Then Leeds United boss accused Tottenham star of lacking drive, has he proved him wrong?

Andros Townsend

England winger Andros Townsend quit his loan spell at Leeds United early in 2012, but appears to have a new mentality these days.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend revelled in showing critic Paul Merson where to shove his words this week, after scoring an impressive goal for England.

The 23-year-old used Twitter to hit back at the ex-Arsenal man who had told SkySports he had no right to be anywhere near the England squad.

Earlier in his career, Townsend was not so bold, having been on loan at nine different clubs before establishing himself as a regular in the Tottenham first team squad.

One of these was a short spell at Leeds United, where he scored once but suddenly decided to quit the club much to the anger of manager Neil Warnock.

Warnock raged to the Yorkshire Evening Post at the time, "I don’t want anybody who doesn’t want to play for the club. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t want to play for the club then you’re better off out the way.

“You need drive and that’s what I ask of my players. That’s why with Townsend, it’s his loss. He’s missed out, not us. If he doesn’t want to play for Leeds United, we don’t want him.”

Townsend signed with Birmingham City on loan days later in the 2011/12 season, and while he helped them finish in the play-offs, he could not help them earn promotion.

Now not only has Townsend worked his way up to become an England international, he scored past Italy's Gianluigi Buffon earlier this week in an international friendly.

Having confidently rebutted Merson's criticism on and off the pitch, Townsend is showing his determination to prove his doubters wrong.

Such grit would have arguably have been better served in his Leeds days toughing it out and sticking to his loan spell, but clearly did not want to stay where he was not happy.

Warnock may have accused Townsend of lacking the drive he required, but through his career he has shown he has exactly that, even if there is much work to do for his club to show he can produce his England form on a consistent basis for Tottenham.

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