You have to love Andros Townsend…well maybe not.

His father had defended Townsend’s behaviour earlier in the week when deserting Newcastle, saying ‘Ideally he’d have loved to stay at the club but…the Premier League is the only place to be’.

Now the player has done the same thing saying ‘It was extremely difficult to leave…’.

Well from where I was sitting it looked very easy.

Even when Andros Townsend signed he was already thinking about leaving, insisting on a release clause if Newcastle were relegated four months later.

Then of course he jumped at the chance to join the first struggling Premier League club to come along, it isn’t as though Barcelona or even Chelsea had come knocking. Even Townsend didn’t have the cheek to claim he’d always dreamed of playing for Palace!

As the title of this article alludes to, the words that come out of Andros Townsend’s mouth are meaningless.

The way he talks it is as though the decision was taken out of his hands…

He doesn’t need to explain himself, we know exactly what he is all about.

Andros Townsend left Newcastle because they were relegated and he didn’t have the integrity/character to see that he was partly responsible and should do the right thing, rather than simply the right thing for him.

His career was going absolutely nowhere, he hadn’t played a full Premier League 90 minutes in over two years and nearing the age of 25 he had only made 32 Premier League starts in his whole career before joining Newcastle.

It wasn’t like he’d been tricked by anyone, dragged away from being first choice at Arsenal/Manchester City with promises that Newcastle were going to be spending a billion pounds on players and win the Premier League/Champions League in the next couple of years. Instead, he knew Newcastle were only risking a massive transfer fee and wages on somebody who had achieved nothing in his career, in the hope he could help get them out of relegation trouble.

Maybe if he’d tried a bit harder in the Sunderland game for example, none of us would be having this debate, a win in that game at St James Park would have kept Newcastle up and sent the mackems down.

Townsend hasn’t broken any laws, hasn’t bent any rules. He has simply looked after himself, rather than feeling any duty to anybody else.

He can talk about ‘love’ but he only has that for himself. To earn proper lasting respect/love then sacrifice is involved, which is why Alan Shearer is such an iconic figure – he could have played for anybody and won loads more trophies BUT he stuck with us even though the dream that was sold to him went sour.

Not many people could aspire to be an Alan Shearer but I have even less respect for Andros Townsend than I do for Sissoko and Wijnaldum. Sissoko and Wijnaldum wouldn’t have joined Palace, they at least have joined clubs that could win things.

What is really worse about spending a year with Newcastle who are red hot favourites to be promoted and instead going to Palace for a season and scratching around the bottom end of the table…the only real explanation surely is that he hopes that by playing for a rubbish Premier League team, he might do well on an individual basis and then get noticed/picked up by a Spurs…or similar level club.

So in an ideal world (for him), Andros Townsend will be telling Palace fans that ‘It was extremely difficult to leave BUT…’

Andros Townsend:

“It was the first time in my career that I actually did feel loved (at Newcastle).

“The fans were great with me. The last game of the season against Spurs, the standing ovation I got was incredible, made the hair on my arms stand up.

“It was extremely difficult to leave that but football is a short career and sometimes you use your head as opposed to your heart.

“Nobody knows what is going on in your head, nobody thinks players are actually motivated about getting the best out of themselves.

“England featured in that decision. Roy Hodgson said it didn’t matter if I was playing in the Premier League or Championship but when he lost his job it was also maybe a factor.

“I proved at Newcastle I am still good enough to play in the Premier League. It gave me great confidence again and I got back in the England squad.

“I think I am in a good place again, I am happy with my form and I am playing well. That is all that matters in my head.”

“I really enjoyed my time at Newcastle, I make no secret of that. It did cross my mind to stay but I need to be playing Premier League football if I want to make the most of my career.

“A year taking a step back in the Championship when at Spurs I wasn’t as playing as much as I’d have liked to, I decided I couldn’t really do that. I made the tough decision, I’m happy to be at Palace now, everything is going well, so hopefully it was the right decision.”