Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lennon's Return to Fitness Presents Villas-Boas with Series of Thorny Selection Dilemmas; Football Correspondent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lennon's Return to Fitness Presents Villas-Boas with Series of Thorny Selection Dilemmas; Football Correspondent

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse

AARON LENNON'S return from injury gives Tottenham an extra dimension as they seek to put behind them their surprise home defeat by West Ham and set their season back on course.

At times during the middle of last season, the winger was his team's most consistent player and, after more than eight years at the club, he has the quality and experience to make a difference when he returns, possibly in time for Sunday's match at Aston Villa.

Despite frustrations about the quality of his final pass and relative lack of goals, Lennon is still regarded as an asset to the side. Yet the form of Andros Townsend on the right for Spurs means Lennon cannot now take his place for granted. It is possible that head coach Andre Villas-Boas will play Lennon on the left. Or alternatively he may switch Townsend, who is left-footed, to the opposite flank, with Lennon playing on the right.

With Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nacer Chadli also fighting for places, the competition is fierce. As Villas-Boas prepares for the meeting with Paul Lambert's team, Standard Sport examines his options for wide places, both for this game and for the season ahead.

1 ANDROS TOWNSEND Townsend's outstanding early-season form, coupled with his displays on his England debut against Montenegro and in the win over Poland earlier this week, surely make him a certain starter for the time being. Although he is a little raw, Townsend is quick, direct, ready to take on the full-back, and can cross and shoot with either foot. Now teams and players are aware of his qualities, the next challenge for Townsend is to react well and intelligently when he is marked more tightly, or when teams make plans to try to curtail his threat. It will be intriguing to see how he copes.

2 GYLFI SIGURDSSON Not a natural wide player, the Iceland international has nevertheless shown he can be effective at drifting inside off the left flank and working his way into dangerous positions. …

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