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Townsend Hype Slowly Proving Unjustified
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
There is a balance England has to find with nurturing its best talents and getting carried away without reason.

Andros Townsend may be having a positive start to the Premier League season on a personal level, scoring in the top flight, being a regular in Tottenham’s starting XI and getting a call up to the national team. But from a playing perspective, he is showing that there is still a long way to go for him to justify the hype that’s surrounded him thus far.

Townsend’s continued inclusion in the Spurs XI is as confusing as Andre Villas-Boas’ tactical setup on the whole: what exactly does Townsend provide for Tottenham at present other than an increase in the shots on goal column? Has the England winger really done so well to hold down a spot in the team over other far gifted players?

As of now, Townsend’s game is extremely limited, to such an extent that others in the team are suffering. Sooner or later, someone has to have a word with the midfielder and tell him that he’s not going to score a “worldy” every game, that there is so much more to playing out wide than just cutting in on your favoured foot and unleashing a barrage of shots in the general direction of the opposition goal.

Roberto Soldado is the obvious name to feel the frustrations of Townsends play. Where Aaron Lennon would offer the Spaniard similar service to what he had while playing at Valencia, Townsend’s inability or lack of willingness sees very little width and penetration from the right side of attack. His continued inclusion in the first XI has led to Lennon playing from the left and Erik Lamela not featuring at all – though there may be further surrounding issues to explain the latter’s exclusion.

Tottenham are struggling to score not because they lack the personnel, but because the right blend of personnel hasn’t been struck. As I’ve said, it’s very confusing considering the attention to detail Villas-Boas places in preparation and tactics.

So what is the hype surrounding Townsend for? OK, it’s another case of England getting carried away with a new name on the scene; anything to increase the chances of international success, or, more accurately, to lessen the chances of failure. There’s nothing wrong with offering opportunities to those who are deemed good enough to eventually succeed, and yet too much early exposure can completely put out the fire before it has a chance to truly start.

The end product isn’t there – one goal and zero assists in 10 league games is an awful return – nor is time in the top flight of English football sufficient to properly gauge whether Townsend will fulfil his apparent potential, not only for club but for country as well.

Townsend has the qualities to be a good player in the Tottenham setup. He has the ability to take players on and can generally be looked at as one of the team’s primary threats. But there’s far too much in the way of inconsistency, far too much playing for your own benefit as opposed to that of the team. There’s still a long way to go in his career and much more in the way of developing as a high-end winger.

A question that may be warranted is whether Townsend is really a right-winger? Wouldn’t he be better served playing from the left?

Written by Thomas Hallett

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