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Arsenal legend questions Hodgson’s England squad, criticises Spurs duo

Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has criticised Roy Hodgson’s England squad selection and feels that two of the Spurs players called up should not be there, along with a few others.

Merson feels that Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker do not deserve to be in the current England team and has questioned Hodgson’s supposed forward-thinking approach.

“I’m surprised by the squad. We’re not planning for the future,” Merson said in his column for the Daily Star.

“If Roy knew there was a six-year plan and he was the man to implement it, things would be different.

“The squad puzzles me. Roy went to see Manchester United against Tottenham the other week.

“He watched Andros Townsend have a stinker and get taken off after half an hour, and he watched Kyle Walker get absolutely rinsed.

“But he’s picked them both in his squad! If he’d already made up his mind, why bother going to the game?

“Townsend is only there because he played well for England 18 months ago. I thought it was supposed to be on form?”

Merson also questioned the decisions to bring in Ashley Young, Theo Walcott, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

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But he did have some praise for another Spurs star, Harry Kane. It’s impossible to criticise the young Tottenham striker, and although Merson is pleased to see him in the squad, he does not feel he is good enough to start at the European Championships next year.

“At least he picked Harry Kane. He deserves it. He’s been doing it every week. You can have your head turned when you get picked for England but he went and scored a hat-trick!

“He can play in the hole like Wayne Rooney or he can play in front of him. When he plays as a No 10 he still gets in the box all the time. But I’d play him in front of Rooney and let him run into the corners and open the game up.

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“Daniel Sturridge is still the man for me going into the Euros. I think he gives you a bit more pace. But Kane is the next best option off the bench.”

Kane scored from the bench on his debut in Friday night’s 4-0 win against Lithuania at Wembley and will be hoping to get his first start in Tuesday night’s friendly with Italy.

Do you agree with Paul Merson’s comments? Is the current England squad the best it could be?

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About Louis East (1221 Articles)

Editor of MLSGB.com. Premier League and MLS reporter.

3 Comments on Arsenal legend questions Hodgson’s England squad, criticises Spurs duo

  1. As a spurs fan, we’re all amazed Townsend & Walker are in the England. We would be happy if they both left our club. I’d personally drive them there. Keeping Townsend and letting Lennon go was absurd. Townsend is a headless chicken who runs nowhere and shoots on sight. He’s hit 100 times more fans in the upper tier than he has the target. Walker was great, but is now the worst defender at the club. Again, we sold the likes of Caulker and keep Walker & Danny Rose. Bizarre.

  2. Im a Spurs fan and I can’t argue with him about Townsend or Walker, neither player should be anywhere near the Spurs squad let alone England.
    I disagree with him on Sturridge and Kane though, I don’t rate Sturridge for England just as I don’t rate Rooney for England. I’d rather have Sterling and Kane up front for England. If Rooney must play then he can play midfield but I’d rather he stayed at home, bad attitude in an England shirt. He doesn’t deserve the honour of wearing it.

  3. Townsend has been very poor this season but I think Walker is getting a bit of unfair clog lately. Yes,on the face of it he’s been just as bad in recent games but he gets no protection from Townsend or more importantly from Ryan Mason who just does not work back, he will press players in front of him but once the ball has passed him he just stops. Walkers covering pace is still a huge asset to us and we need to take a closer look before apportioning blame.

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