December 7 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Friday, October 18, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas says Andros Townsend’s personality as “an extrovert who has no fear of anyone” has been a key factor in his sensational rise to prominence with Tottenham and England.
The 22-year-old caught the eye during his loan spell with QPR in the second half of last season, proving his ability to perform regularly in the top flight – and he has continued to go from strength to strength this season.
Having established himself in Villas-Boas’ first-choice XI, the winger has earned Roy Hodgson’s favour and has been selected for the last two England squads.
He made a stunning debut in last week’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro – scoring one goal, setting up another and winning the man of the match award – before impressing again in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley, which secured qualification for next summer’s World Cup.
Reflecting on Townsend’s impact with the Three Lions, Villas-Boas: “It comes with the irreverence of a young mind and a young player.
“Townsend is an extrovert. He seems to me to be a person who has no fear of anyone, and he is always showing that in his approach - he takes on defenders and tries to beat them with pace and creativity. Only when you have that type of personality can you step into that situation [with England].
“It’s wonderful for him - the explosion he has had in the Premier League, not just with Tottenham but with his country too. He is doing extremely well for club and country and deserves credit.
“We’re very proud of what he has done, we’ve seen him play with so much confidence and determination. He’s really set his place in the team, for Tottenham and for his country.
“It’s performances like this that keep your place in the team - whenever he’s been called up by myself or Roy he’s given great performances individually. At the moment we’re very happy with what he’s been doing and I think Roy thinks the same.”
Townsend has instantly become a national hero over the past week, but Villas-Boas believes the player will cope with his new-found fame.
“It’s part of growing up as a player, when you reach that recognition, which at the moment is good from the media and world of football,” said the head coach.
“You have to make sure you’re able to step up and be constant in your performance. I would suppose they [the headlines] wouldn’t divert his attention too much, I expect him to be the same player.
“There are going to be more people worried about him, he’ll be in the public eye more and there’ll be more of a demand from his performances - but I expect him to respond.
“Most of his colleagues are down to earth, he is in the right environment for his development. I think we have to help him in that sense.”
Villas-Boas says he will continue to reward Townsend’s displays by keeping him in his side – but he admits the young England star faces stiff competition at White Hart Lane.
“Whenever someone is doing well they deserve to keep their place,” said the head coach. “He knows he has tough competition for his place, not just from Lamela and Lennon but Sigurdsson and Chadli. He will continue to deliver, that’s what we want.
“We had that dilemma before. Lennon started the season - he didn’t finish the season before because of injuries but he’s a player we appreciate highly.
“There will be competition for the spaces on the flanks, nothing different from before. We have Chadli, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Townsend [and Lamela] - they all play on the channels and there are only two positions up for grabs. They all have to compete.
“We have to give credit for how people are playing. Townsend has been playing well. They’re all up there, Lennon will add some competition.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs