After scoring on his England debut against Montenegro in a game where he was many people’s choice as man of the match, Spurs winger Andros Townsend was only inches away from making it two in two when he struck Poland’s crossbar thirty minutes into the crucial World Cup qualifying tie on Wednesday.
Thankfully for the home side, it mattered little in the end as Wayne Rooney’s first half header calmed nerves, while Steven Gerrard’s late strike ensured that England will be heading to Brazil next summer.
And after another exciting display of bold wingplay; fast, direct and confident in possession, Townsend was once again lauded as a potential superstar at next year’s tournament.
Unfortunately for Townsend, and his international manager, the British tabloids decided to spend the following few days focusing on what was said in the changing room at half time, a bizarre story that ended up overshadowing the 22-year-old’s latest electric display.
So as Spurs visit Aston Villa on Sunday, Townsend will be relieved at having a chance to revert the focus back to his footballing talents.
Andre Villas Boas’ side will be keen to get back on track following a humiliating 3-0 home defeat in their last Premier League encounter, and are evens to record a win at Villa Park.
Townsend is a tempting 9/1 to score first, but given the nature of his play and current form, the odds of 4/1 for him to finish the game as the player with the most shots at goal looks an even better shout.
One criticism of Townsend’s play has been his frequent decision to shoot ahead of picking a pass, but as he showed on international duty, it often pays to have a pop when others might think twice. And despite his critics, the new international is not all about fashioning chances for himself – so far he’s created a chance every 51 minutes for his team.
Not only has the winger recorded the most dribbles so far this season (48), he’s also registered the most shots, with 26 strikes at goal already.
It all means that he’s ahead of the likes of Roberto Soldado and Christian Benteke as the favourite to record the most shots on goal at Villa Park.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.