Alan Pardew has given a surprisingly harsh assessment of Connor Wickham’s current chances of playing for England after being asked for his views on the striker by the press.
Following a question which was almost certainly prompted by Roy Hodgson’s admission that Manchester United’s teenage striker Marcus Rashford could grab a place on the plane to Euro 2016, Pardew was quick to inform the press that the Palace frontman is still a long way off being ready to play for his country, needing first to nail down a place as Palace’s regular first choice striker over an entire season.
Whilst it’s clear that Pardew sees Wickham as a striker with huge potential, he has perhaps been a little over the top in his criticism of him in the interview above, given the fact that the big man has scored four goals in our last two matches. Perhaps he’s attempting to light a fire under him in a bid to see him kick on between now and the end of the season, but from afar, it looks like quite a high risk strategy towards man management from the Palace boss.
Who knows, perhaps being compared unfavourably with Andy Carroll is just what Connor needs to improve his goalscoring tally in years to come, but it’s fair to say that I was taken aback by the brashness of Pardew’s words when he was simply being given an opportunity to praise one of his own players after a decent run of form in front of goal.
Let’s hope that the boss knows what he’s doing when it comes to motivating the former Sunderland man. With only one league goal between the rest of the strikers on our books this season, Connor looks to be our only hope.