Arsenal legend Paul Merson has admitted that Roy Hodgson was right to pick Tottenham star Andros Townsend for the England squad, reports the Daily Express.
Tottenham transfer news
England hero Andros Townsend responds to criticism from Arsenal legend via Twitter
(Video) Andros Townsend goal: Spurs fringe player nets stunning equaliser for England in Italy
The 23-year-old scored a great equalising goal for the Three Lions against Italy on Tuesday. The Azzurri had earlier gone ahead thanks to a header from Southampton’s Graziano Pelle. When it had been announced that the winger was in the squad Merson had said that he didn’t deserve his place. This would seem to have been the perfect riposte from Townsend to his North London rival.
Merson retracted his comments but went short of apologising, saying: “It’s just a matter of opinion, and my opinion was that he got pulled off after half an hour at Manchester United in front of Roy Hodgson, so he shouldn’t have been in the squad. But fair play to him, I only give my opinion, and sometimes I’m wrong, other times I’m right.
“When I’m wrong, I hold my hands up. I don’t have a problem with doing that – I’ll always be the first to admit when I’m wrong. It’s not as though I was watching hoping he wouldn’t score for England, I’m genuinely pleased for him and fair play to him – it was a great goal.”
He added: “But I don’t feel as though I need to defend myself – it’s my job to give my opinion – and I’m just glad people actually take notice of what I’m saying!”
This goal has continued the Spurs ace’s brilliant record for his country. In seven appearances he has netted three times, while for his he has only managed five goals in 56 matches.
Andros Townsend, Club vs. Country record. pic.twitter.com/JeoHrybqpB
— Purely Football (@PurelyFootball) April 1, 2015