It seems a little unbelievable that it is only 15 months since Andros Townsend and Newcastle United parted company.
The winger jumping ship on relegation, despite having started only 12 games after Newcastle rescued him from a career going nowhere at Tottenham, when nobody else wanted him.
Townsend is now worried about the reception he will get from the Newcastle supporters he betrayed. Joining the first Premier League that came along, rather than helping to put right the relegation that he was partly responsible for.
When Andros Townsend left St James Park, he made some pretty lame statements, as though the decision to desert was something he had no control over.
Amusingly, on leaving Rafa Benitez behind, he said he hoped Alan Pardew would take his game to ‘another level’.
Well, Pards did his best to take Townsend and Palace to a very definite new level, the Championship. Alan Pardew having the worst set of results of all clubs in the four divisions throughout 2016.
Andros Townsend is already on his fourth manager at Crystal Palace, with Fat Sam, de Boer, and now finally Roy Hodgson taking the reins.
I’m guessing that very few people will react in any way about Townsend on Saturday during the 90 minutes, a player who was at Newcastle only a few months and who couldn’t get away quick enough along with the likes of Sissoko, Wijnaldum, and Janmaat.
Andros Townsend – 19 October 2017:
“I’m not sure I’ll get a good reception (from Newcastle fans) but I had a fantastic time there.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t end well, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there with the fans and I’m looking forward to going there and see a few familiar faces.
“I’ll enjoy it.
“Ultimately, we are going there for business, to win a football match, and that’s all I’m focused on.
“It’s similar in the way they (Hodgson & Allardyce) work.
“They like to do a lot on the training field and are very hands on, the pair of them.
“They like to go through every scenario that will occur on the pitch, so that when it occurs you are ready for it.
“Like Sam, it (Hodgson arriving) isn’t a quick fix.
“We didn’t initially pick up results (with Fat Sam), but eventually you saw how well we were playing towards the end of last season and I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll get to that again under Roy.”
Andros Townsend – 1 July 2016:
“I was loved by the fans (at Newcastle) and the manager was getting the best out of me, but at the end of the day I needed Premier League football at this stage in my career.
“So then it was sitting down and finding the right club for me and I think that (joining Crystal Palace) was the easiest decision out of the lot of them.
“Hopefully, Alan Pardew can take my game to another level and build on the great start to the season they had last year.”
Andros Townsend personal statement to Newcastle fans – 1 July 2016:
‘I would like to put on record my sincerest thanks to the manager, board and fans of Newcastle United for the warmth and support they have shown me since I joined in January.
Please believe me when I say that this has been an incredibly difficult decision and one I have not taken lightly.
I signed for Newcastle fully aware of the task at hand and it was my absolute desire to keep the club in the Premier League.
I hope the fans could see that from day one I gave everything I possibly could during the season and never once gave up on the fight for survival. That’s why it was so hard when despite those efforts we fell short.
The future for Newcastle is very bright, with some great young players and an outstanding Manager who I have the utmost respect for.
However, after talking at length with the Manager and Managing Director I have made the decision to leave the club based purely on footballing reasons, with my wish to remain in the Premier League.
I remain humbled by the support of the fans during my time at Newcastle and wish everyone associated with the club success for the future.
The fans deserve a winning team and I fully expect to see the club promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt.