I did not watch the England game. I was travelling for a weekend away in Suffolk whilst the match was on. I have not seen the match. By the time I got to where I was staying, the final whistle had just gone, so I settled down to watch the highlights of the goals. I did, however, read many a news report the next day, and most were saying the same thing, that Andros Townsend was the future of English football.
Let me get straight to the point, Andros Townsend is not the future of English football. He is the 4th choice English right winger, behind Walcott, Lennon and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Andros Townsend is 22 years old. He has played for 10 different clubs as a professional footballer. His career reads played 136, scored 14. These are not the statistics of the future of anything.
He has got lucky this year, and in fairness, has taken that luck and made the most of it. An injury to Lennon, Bale being sold, and Lamela settling in has meant he has gone from QPR last season to Spurs 1st team this season. And injuries in the England squad left Roy Hodgson with few other options. He is not even the future of Tottenham Hotspur’s right wing, let alone England’s.
I first saw Townsend a few years back in a Tottenham v Arsenal youth game, where Arsenal took around 3,000 fans. A young lad called Jack Wilshere was by far the star of the show, running in a game which Arsenal comfortably run. Townsend was Tottenham’s best player, but he was mainly just pace, with very little end product. He has not changed that much.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how young players are getting too easily hyped after just a couple of performances. It seems after one game for England, Townsend is getting similar treatment. Tipped as the next big thing, despite not doing much, and already being 22.
Yes, the goal he scored was a brilliant finish, but a wonder goal does not make a brilliant player. Both David Bentley and Danny Rose have scored wonder goals against Arsenal in the past, neither of them have gone to do anything special.
The gushing over Townsend during the post-match summary even went as far as claiming he assisted the 1st goal. This despite it being a poor cross from Townsend and at least another as touches of the ball from other players before Wayne Rooney put the ball in the net. The pundits conveniently ignored a poor cross to use the clip as another example of how Townsend was the future.
In one report I read, someone jorno even said he was the ‘New Gareth Bale.’ That he was quiet in the 1st half but exploded into life during the second when he dropped inside in a Bale-esque performance. Gareth Bale is 24. Andros Townsend 22. He is nowhere near the talent of Bale. He is on par talent wise with Serge Gnabry, who is 4 years his junior.
Infact, Townsend is most similar to Shaun Wright-Phillips. A player of pace who would score the odd worldie, but never have the talent required at the highest level. His raw pace enough to make people remember him, but not good enough to be a consistent high end performer. Townsend also compares to SWP in that he is older than what many think. For years SWP was put in with Walcott and Lennon as ‘exciting young wingers for England’. This despite SWP being 7 years older than the other two. He is now 32!
I am sure Townsend will end up similar. Continual comparisons with those 4/5 years younger as he broke onto the scene so late. At 22 he has no potential. He should be England’s star now, not an England star of the future.
He is of similar ability to the likes of Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge. He is just pace, and like these players, will suffer from second season syndrome. As players work out how to defend against him, his tells, whether he go’s inside or out. The top players such as Lennon and Walcott are able to continue improving, adding to their game, these players, like Townsend, have not, as they are just pace.
England’s future lies in the hands of the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley and many more better, younger players then Andros Townsend. The future for England is brighter than some make you believe, and it is these players who Hodgson should be looking at taking to Rio to gain experience, not a ‘never gonna be’ like Townsend.
Again, to remind you all, Townsend is 22. Not exactly a young star. He is only 2 years younger the Mesut Ozil!
The one thing I would say about Townsend is that he is testament to not giving up and working hard. In the youth game I mentioned, he was outshone by the likes of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Emmanuel Frimpong. Neither of these have done much of note since then, so credit to Townsend for wanting to be better, not sitting on his laurels and accepting earning a good wage whilst being mediocre.
You have to feel that were Townsend not playing by the presses love Spurs, there would not be as much love for him. Were he playing for an unfashionable Stoke, Villa or Southampton, the hype would not be there. The only surprise is that Harry Redknapp has not yet come out and said how it was he who developed Townsend at Spurs and QPR and that if he were England manager, Townsend would have been in the England side years ago.
Andros Townsend will not be going to Rio.