As the rats with no character fought to leave a sinking Newcastle United, Andros Townsend was very lucky to have Moussa Sissoko and Gini Wijnaldum for company.

With all three having made clear they had no intention of sticking around to help put right the mess they’d helped create, it was Sissoko and to a lesser extent, Wijnaldum who took all the flak.

Newcastle paid big money and gave Andros Townsend a chance after his career had gone nowhere at Tottenham, with the winger having seen two years go by without a full 90 minutes in the Premier League.

In reality, the writing was on the wall before he even kicked a ball for Newcastle, his insistence on a release clause if NUFC were relegated, making clear he was only bothered about himself and not the long-term health of Newcastle United.

Troy Townsend, father of the now Crystal Palace winger, has come to his son’s defence, basically saying that Andros Townsend had no choice but to move if he wanted to look after himself.

His dad continuing his defence of Andros Townsend by saying how hard he worked to try and keep Newcastle up.

Yes he was one of Newcastle’s better players, possibly the best, in that relegation run-in, but it wasn’t exactly against the stiffest opposition.

He actually only started 11 Premier League games for Newcastle before relegation was confirmed, in those matches he maybe played well in five or six of them, hardly a modern day hero.

These are the 13 games he actually played a part in – at Leicester he did nothing when coming off the bench, whilst the Spurs game was a dead rubber as Newcastle were already relegated and Spurs couldn’t win the league any longer.

In the other 11 matches I would say he played well against Palace, Liverpool, Man City, Swansea and West Brom.

On the other hand, he did next to nothing in the crucial Sunderland and Villa matches, was poor against Everton, Norwich, Southampton and Chelsea – though moments of magic that produced goals at Stamford Bridge and St Mary’s covered up a little bit what were otherwise ineffective displays.

Yes he was probably trying his best in all of the games but that is actually what he is paid a fortune to do.

Putting England forward as a reason for him to leave is laughable, as it was thanks to Newcastle United that Andros Townsend missed out only by a whisker on going to the Euros, having come from a hopeless position when he was at Spurs.

The sheer number of international players at Newcastle United now, underlines that playing in the Championship could very likely have been no barrier to being selected for England. Andros Townsend was actually ignored by both Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate, only when Sterling pulled out has he been called up as a fringe player for the squad.

Andros Townsend Premier League games for Newcastle United:

Newcastle United 5 Tottenham 1

Aston Villa 0 Newcastle United 0

Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0

Liverpool 2 Newcastle United 2

Newcastle United 1 Manchester City 1

Newcastle United 3 Swansea 0

Southampton 3 Newcastle 1

Norwich City 3 Newcastle United  2

Newcastle United 1 Sunderland 1

Leicester City 1 Newcastle United 0

Chelsea 5 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle United 1 West Brom 0

Everton 3 Newcastle United 0

Troy Townsend speaking to Talksport:

“It was a tug of war situation.

“Rafa Benitez did absolute wonders for him and ideally he would have loved to stay at the club….

“But if you are going to be noticed, if you are going to be recognised, obviously he had a massive disappointment (missing out on Euros) in the summer.

“If  you are going to get yourself back in that area where he wants to be, then unfortunately the Premier League is the only place to be.

“That is obviously disappointing for Newcastle fans but for the six months when he was there, I’m not sure there was another player, well there were a few, that put their heart and soul into trying to keep that club where it rightly deserves to be.

“I know that some (Newcastle) fans have not taken it in the right way and I can understand that…but it just goes to prove how much he did do in the time he was there.”