Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson admits he was wrong to doubt the selection of Tottenham winger Andros Townsend in the England national team, after the 23-year-old scored a brilliant equaliser to rescue a draw for the Three Lions away to Italy in Tuesday’s international friendly, reports Sky
Merson was critical of England manager Roy Hodgson for selecting Andros Townsend, after the young winger endured a difficult game against Manchester United, which saw him substituted around the half hour mark, with Hodgson present at the game. The pundit felt Townsend’s selection meant a lot of other players should have been open to selection, while also suggesting the Tottenham man shouldn’t be “anywhere near the senior team”.
But Townsend made a telling contribution from the bench in the second-half against the Azzurri, scoring a fantastic effort from distance and looking deadly straight from the off. After the game, the winger made a statement to his critics, saying he’s hoping to silence the people questioning his ability and place in the England, but Paul Merson has since held his hands up, and has admitted he was proven wrong.
“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,” he said.
“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. But I don’t feel as though I need to defend myself – it’s my job to give my opinion.”
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