Kyle's blueprint for Andros battle
18 August 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Andros Townsend returns to White Hart Lane for the first time since his departure from the club on Saturday and Kyle Walker is hatching a plan to try to contain the England international.
The rapid winger left us for Newcastle back in January but has since switched to Crystal Palace, who provide the opposition for our first home game of the new campaign this weekend.
Right-back Kyle knows 25-year-old Andros particularly well having trained and played alongside him for club and country in recent years.
Ahead of a potential battle with his former team-mate, the defender has explained that it’ll take a team effort to stifle Andros and his Eagles cohorts over the 90 minutes.
“I think we all know the qualities that Andros has got,” he said. “I played with him here for a while and then with England at international level so we all know what he can do. He’s a fantastic dribbler, a good ball carrier and he can shoot with either foot so he’s a danger man for them but hopefully we can deal with him as a team.
“It’s difficult to defend against his style. Whether he’s playing on my side or on the other side, your centre-midfielder has to come across and try to cut off that space if he’s going to come in and shoot.
“If he’s doing it on his stronger foot, that would be on the left-hand side but even his right foot is deadly which he’s proved with England and also for Newcastle so it’s something that we have to take into consideration as a team and try to defend against as best we can.
“Hopefully I can get him running back the other way and make him do the things he doesn’t want to do but it’s not just me against him – as a team we want to put him on the back foot, we don’t want to play to his strengths, we need to take him the other way and make him work defensively.”
Kyle also pointed to Andros’ penchant for switching wings mid-game as another reason to be on red alert against Palace: “It’s part and parcel of the job,” he explained. “In this day and age, wingers do tend to switch sides if they’re not getting much joy on your side so it’s something that you just have to deal with as a full-back but I feel fully confident in my ability to deal with him and I think it’ll be a good game. We’ll shake hands afterwards and whatever is on the pitch stays on the pitch really.”
Like our supporters, Kyle is relishing our return to action at White Hart Lane after the summer break and he’s reiterated his desire to take full advantage of playing teams on our own patch in 2016-17.
“It’s always great to play at the Lane,” he added. “At the back end of last season we didn’t put it to bed as we wanted to but it’s always good to get back there. The crowd was excellent last season and hopefully they can keep it going. I think I said it in an interview at the start of last season – we wanted to make it a fortress last year and we did that so hopefully we can do the same this time and do even better.”