The Mystery of Andros Townsend's Slump Is Worrying for England and Spurs

Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2014

Associated Press

What happened to the form of Tottenham's and England's Andros Townsend?

One minute, he is the best player in England and being billed as the next Gareth Bale at Spurs. The next, he cannot even get a look-in with his club and may no longer be Roy Hodgson's first-choice winger on the international stage.

He was Hodgson's obvious No. 1 just a short time ago. So why the incredible slump?

I'm not sure it's his fault. Andre Villas-Boas rested him against Manchester City. Then he suffered a hamstring injury when Tim Sherwood took over at Spurs and was ruled out for a month.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18:  An injured Andros Townsend of Tottenham Hotspur leaves the pitch during the Capital One Cup Quarter-Final match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane on December 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Pho
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Aaron Lennon has come into the Tottenham side and won favour with the new manager, resigning Townsend to the role of Premier League back-up man since his return.

While I don't think Lennon has anywhere near the finishing ability of Townsend, there's no doubt Townsend is no longer the man on fire he was at the start of the season with both Spurs and England.

When Sherwood is looking to change things with substitutions, he doesn't even seem to be going to Townsend as his first option.

The situation leaves me scratching my head. Townsend should be one of England's brightest young sparks, but his current predicament must be worrying Roy (Hodgson) immensely.

Here's what Sherwood had to say about his returning player at the start of February, as per the Mirror:

Whenever you’ve got a player like Andros, he can change a game in an instant. He gets you off your seat and is exciting to watch. He had a great start to the season. We’re just hoping he can pick up that tempo again and drive on.

Andros can go past people, turn a bad performance into a fantastic result like Gareth Bale did last year.

Townsend would be my choice for the England right wing to replace the unfortunate Theo Walcott. However, Lennon and one or two others have made themselves strong candidates, and Townsend really needs to find his form and fitness to get back into the No. 1 position.

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 going into the World Cup finals in Brazil. The England team line-up has plenty of problem areas, but the right flank isn’t one of them.

As for the Euro 2016 qualifying draw, I am sure Roy will be pleased with England's group. It doesn’t look all that testing due to the new rules extending the groups. It is a really positive draw, a good group for England.

Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle has signed on to write a weekly column for Bleacher Report UK. Learn more out about Glenn's exciting new website venture, Zapsportz, here.