Gareth Southgate has named the latest England squad ahead of next week’s international break with one Palace man getting a call-up whilst another bafflingly misses out.
Having left Newcastle over the summer in the hope of fighting his way back into the spotlight with England, Andros Townsend will be elated to have been selected by the temporary England gaffer but for Wilfried Zaha, the announcement will have come as a kick in the teeth after a run of fine form in red and blue.
Whilst those of a Palace persuasion will rightly be feeling pleased for Townsend on a personal level, the omission of Zaha raises genuine questions over what more the winger needs to do in a bid to prove that he is worthy of a place in the Three Lions’ squad four years after being given his first chance to impress by Roy Hodgson against Sweden.
As ever, criticism of Zaha’s game could be heard from pundits across a plethora of media outlets in the opening weeks of the Premier League season; but of late, the 23-year-old has silenced each and every one of them with a string of mature performances on the flank which have brought with them an impressive four assists to boot.
Plenty had felt that Southgate’s presence in the crowd at Turf Moor on Saturday, where Zaha was once again in imperious form, could well of led to a morale-boosting call-up for the Eagles’ academy graduate but sadly for both him and us, it wasn’t to be.
There is talk of a potential loophole being exploited, allowing Zaha to opt for an international career with the Ivory Coast despite already playing a full international in England colours but at the moment, there is nothing more than a whisper to suggest that it’s even an option he’s genuinely considering.
You can be sure that representatives from the Ivory Coast would jump at the chance to bring Wilfried into the fold were it proven to be a feasible move; particularly after the run of form he’s enjoyed in the opening stages of the current league season.
England could well regret their recent apathy towards him in years to come, after all, there’s nothing Zaha thrives on more than proving those who doubt him wrong.