Townsend torments Villa

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At his current rate of progress, Andros Townsend is threatening to become the hottest property in English football. Fresh from his game-changing first two games for England in the recent World Cup qualifiers, Townsend inspired Tottenham to a 2-0 away win against Aston Villa.

Tottenham were expected to struggle to find an adequate replacement for Gareth Bale after the Welsh forward moved to Real Madrid, but Townsend seems ready to step up. His direct running tormented Villa's defence and he scored the opening goal in a match that had seemed a tricky obstacle for Spurs.

Townsend's speed and directness, and willingness to shoot at the earliest opportunity are reminiscent of Bale, although comparisons were also made with Arjen Robben. Townsend shares the Dutchman's willingness to cut inside and shoot with the left foot.

The Tottenham fans adapted a song they had used for Bale in the past, chanting, "Andros Townsend, he was born to play for Spurs." That's a little ironic considering the number of clubs Townsend has been loaned out to in recent seasons.

Last season's spell at QPR gave Townsend a sustained taste of Premier League football, and it seems to have brought him up to international class. It's a sign of his improvement that Tottenham's £30 million summer signing Erik Lamela can't get in the side. Neither can Townsend's predecessor in the Tottenham and England right wing role, Aaron Lennon.

"We have five wingers for two positions, so competition is very high," Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said, praising Townsend's fearlessness, new-found confidence and sense of adventure.

The win took Tottenham up to fifth in the Premier League, although they could face repercussions from an incident that followed Townsend's goal. A flare thrown by a fan hit the assistant referee David Bryan. The FA is likely to take action against the club, following a report.

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