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Andros Townsend pays tribute to Rafa Benitez as he prolongs Everton purple patch

EVERTON 2-0 NORWICH CITY: Andros Townsend extended his brilliant start to life with the Toffees by opening the scoring from the penalty spot in a routine Premier League victory

New Everton boss Benitez quizzed on past ‘small club’ comments

As Andros Townsend himself says: “There’s life in the old dog yet!”.

And what life. You could say it is almost a new lease of life. The standing ovation recognising his workrate and sheer commitment from Everton fans, showed just how much of an impact he has made at his new club.

His first-half penalty turned this contest with Norwich, and took his goals tally to four already this season, but it is the energy he brings, and a palpable love of his work which the Goodison faithful appreciate. They even booed when he was substituted.

Playing for Rafa Benitez clearly suits him. “I’m 30 now, and that’s classed as old, but honestly, I feel like I’m 21 at the moment, I feel like I am full of life and full of energy…so there is more to come from me.”



Andros Townsend has already racked up four goals and three assists this season
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Image:

Everton FC via Getty Images)




He was the stand out in a strange contest with Norwich, where Everton were inhibited and the visitors were the better side in the second half, but lacked any sort of cutting edge. Townsend provided it.

He is remembered for his spectacular goals – that incredible volley at Manchester City one of the many highlights. But by his own admission, he hasn’t scored enough in his career, given his technical excellence with both feet.









There were only 28 league goals before he arrived at Everton in a 12-year career, his best in the Premier League just six during the 2018-19 season with Palace.

Yet interestingly, his highest goals ratio came under Benitez at Newcastle, where he scored four goals in a couple of months in a relegation haunted side.

The Everton boss remembered his dynamic contribution, and asked him to repeat it. Already, he has repaid the manager – and shown he can still be a force into the bargain.





“I knew what I was capable of at Everton, and knew I wasn’t coming here just to make up the numbers,” he explained.

“I know I have got a lot more left in me to give and I saw this as a real opportunity to show what I still have in the tank.

“It’s true, I haven’t scored as many as I would have liked in my career. No excuses – I’ve been wracking my brain the last six or seven years in the Premier League over why I’ve not been able to score more goals as frequently as my ability allows.”



Rafael Benitez and Andros Townsend previously worked together at Newcastle United
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Image:

Getty Images)




Benitez could hold the key for Townsend though. He has really won over the Everton fans with his attacking style and energy, and his goals too. It’s not yet October, and he’s already close to posting his best-ever numbers.

“I’m under a manager now who knows my abilities, who has seen that I can deliver goals, and I think I do have that in me,” he added.

“Left foot, right foot, I can shoot, I can get in the box, and I can create chances. I’m pleased I have been able to do that at Everton, and long may that continue!

How many goals will Andros Townsend score this season? Have your say in the comments.

“Rafa knew I could play higher, he knew I could deliver around the box, and fortunately I have picked up where I left off under him in those few months at Newcastle.”

Norwich desperately needed someone as direct as Townsend, as willing to run the flank and cause problems. Without that, they were always vulnerable to the break which saw Doucoure seal their seemingly inevitable defeat.


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