When Andros Townsend was first brought in by Alan Pardew, most Palace fans believed him to be an obvious upgrade on the soon to depart Yannick Bolasie but in recent weeks, serious questions have been raised over the winger’s performance levels.
Whilst you could argue that Zaha’s form has gone above and beyond what you can feasibly expect from the majority of Premier League wide men this term, the disparity in the pair’s weekly wage packets is always likely to be held up as a tangible measuring stick for their value towards the club as a whole. Put quite simply, for the money Andros is costing, he’s not been performing well enough of late.
Much has been made of the former Newcastle man’s plea to be used on the right flank rather than the left but with a player like Zaha in such red hot form on that side of the pitch, it’s no surprise to see Pardew sticking with the academy graduate at Townsend’s expense. After all, Andros was given the chance to impress on the right from the start when the team travelled to Leicester and made next to no attacking impression for the most part.
I feel it’s important to say that the above feature and my subsequent decision to reference it here are not done with the intention of sticking the boot in for the sake of finding an easy scapegoat but instead, act as a vehicle for examining quite what the coaching staff can do to get the best out of the summer signing. No one is forgetting his sparkling form for Newcastle or indeed his regularly spirited performances in an England shirt, we just need to work out how to coax him into replicating that in red and blue each week.
If anything, the questions being asked of Andros are born more out of desperation than anger, with the danger that we would pose with two bang in form wingers either side of Christian Benteke enough to strike fear into the hearts of every defence in the land. Perhaps our upcoming games against Manchester United and Chelsea, both of which are televised, will see a shift in Townsend’s demeanour; a development which would undoubtedly provide a timely boost to a group struggling to put points on the board of late.
After seeing Andros taken off at the break for the second time in a matter of weeks at Hull, would you be happy to see him given a starting role when Jose Mourinho and co. come to visit us tomorrow evening, or would you rather give Lee Chung-Yong a chance to impress on the left-hand side?
It’s certainly a decision worth pondering for a moment or two.