The English press love nothing more than a bit of pre-tournament hype ahead of a world cup, followed by publicly humiliation and crucifixion for their previously adored player. David Beckham suffered it in 1998, one minute being declared England’s great white hope, the next a stupid boy, following one of the most ridiculous red cards in history.
Theo Walcott suffered a similar fate, being praised to high heaven following a hat-trick against Croatia in qualifying before being roundly chastised following below par performances leading up to the tournament – so much so Fabio Capello elected not to even take him. Let’s not forget the nonsense Wayne Rooney suffered once it became obvious he wasn’t the player everyone expected during the last two world cups.
The latest player England have pinned their hopes on is Tottenham’s Andros Townsend after his recent performances for the three lions. While it’s hard not to get excited by a player with the skills of Townsend, cooler heads may be reminded that his best showings have been against mediocre -to average- opposition. Despite the cynicism some of us have towards the Spurs’ winger’s ability to help England lift the World Cup, there’s no denying that should Roy Hodgson’s men be successful there’s every chance Townsend will play a huge part in that and if he does, we can thank Ryan Giggs for his influence.
In an interview earlier this month with the London Evening Standard Townsend noted:
“I’ve always liked watching Ryan Giggs, too. When playing wide he liked to dribble, make things happen, get crosses in and score goals, so he was my main inspiration. That he’s still going know shows he’s a fantastic professional.”
The words ‘inspiration’ and ‘Giggs’ go hand in hand, and if by some minor miracle Townsend can help England to victory in Brazil, United’s longest serving player can boast at having played his part in their success- despite the fact as a proud Welshman he probably wont want to.