International Football

Andros Townsend Should Replace Theo Walcott for England

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Andros Townsend of England celebrates scoring their third goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on October 11, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2014

Andros Townsend would be my choice for the England right wing to replace the unfortunate Theo Walcott, but Aaron Lennon is another strong candidate.

It is ironic that the two top candidates are both in North London at Arsenal’s biggest rivals.

I know there is a clamour to find the right man to replace Walcott, but I am not sure it is the main concern for Roy Hodgson going into the World Cup in Brazil.

The England manager has plenty of problem areas in his side, but the right flank isn’t one of them.

In fact, Walcott hasn’t been in the England squad anyway because of injuries, while Townsend has taken his chance, virtually coming out of the blue to look the part.

My main concern with Townsend is the type of injury that has kept him out recently. I hope it's not a long-term nagging problem, as muscle injuries are not good for someone like Townsend, who is a bit of a sprinter. I can see why when to bring him back into the Spurs side is a delicate issue.

I must say, though, that it was a bit of a mystery why Andre Villa-Boas left him out when he came back from playing for England and looked in such good form.

Townsend looked like one of the few bright lights despite the defeats by Germany and Chile, but when he came back to his club AVB put him on the bench against Manchester City. I couldn’t quite fathom what that was all about.

I was left scratching my head over that one, and it couldn’t possibly be because of lack of form, as he was Spurs' best player at that point.

It won't be long before Townsend is over his injury worries and is back for his club in plenty of time for the run-up to the World Cup with the first buildup game in March.

But Lennon is also coming back into form with Spurs, so it's going to be quite an interesting scenario developing at White Hart Lane between the two of them.

But if they are both fit and back to form, I would go with Townsend, as he gives you another option to Lennon in his ability to finish, although I must say there isn’t a lot between them.

Both of them, though, are capable of keeping out a £30 million record signing, and that shows you the talent Spurs have in that position.

That doesn’t mean that Erik Lamela isn’t worth the money. The problem is that he hasn’t been given his chance yet because he has struggled to adapt to English football. There must be a reason why he is valued at £30 million—Spurs saw enough of him—so we need to be patient to see the boy blossom.

Of course it's tough on Walcott to be missing the World Cup, but Hodgson is fortunate to have a couple of options in that position.

 

Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle is a regular columnist for Bleacher Report UK. Learn more out about Glenn's exciting new website venture, Zapsportzhere.

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