Goal picks the Carlsberg EPL player after a pulsating weekend of football action. This week it's flying winger, and new England hero Andros Townsend, who was impressive yet again
|Passes (% accurate)||30 /38 (79%)|
|Shots (on target)||5 (2)|
|Dribbles (successful)||12 (5)|
|Crosses (successful)||10 (4)|
What a week it has been for young Andros Townsend! The former Yeovil Town, Leyton Orient and MK Dons player (they were all loan spells) became the new darling of English football as he was surprisingly picked for two crucial England qualifiers by the normally cautious Roy Hodgson, excelling in both matches with his brand of direct wing play.
You may expect that club manager Andre Villas Boas would have kept him out of the spotlight after such a week. I mean with attacking options such as Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen available to him, surely the smart thing to do would have been to rest the 22 year old, to ensure that he doesn't get carried away with the new hype surrounding him.
Well credit to Villas Boas, he recognised that at the moment Townsend is in peak form, and his confidence in sky high, so why not let him continue where he picked off last Wednesday morning, only this time he would be wearing the white of Tottenham rather than England. After another star performance the player himself said "I'm a player that plays on confidence", something that Aston Villa found out to their cost.
While the opposing left back Antonio Luna did a solid job on Townsend in the opening stages, limiting his space and not allowing him to turn on the ball, it would not last as the winger began to exert his influence as the first half wore on. Knowing that he was getting little change out of Luna, in the 31st minute he intelligently dropped slighty deeper as Spurs were attacking. The extra time and space he was afforded, namely by Ashley Westwood who did a poor job in closing him down, allowed him to shift the ball onto his trusty left foot and deliver a cross that deceived everyone, including Villa keeper Brad Guzan.
For anyone saying that his goal had a slice of fortune about it, lets not forget that if not for Gylfi Sigurdsson missing his header, then it would have been a textbook cross and assist that would have had us drooling anyway. Considering that this season Townsend had previously had 27 attempts on goal without the ball hitting the back of the net, I'd say he was due anyway.
Time and time again Townsend cut inside onto that left foot, and on another day he could have had a hat-trick, if his shooting had of been a bit better, and if not for the barrier of Guzan. He was always willing to support the attack, something which is valuable whenever a team plays with a lone frontman as Tottenham did on Sunday. Furthermore he was happy to continue his runs forward after releasing the ball, meaning that Villa's oft-confused defence continually struggled to track him.
He also created three chances in the game, giving Luna nightmares as the game went on and got stretched. Villa do at times leave their left-back isolated (an example being against Hatem Ben Arfa last month) whenever Gabriel Agbonlahor fails to track back, and Townsend, a man with more successful dribbles than any other EPL player, was always going to take advantage of this. If Paulinho had of finished a beautiful byline cross that Townsend had laid on for him, then it would have been an even better day for the lad from Chingford.
The challenge for Andros Townsend now, well its the same as it was a month ago, that is maintaining his first team place. Despite his recent performances, the World Cup is a long way away, and when you have international players nipping at your heels to replace you in your club line-up, you need to ensure that virtually every game results in an impressive performance.