Paul Merson has criticised Roy Hodgson for selecting Andros Townsend in his 26 man provisional Euros squad.

Hodgson said that the winger had been unlucky to be dropped from the England squad due to Mauricio Pochettino freezing him totally out of the Spurs first team picture.

The England boss further explained that Andros Townsend had earned his place in the squad because of the outstanding form he had shown since arriving at Newcastle.

However, according to Paul Merson…’Andros Townsend has only turned up in about three games all season’.

Well, seen as he wasn’t given a chance at Tottenham in the first six months of the season, it wasn’t as though he was playing rubbish, just not Pochettino’s type of player in the style he wanted to play.

However, since arriving at St James Park Andros Townsend has been outstanding, scoring four brilliant goals and creating a number of others, all in the space of 12 Premier League starts and one substitute appearance.

The winger was by far the biggest factor in Newcastle almost staying up from what looked an impossible position.

In those 12 starts I would say that Andros Townsend was probably Newcastle’s best outfield player in at least seven or eight of those games.

Walcott was left out because he hasn’t been good enough to play for Arsenal in the second half of the season, whilst Raheem Sterling who has also been selected in the squad was left out of all but three Manchester City Premier League matches in the final three months.

Paul Merson speaking to the Daily Star:

“What has Fabian Delph done to deserve a call-up? How many games has Jordan Henderson played?

“Andros Townsend has only turned up in about three games all season – and you can’t tell me Jack Wilshere is going to be 100 per cent fit.

“He’s picked midfielders who are all essentially the same player, and ignored Mark Noble, who’s had another outstanding season and is fully fit. Crazy.”

Roy Hodgson after naming his 26 man England squad:

“The extra cover that we have given ourselves will be finished with by the time we play Australia (27 May at Sunderland).

“I would like to tell the 23 then who will be on the plane to France.

“Leighton Baines has not played for us for over a year but Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand has been filling in. Michael Carrick has played regularly for us but has been unfortunate with injuries.

“I spoke to them and Theo Walcott but you have to make a decision. It was a tough conversation but you have to do that as a coach.

“Walcott and Andros Townsend are not similar players. Townsend was unlucky to lose his place in the squad but since he has gone to Newcastle he has done very well. Walcott has not had regular games.”

The 26 man squad:

Goalkeepers: Hart, Forster, Heaton

Defenders: Bertrand, Cahill, Clyne, Rose, Smalling, Stones, Walker

Midfielders: Alli, Barkley, Delph, Dier, Drinkwater, Henderson, Lallana, Milner, Sterling, Townsend, Wilshere,

Strikers: Kane, Rashford, Rooney, Sturridge, Vardy