Townsend World Cup dreams dashed
England winger Andros Townsend has been ruled out of the World Cup after Tottenham announced he must undergo ankle surgery.
Townsend will be sidelined for 10 weeks and is to undergo the procedure to the joint on his left leg on Thursday.
"Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday," a club statement read.
"The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to 10 weeks."
Townsend sustained the injury after coming on 12 minutes from time in Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win at Stoke.
The 22-year-old left the Britannia Stadium in a protective boot and underwent an MRI scan on Monday and was assessed further on Tuesday.
The Spurs academy graduate has made 33 appearances in total this term and impressed on loan at QPR at the back end of last season.
Townsend exploded onto the international stage in October, netting on his England debut against Montenegro before helping overcome Poland as Roy Hodgson's men secured a place in Brazil.
However, he has not enjoyed the best end to the campaign and last started a Premier League match in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on March 16.
That lack of game time affected his World Cup hopes and after this latest injury update, it is guaranteed he will not be among the names when Hodgson picks his World Cup squad on May 12.
Meanwhile, two notable figures have voiced support for Tim Sherwood with Ray Clemence and David Ginola declaring he should be retained as Tottenham manager.
Ajax claimed on Tuesday that Spurs had contacted them with a view to speaking to their manager Frank de Boer.
Tottenham said in a statement released on Wednesday that any talk of an approach for De Boer was "wholly inaccurate", although the club have said in recent weeks that they will review Sherwood's position as head coach at the end of the year.
Clemence, who made 330 appearances for Spurs, has been dismayed by talk of Sherwood getting the sack.
The former England goalkeeper, who was speaking at the CV Show on behalf of Vauxhall, the England Team Sponsor, said: "I would hope he would be given a bit more time.
"Tim has a good record compared to (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger, and (Everton boss) Roberto Martinez.
"Wenger has been offered a new contract, everyone talks about how well Martinez has done, but everyone is talking about Tim, who has nearly done as well as they have towards the back end of the season, getting the sack.
"It really is a strange world we live in."
Ginola agrees with Clemence that Sherwood deserves more time, stressing that hiring a well-known manager does not guarantee success.
"A big name doesn't mean everything, especially for Spurs. They have to look for stability," Ginola told talkSPORT.
"Tottenham must be more patient and not panic if the results don't come straight away. They need to look at the next three to five years. Rome wasn't built in a day.
"Tim Sherwood has been at the club for some time. He has worked at the academy, took over from Andre Villas-Boas and had some great results.
"It wasn't perfect because, if it had been, they would be in the top four.
"Every single year you hear names coming from all over the place. People say, 'he could good for the club', like AVB when he signed. Everyone thought that's fantastic, but then he was sacked, so what's the point?
"I'm not saying I'm not a Frank de Boer fan. I'm just saying that they have someone in charge in Tim Sherwood, with his assistants Les Ferdinand and Steffen Freund.
"If you think about the future why don't you keep those guys for next season? They are competent, committed and they know the club. Why take someone who has to build the entire club again and again?"
Sherwood sympathised with Townsend, telling Sky Sports News: "I don't expect people to be pleased to be left out but he gives everything in training to make himself better.
"This is a major setback for him - he 's going to have to wait another four years to play in a World Cup, that's a negative. But he has nothing to worry about.
"He will improve himself, he's single-minded and determined to get every single bit of ability out of himself to be the best he can.
"I've had him since he's been a baby and he's a credit to the academy. He's difficult at times - he's a character, not a soldier, who sometimes needs managing. Sometimes all the best players do."
On his own situation, Sherwood said: " I'm just carrying on as I'd normally do... I just get on with it.
"When clubs come out - and managers too - it's disappointing. Somewhere along the line someone is telling porkies.
"W e'll see where the discussions at the end of the season take us. It's a difficult time when there are outside distractions but I have to concentrate on the job in hand.
"My office is on the field. I think it's gone reasonably well for me in the Premier League but w e'll just have to wait and see."