An FA Cup Final week brings with it all sorts of stories, features and interviews, but if you read one thing in the build-up to Saturday’s game, make it the article attached below.
Wilfried Zaha has now been back amongst his friends and family at Selhurst Park for close to two years, time enough for him to put a dark and deeply frustration spell on the books of this weekend’s opponents Manchester United firmly behind him. It’s not been an easy road back into the spotlight for the precocious winger, but having seen life on the other side of the fence, he’s as happy in South London as he’s ever been.
The above article, written by The Telegraph’s Jonathan Liew, completely destroys the widely held assumptions that have long existed across the media in relation to Zaha’s life away from the football pitch, rightfully painting the Palace academy graduate in the positive light that his true character richly deserves.
This isn’t a player profile designed to enhance an individual’s reputation for added status or monetary gain, it is instead a long overdue instance of honest reporting in relation to one of the game’s most opinion-splitting men. Gone are the easily drawn stereotypes that have defined Zaha’s image from the moment he first stepped foot in Manchester, replaced, as if by magic, with a totally opposite and far more accurate depiction of a personality who has nothing but good intentions at his core.
The above article would be worthy of your time based solely on the reasons given above, but Liew’s observations really soar when discussing the struggles Zaha endured during his time at Old Trafford, followed by the sense of closure and fulfillment that was generated upon his return to the familiar setting of Selhurst Park.
With insight from supporters, Alan Pardew and most extensively, Wilfried’s former manager at Palace Dougie Freedman, the reader is given a whistle-stop tour of Zaha’s footballing adolescence, acting as a giant window into the countless bonds which have made Crystal Palace the perfect environment for the outrageously talented wide man to reach his full potential.
This site caters exclusively for Crystal Palace fans, but I would advise each and every person with even the slightest interest in football to read the above feature on Wilfried Zaha; it is a truly beautiful piece of writing from beginning to end.