Tottenham fans debate whether Andros Townsend is a help or hindrance

A look at the debate surrounding Andros Townsend's effectiveness for Tottenham Hotspur following the side's Europa League clash with Fiorentina.

Andros Townsend seemed to stand out as one of Tottenham Hotspur’s better performers in their 1-1 Europa League draw with Fiorentina at White Hart Lane, but supporters were still split on his overall impact.

The England winger caused the Italian side serious problems during his 73 minutes on the pitch with his speed and movement, but it was his lack of end product which once again left some frustrated on the night.

This seems to be a long-running gripe with Townsend since his emergence on the first-team scene, and it’s sparked debate across several recent articles on HITC Sport over whether he is helping or now in fact hurting the side.

Looking at his top-flight statistics this season compared to last, the former trainee has declined in several areas and, having been relegated to more of a bit-part role so far under Mauricio Pochettino, one has to at least entertain the idea that his long-term future might lie elsewhere.

  SeasonGoalsTotal Shots MINSShot AccuracyAssistsTotal Key Passes MINSTotal Crosses MINSCrossing AccuracyTotal Take-ons MINSTake-on AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Andros Townsend 2014-15 1 34.73 45% 1 63.67 15.92 13% 29.38 11.11 9 382
Andros Townsend 2013-14 1 21.88 36% 0 47.12 15.71 19% 11.34 56.67 25 1,225

Nevertheless, at just 23, the promising wide man still has numerous backers who believe he is primed to realise his full potential in the near future, with the following being some of the comments which have cropped up in discussions around the Fiorentina clash.

C.O.Y.S. wrote: "Townsend definitely played well and was a constant threat going forward, good to see he's slowed down on the cutting inside and taking shots constantly as well, still think he's crosses need some improvement but overall a good performance."

bazza wrote: "The trouble with Townsend is he's great at beating players and awful in terms or final pass or trying for goal. Last night was just another example, a constant threat running at players but then poor vision, lack of awareness. poor decision making and his usual greed in trying to hit goals from range and hitting them high or wide rather than passing to better placed team mates just undoes any good work he does initially

"Was he really that good last night? not for me because while his runs were very good none amounted to anything, for me he should have been subbed not that Lamela shone when he came on but maybe with a bit more playing time he might have had more impact and carved a chance or two."

Chrisy wrote: "He was the best player on the pitch last night. We never looked like scoring once Lamela came on. Should have taken Paulinho and Eriksen off."

BrownieWhoop wrote: "Sorry people but Townsend's only place in that team should be on the left....Far too predictable on the right. he has quality but most of it goes to waste because his game on the right is generally too easy to read..."

Dickspur wrote: "Flattered to deceive I think. He had some good runs, but the final pass (or passing decision) seemed off. Shame really because it's a waste of a good 2-footed player (not many of them around) with lots of football tricks but less of a football brain.

"An instructive contrast is with Harry Kane, who plays with his head up, knows where his teammates are, and usually makes the right decision."

Ray Lea wrote:  "Not sure how you consider Townsend had a decent enough game to replace Lamela.

"Neither are playing well enough to merit a place yet.

"Townsend was woeful in attempts at crossing the ball when there were opportunities, and when he did cross they were poor efforts often nowhere near a Spurs player.

"I can understand some of his interplay with Walker but too often this was excessive leading to space and opportunities being squandered as Townsend failed to move wide/ forward preferring to drift inside thus depriving us of width.

"His defensive contribution is improving although I think Lennon would have still offered us more in this respect."

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