Harry Redknapp had a big role in developing the career of Gareth Bale. The Real Madrid man flourished under him at first before becoming a world beater and many believes that it was Redknapp who toughened him up during the tough times. His man management skills were lauded at one time for getting the best out of Welsh star.
Similarly another player is slowly making the grade at Tottenham. Here also Harry Redknapp played a vital role.
Known as more of a man motivator than a tactician, it was Redknapp’s QPR who helped Andros Townsend to set his footmarks in Premier League. Townsend has grown from strength to strength ever since and has gone on to become a regular starter at Tottenham nowadays.
Coupled with an injury to Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend has started the last six games in Premier League. He is keeping the likes of Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli on bench due to his performances alone. Big money signing Lamela was brought as a replacement for Gareth Bale, but he is yet to perform based on the demands in Premier League whereas Townsend is wrecking havoc down the right hand side in Tottenham attacks.
Harry Redknapp compared him with Arjen Robben recently: “If you look at Arjen Robben, Andros Townsend is the closest thing we have produced to him. I am not saying he is Arjen Robben at the moment, he is not. Townsend plays on the right hand side, dribbles in a very similar style. He runs at people, comes in on that left foot, opens up and gets shot at goal. He bounces the ball off people and takes shots from outside the box. If you deny him space on the inside, he’ll take you outside. He could be fantastic; he could be a real threat. “
Redknapp’s words show the confidence in the player. Gone are the days when the Englishman was roaming around in search of playing time. He needed nine different loan spells ranging from League 1 clubs to Premier League ones before establishing himself.
Right now he finds himself in the England national team. One might not be surprised if he gets a starting role in the World Cup Qualifiers, as the player has grown from strength to strength over a period of time. His pace and directness is a threat to any opposition. Apart from his devastating left foot, he has shown willingness to use his right foot to produce crosses down the byline. This has added unpredictability to his game and this makes him more dangerous especially on the counter attacks due to raw pace.
His passing has also shown remarkable improvement over time. He is getting more involved in the build-up play and is a major part of Spurs triangular passing moves in the opposition half.
Townsend’s decision making is an area of concern. He has the tendency to go for long shoots whenever given space. Even though he is been largely wasteful so far, this can be fine tuned to add more threat to attacks. Gareth Bale become a bigger threat when he started scoring amazing goals from distance as team found the danger of allowing him more space on the ball. If Townsend can work on his shooting technique and placement, this can be a devastating weapon if used properly. When the opponents sit back and absorb the pressure to deny any space in the final third, long shots can be a real handful for them.
Townsend’s ability to dribble past opponents is simply brilliant. He is slowly developing into an amazing footballer. Can Spurs get the best out of him?
About the author:
Joseph George. Kochi, India
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