Stats: Why Downing should have Townsend's place in England squad

West Ham United winger Stewart Downing should have gotten the international call-up over Tottenham Hotspur forward Andros Townsend, writes Alan Dawson.

Downing v Townsend

According to Opta statistical data taken from this season, it is unclear why England manager Roy Hodgson selected Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend over West Ham United star Stewart Downing.

The former Liverpool attacker has played more frequently, has been more consistent, is one of the difference-makers for his club and is more productive on the football.

True, Townsend sees more of the football (as is demonstrated by his 1.2 minutes per touch ratio) and he also has a superior passing accuracy, however, when it comes to the more decisive balls - those that are guided into the final third - the attacking zone - and those delivered from a cross, it is Downing who has Towsend's number.

Downing receives a touch on the ball every 1.5 minutes, which is marginally below the division average.

However, he is amongst the elite in the division when it comes to probing balls into the box and his ability to cross. Downing also has supplied a hat-trick of assists - while Townsend is yet to see a key pass pay dividends on the scoreline.

Crucially, Downing has been responsible for affecting the scoreline once every 134 minutes he is on the field.

Hodgson has appeased a number of fans by selecting players based on form - like Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne, Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and Aston Villa sensation Fabian Delph, however, the inclusion of Townsend goes against that - especially when it overlooks the contributions Downing has made for West Ham.

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