The more I see and hear of Andros Townsend, the more I think Newcastle United dodged a bullet.

In his latest interview, the winger admits that he was guilty of trying harder in training for England than when with Crystal Palace this season.

Sammy Lee having taken the player to one side and pointing out what he could clearly see, having watched Andros Townsend in both environments this season.

With only two goals and two assists all season, Palace fans have very quickly gone from thinking they’d grabbed a bargain to seeing the summer signing as a dud who doesn’t put the effort in on a regular basis.

Desperate to try and get himself into the England squad for last summer’s Euros, Andros Townsend was very good in at least half of his 12 starts for Newcastle, without that level of England motivation it is little wonder he has once again faded to become once again a player who promises much but delivers little.

Newcastle saw all too much of this in the travesty that was Michael Owen’s ‘career’ at Newcastle, happy to pick up massive wages but all of his focus on playing for his country and the club that paid his wages a very distant second place, or was that third place after his horses?

Townsend turns 26 in July and yet has only 67 Premier League starts in his career, yet has played 13 times for England. This to me sums up everything that is wrong with the national game, having to rely on somebody who hasn’t the talent/attitude to be a regular Premier League player.

Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t suffer fools gladly and totally sidelined Andros Townsend, Sam Allardyce quickly dropped him at Palace despite not having great alternatives.

Despite admitting that he failed to do the job he’d been brought in to do at Newcastle, a club that gave him a chance a year ago when his career was dying on its backside, Townsend couldn’t wait to get away from Newcastle and says he ‘had to move to stay in the Premier League’. The reality is that he chose to leave after only 12 starts for Newcastle, rather than help deal with the relegation he’d been a part of.

He is no different to the other rats who left the sinking/partly submerged ship: Wijnaldum, Sissoko and Janmaat all just looking after themselves, with hoping to stay in their national team a massive part of their motivation, rather than the club that had given them their chance to play in the Premier League.

Andros Townsend has got some ability but that means little without the character to go with it.

Yes he did well in a handful of games for Newcastle last season when having that 2016 France Euros motivation but his overall profile tells you that Newcastle should avoid him at all costs if/when they return to the Premier League.

Andros Townsend talking to The Telegraph (to one of Pardew’s mates, Jason Burt):

‘I wasn’t playing anywhere near the standards expected of me and expected of a player who signed for £13 million.

(Sammy Lee who’d worked briefly with him at England, told him) “That when I go away with England every single day I train like it’s a cup final and I’m the hardest-working player because I know that there are other players ahead of me and if I want to get any minutes on the pitch then I have to perform better than them,”

“And I think at club level, in the first week he (Sammy Lee) was here, I wasn’t doing that.

“Thankfully, I was given the chance at Newcastle and got back to playing the football I knew I was capable of.

“Everything was so positive (at Newcastle).

“It’s just the one negative that we (Newcastle) didn’t stay in the Premier League.

“I was signed to help them stay up and it didn’t happen.

“The main thing I took from that is that a team is never too good to go down.

“Maybe last season (at Newcastle) we were looking around thinking ‘we’ve got good players, we’ll be all right’ and in the end we weren’t ,so now this time around we have a dressing room full of international players, good players, but you can’t just say ‘we’ll be all right’. We have to make it happen.”

“I was at Tottenham and I’ve had all the loan spells (nine when at Spurs) and then I went to Newcastle and said ‘I want to stay here for a few years’ but unfortunately that didn’t work out and I had to move to stay in the Premier League.”

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles to [email protected])

  • Wor Lass

    “He is no different to the other rats who left the sinking/partly submerged ship …”

    I think you need to relax and let it go a bit, Dean. Sissoko is certainly a rat but we were all glad to see the back of him (especially for £30 mill or whatever). Lots of people were also pleased to see Gini and Daryl hit the road as well with good money coming in. At least those two waited until the season ended and didn`t disrespect the club, the fans or the city. Townsend is a more controversial case. Personally, I thought he did his best at all times and genuinely agonised about whether to leave. If it hadn`t been for his international ambitions I don`t think he would have gone. I`d have him back and I don`t think we`d need to worry about getting 100% out of him – we didn`t have to first time around. I know plenty of people will disagree but plenty more won`t.

    • Leazesl Ender


      • Wor Lass

        Nothing like engaging in healthy debate – or are you talking to yourself?

    • Geordiegiants

      He is pure tosh, he had a good spell while trying to prove himself. Top professionals perform week in week out.
      It just goes to show how low the fat cancer has bought our expectations, when Townsend is seen as a good edition to our squad. Sad really!

      • Cuh736

        I agree he isn’t good enough. He’s no Zaha, and i’ll surely take Atsu, Ritchie and Aarons over him any day of the week.

    • bobbi fleckman

      Townsend played well and wholeheartedly for us. The motivation may have been to keep us up, it may have been international ambitions. He’s not managed that at Palace, this may be down to a lack of England chances, a lack of game time or it may well be that he’s been found out a bit as he does appear to do the same thing running at his a attacker, cutting in and shooting.

      Rafa likes him but i don’t think he’ll be as effective with us if he re-joins. I think Ritchie is a more intelligent player on the right side which was a worry when Townsend was mooted in January.

  • MadMag83

    It’s rare for an England player to try harder for his country than his club!

  • toonterrier

    If Rafa stays then get Townsend back next season. Good player but playing under poor management didn’t help and he wanted to play for his country which would have been difficult while we were struggling.

  • Wor Monga

    We saw in the 10 or so games that he could do a job in the PL for Rafa (us), and that’s what had the hapless Pardew sniffing…whereas before that there was absolutely no interest in the lifelong Spurs fan, from the PL clubs at all…

    …I’d have him back seeing as he was the ‘best’ rat in the really bad bunch of rats, we had at the time… but he’d be worth now only what we paid for him then, and no more than that!!!

  • Desree


  • Cuh736

    As much as we needed a winger and heseemed in his brief stay to be the answer, I think that’s all we need of him in Newcastle colours.

    I saw a comment saying he gave his all for NUFC, but seeing how he left immediately, it was clearly more a case of giving his all for his EUROs hopes. I for one am tired of having players who aren’t committed to the club.

    And he was the worst of the jumpshippers. At least Sissoko stayed 3 years, Janmaat 2, Wijnaldum 1. He’d barely been around for 6 months, yet was one of the first confirmed departures.

  • Vodkamagpie

    He turns 26, only played 67games, that says it all. He was absolutely outstanding for us in 10 odd games. You would think that his attitude and work rate would remain the same for palace, and that’s why the 67 games come in mind. Should stay far clear of him, another some what talented footballer who wasted his career, due to lack of hard work.