Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has held his hands up and admitted he was wrong to question Andros Townsend’s place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad.
The Tottenham winger came off the bench to equalise with a thunderous strike in England’s 1-1 draw with Italy on Tuesday.
In his Sky Sports column, Merson had said “If Andros Townsend can get in then it opens it up for anybody” following Hodgson’s squad announcement last month.
In response, Townsend took to Twitter following the draw in Turin to say: “Not bad for a player that should be nowhere near the squad’ ay @PaulMerse?”
"I’m genuinely pleased for him and fair play to him – it was a great goal.”
However, the former Arsenal man says he’s pleased for Townsend, and admits he’s been proven wrong by the 23-year-old.
Merson told Sky Sports: “It’s just a matter of opinion, and my opinion was that he got pulled off after half an hour at Manchester United in front of Roy Hodgson, so he shouldn’t have been in the squad.
“But fair play to him, I only give my opinion, and sometimes I’m wrong, other times I’m right.
“When I’m wrong, I hold my hands up. I don’t have a problem with doing that - I’ll always be the first to admit when I’m wrong.
“It’s not as though I was watching hoping he wouldn’t score for England, I’m genuinely pleased for him and fair play to him – it was a great goal.
“But I don’t feel as though I need to defend myself – it’s my job to give my opinion – and I’m just glad people actually take notice of what I’m saying!”
Read Paul Merson's Premier League predictions on skysports.com every week and then tune in to watch him on Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports News HQ.