from a total of (23) crosses. Townsend completed (4) from a total of (10) crosses, of which one could, and maybe should have, been put away by Paulinho.
Playing as an inverted right winger, Townsend was also able to link up and provide chances from the right, creating a total of (3) chances, with (1) of those being a clear-cut chance. Townsend topped the chances created chart with Roberto Soldado – who bagged his first open play – also creating (3) chances, and bagging an open play assist.
Townsend attempted a total of (10) dribbles, completing 5 of them, a 50% dribbling accuracy.
After all the money spent in the summer, Townsend is quickly becoming Spurs’ most important player. Who’d have thought that when the transfer window closed?
As has become accustom this season, Townsend registered the most shots on goal (5).
Townsend has registered a lot of shots on and off goal this season, and while that may grate Spurs’ fans, myself included, it’s good to see that he has the confidence to persevere, and as long as he works on this facet in training, he could reach ‘Bale wonder goal’ status.
It took a few years for Bale to be able to be confident in shooting from long range, and scoring.
What will keep Townsend on his toes, in trying to nail down a Spurs place, is the sheer volume of competition for places. Andre Villas-Boas is trying to let Erik Lamela settle into the English culture before plunging Lamela into the deep end. Lamela, like Townsend, likes to play on the right flank, cutting in on his left. Although, I would like to see Townsend being played on the left, to mix it up a bit. A Spurs side with both Lamela and Townsend starting would be frightening.
On the other hand, establishing a link down the right with Kyle Walker will also help England in terms of friendlies leading up to the World Cup, and if Roy Hodgson is brave enough, and as long as Townsend keeps up his Spurs form, an option to start in Rio.
It’s exciting times for England and Spurs with Andros Townsend in the two respective sides, who’d have said that at the start of the summer?