England v Poland: Andros Townsend backed to light up 2014 World Cup if picked says Tottenham team-mate Kyle Walker
Walker says the winger 'eats, sleeps and breathes football' and is an absolute nightmare for left-backs to cope with
Monday 14 October 2013
Kyle Walker has no doubt Andros Townsend will give the best defenders in the world nightmares if he ends up going to Brazil next summer.
Townsend produced one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory on Friday when he scored and starred in England's 4-1 demolition of Montenegro.
The 22-year-old caused havoc with his pacy runs at the Montenegro defence and he capped off his performance with a stunning 25-yard drive which flew in off the frame of the away goal.
Townsend is now almost certain to start Tuesday's all-important qualifier against Poland, and his chances of making Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad now look good.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are currently out injured, but Walker hopes his Tottenham team-mate will be in the 23-man party should the team qualify for the finals in South America.
"Yes, I think (he could make the squad). I hope (so)," the Spurs right-back said.
"I hope this is just a stepping stone for him to showcase his talent and go on to do big things.
"Don't forget he has had to bide his time to get a place, he hasn't just walked into the team, but I just hope for him that he carries on putting on performances like that and we get to where we want to be in the summer."
Townsend's brilliant Wembley display will have come as no surprise to Tottenham fans who have watched the youngster excel at White Hart Lane this term.
With Aaron Lennon out due to a foot injury, Andre Villas-Boas placed his trust in Townsend, rather than £30million man Erik Lamela, and so far the man from Chingford has not let his manager down.
What has been surprising is the speed at which Townsend has settled into the Spurs first team after a number of years on the road.
He made his debut back in January 2011, scoring against Charlton in the FA Cup, but he was then shipped out on loan to Watford, Leeds, Birmingham and Millwall. He has had no fewer than nine loan spells in total, with the most valuable one being at QPR last season where he scored twice in 12 top-flight appearances.
If Tottenham's full-backs thought they were going to have it easy in training this year following the sale of Gareth Bale, then they were wrong.
"He is a nightmare," Walker said.
"He eats, sleeps and breathes football.
"He is really confident and you could see that against Montenegro.
"He just wants to get at players. As a defender you don't want a right winger who is left-footed running at you, it's dreadful, and he is confident to go either side."
So despite only starting his first Barclays Premier League game for Spurs just seven weeks ago, Walker always knew Townsend would shine at Wembley.
"I told him at half-time that he was going to score," Walker said.
"I just sensed he was going to do something. He he was on fire.
"He was getting at people, but I didn't think it was going to be such a good goal - especially with his right foot as well."
Walker will watch the must-win game against Poland at home after he picked up a second yellow of the qualifying campaign for a petty pull of Stevan Jovetic's shirt.
The former Sheffield United defender, who was making his ninth international appearance because of an injury to first-choice Glen Johnson, admits he made a mistake but is sure either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will perform well in his place.
"It was a stupid foul, and this is a massive learning curve for me," Walker said.
"We have strength throughout the squad so whoever comes in will do fantastically well and hopefully we will get the win we need."
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