Paul Lambert Risks Andros Townsend, Spurs Backlash with Gareth Bale Opinion

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterOctober 17, 2013

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 31:  Andros Townsend #31 of Tottenham Hotspur greets Gareth Bale #9 of Tottenham Hotspur during their match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on July 31, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Honest comments from Premier League personalities are always a welcome addition, whether for the benefit of journalists or supporters.

The bland words of some (no names, but you will have your own personal views here) positing a non-committal viewpoint are part of the fabric in the game.

However, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert might have taken a step too far with his claim that Andros Townsend cannot be compared with Gareth Bale, as James Nursey of the Daily Mirror among others reported.

People are jumping on a bandwagon after a handful of games.

There is great hype. When someone plays one or two games, suddenly he is a world-beater. Gareth Bale did it over a number of games.

I don’t know the lad Townsend at all, but the last couple of games for England he has played well.

We won’t take any special precautions. Spurs have a huge, strong squad of top players.

The former Scotland international captain is, of course, entitled to his standpoint on any issue, and his opinion on the new star of the England camp does have some validity. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has found his feet in Andre Villas-Boas' first team this season after spending recent campaigns on loan at a variety of lower-league clubs.

But the 22-year-old has really come to the fore after his displays in the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland, as England reached the finals in Brazil. With Roy Hodgson's team wobbling a little after the Montenegrins clawed a goal back at Wembley on Friday to make it 2-1 to the home side, Townsend produced a sublime strike to ease the nerves.

His performance in the 2-0 win against Poland also drew applause, as he played his part in England's safe negotiation from the qualifying group.

Lambert is right when he questions why Townsend has become the centre of "hype" but the former Celtic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder is risking the wrath of Tottenham and the England man particularly when the two teams meet at Villa Park on Sunday.

After Spurs and Bale trounced Villa 4-0 in the corresponding league fixture on Boxing Day last year, Lambert will not need to fan the flames as his team seek to avenge that loss, which came just days after an eight-goal drubbing at Chelsea.

Lambert insists there will be no special attention on Townsend this weekend, which is the correct outlook for any manager up against a Spurs team littered with potential match-winners, many of them bought in a summer spending spree following the world-record transfer of Bale to Real Madrid.

But Lambert is playing a dicey game by highlighting his "Emperor's New Clothes" viewpoint on the Spurs man.

Put your money on Townsend scoring a winning goal on Sunday. Lambert has ensured it's a banker.