Whilst Crystal Palace were falling to a miserable defeat against West Ham yesterday, the club’s star player Wilfried Zaha was doing an initiation dance with his new Ivory Coast teammates ahead of their opening African Cup of Nations game tomorrow.
The winger’s initiation into the Elephants’ set-up comes after the Palace academy man decided to give up hope of his talents ever being recognised fully by England’s hierarchy who have continually ignored his obvious talent in favour of other far less explosive options on either flank. Whilst some neutrals have lambasted Wilf for returning to the country of his birth, most Palace fans have rightly told any disgruntled onlookers to aim their frustrations in the direction of the FA instead.
Thankfully for both Zaha and the Ivory Coast, the wide man has taken to international football like a duck to water, grabbing an assist within five minutes of entering the game on his debut against Sweden and scoring in his first start for the country in a friendly against Uganda towards the end of last week.
Both he and his teammates will be hoping that he can have a similar impact when they get their Group C fixtures underway at 4pm tomorrow against Togo; a tie which will represent Zaha’s first ever taste of competitive football at international level, having only ever played in friendlies during his ill-fated start to life with the Three Lions.
Wilfried’s always been known as a lad with talented feet but this latest example shows that he’s just as confident without a ball too. Clearly, he’s loving his time with the Elephants, no doubt relieved to have a little time away from the seemingly endless misery that Crystal Palace FC have been trudging through of late.
We’ll keep you updated with his performances once the tournament gets underway but for now, his dance moves will have to tide you over.