Delighted for the lad for picking up his first and second England cap, and even happier that he produced two terrific performances and showed that he is a better right winger than Theo Walcott. That’s not Spurs bias by the way, more frustration at watching Walcott in the flesh numerous times for the Three Lions and doing sod all for most of the games.
Andros capped off a fabulous couple of weeks with the crucial, if lucky, first goal at Villa Park yesterday. They say the first goal is all important and nowhere is this more important than where this Tottenham team is concerned. Having taken the lead we looked a lot better as spaces opened up, and Townsend’s relentless running eventually wore down the Villa left back.
His stock has risen so high that you don’t expect to see him on Thursday nights anymore.
I thought Soldado was being harshly treated by Gary Neville during the game on Sunday. The pundit thought our Spanish striker should have been more in the game but we struggled to get into the middle third in the first half, never mind the final third. Although not the biggest Soldado shows a lot of strength and cunning when up against bigger defenders, but when he is so isolated as he was in the first half it’s harsh to expect anything from him.
Regardless of the lack of service, he still picked up an assist for the first goal and in the second half we saw what the ex-Valencia striker is all about. If we can get the ball to him in the penalty area he will score, and as soon as Paulinho played that delightful first time ball into Roberto’s path, you knew he was going to score.
With Younes Kaboul talking about getting back into the Premier League team, Vlad might have fretted that his football was to come only in the cups. However, he was given his chance on Sunday and played very well considering.
He looks good in possession, fairly composed when defending, and not at all out of place in the Premier League. The only problem with his inclusion is it pushes Vertonghen into a very reluctant left back position.
Another player given his first PL start this season, the beast was immense and looked back to his best. He certainly brings a presence defensively to midfield, and you wonder if AVB is bold enough to go with a midfield anchored by Sandro but with two technical passers like Eriksen and Holtby pushed ahead of him. Sandro and Paulinho are strong but a little functional in the middle third, playing a lot of balls the way they are facing, and the issue of transition from defensive and middle third to final third is still something we need to address. But whatever, it was just great to see Sandro back.
Settled in as first choice right back on loan at Derby, winning games under new boss Steve McLaren, and also enjoying the kind of luck that sees a team mate pick up a booking for a foul you committed, before you pick up your own later on that should have seen your team down to ten men.
With Aaron Lennon’s return from injury, Lamela drops another place down the pecking order, something I expect the Argentine did not consider when he moved from Roma.
Back to bench duties, you don’t feel he’ll get another chance in the league for a long time. His England prospects are also on the slide and you, me and Jermain himself will wonder if goals in Europe and the cups will be enough to convince Hodgson he is worth taking to Brazil. I think he may end up disappointed.