London – Andros Townsend, English football’s man-of-the-moment, has signed a new four-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League club announced Friday.
Townsend, 22, marked his England debut last Friday with a goal in a 4-1 win over Montenegro before impressing again at Wembley on Tuesday in a 2-0 victory over Poland that secured a place at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil for Roy Hodgson’s side.
“We are delighted to announce that Andros Townsend has signed a new four-year contract with the club,” said a Tottenham statement.
Prior to this season Townsend, who had scored three goals in 18 Spurs appearances, had had loan spells at nine different clubs.
But having impressed at QPR towards the end of last term, he forced his way into Spurs’ first team following an injury to Aaron Lennon and such was his form in eight appearances so far this season he then won England recognition.
However, following the Poland match, reports emerged that England manager Hodgson had, in a reference to Townsend, told his players at half-time to “feed the monkey”.
This was an instruction to make sure the winger saw more of the ball, and one interpreted as a “compliment” by Townsend himself, but which others viewed as racist.
Townsend’s father, who works for the Kick it Out organisation that campaigns to rid football of racism, said the furore after the Poland match had been a “nightmare” in contrast to events on the field.
“The goal on Friday night gave us an amazing feeling and I thought he was absolutely fantastic in the hotbed of Tuesday,” Troy Townsend told Sky Sports on Friday.
“It’s hard to put into words how we felt at the time and we’re immensely proud of him.
“But unfortunately there was no time to enjoy that feeling…before the very next day we are talking about something a little bit different.
“There’s disappointment. It’s a nightmare.
“It’s been difficult for us at Kick if Out. I’m not sure people fully understand our role.
“We have an obligation to report incidents that happen and we’ve done that regardless of whether it’s international or grass-roots level.
“It’s particularly difficult for me having involvement on both sides. We should be concentrating on the glories of both games.”
Meanwhile Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was confident Townsend could handle the pressure of being English football’s latest rising star.
“That is part of growing up as a player,” Villas-Boas said. “I would suppose that wouldn’t divert his attention too much.
“I expect him to be the same player. There are going to be more people worried about him, he will be more in the public eye and they will demand performances from him and I expect him to respond.
“Most of his colleagues are down to earth, he is in the right environment for his development and I think we have to help him in that sense,” the Portuguese added.
“At the moment we’re very happy with what he’s been doing and I think Roy thinks the same.”