Alan Shearer: Why Roy Hodgson may rue leaving Andros Townsend out of England squad
Townsend was axed from the 26-man preliminary squad despite starring for his club in the final months of the campaign.
The winger couldn’t prevent Newcastle slipping into the Championship but Shearer says he brings “something totally different” to Hodgson’s other midfield options.
But Townsend – and Sunderland’s 18-goal top scorer Jermain Defoe – will have to watch the action on TV instead this summer.
And Shearer admits they are both unfortunate not to be involved.
“When you look at it really, both of them can count themselves unlucky,” Shearer told the Gazette.
England boss Roy Hodgson admits it was a “difficult” decision to axe Townsend, Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater and Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph from the 23-man squad jetting off to France.
But he praised their reaction to being left out, admitting it made his job much easier.
“It was a very difficult decision (to trim the squad to 23),” said Hodgson.
“For a long period of time, if anything, we haven’t had an enormous amount of choice and sometimes there have been comments that we don’t have enough players to pick from.
“Suddenly we do have a lot of players to pick from and it was a very tough decision for me.
“I was very happy with the 26, I was delighted with the way the three guys who didn’t get selected for the final 23 worked and it was a difficult day for me having to tell them they weren’t going to be in the final 23.
“But I must say the players were fantastic, they were unbelievably understanding of the need that I had to make a decision.
“They ended by wishing everybody well and that they had enjoyed the preparation time.
“They made the job as easy for me as it could possibly be.”