These Quotes From Southgate On Wilfried Zaha Are Genuinely Pathetic

3 Posted by - March 28, 2017 - Daily Thoughts, News

Following on from Wilfried Zaha’s eye-catching winner in the Ivory Coast’s victory over Russia last week, England boss Gareth Southgate has spoken at length about his failed attempt to persuade the Palace winger to stay faithful to the Three Lions. 

This fantastic piece in The Guardian has extensive (bitchy) quotes from Southgate over Zaha’s snub of England. 

Despite making his full international bow in an England shirt against Sweden in 2012 under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, Wilf retained the right to opt for a competitive career with the Ivory Coast after the event; an opportunity he finally decided to take advantage of towards the back end of 2016 after a period of prolonged deliberation with his direct family and loved ones. On a personal level, it’s a choice which appears to have done the wide man the world of good, bringing about the best run of form he’s possibly ever enjoyed as a professional but as you can always expect when it comes to the FA, there have been one or two low blows thrown our way as a direct consequence of his success. 

Having been rightly pressed for a comment on the reasons for Zaha’s eventual switch to the Ivory Coast instead of the country he passionately represented at U21 level, Southgate has opted for a petty response, rather than simply wishing him well. 

Aiming digs at both Zaha and Palace chairman Steve Parish, the England gaffer has seemingly seen no personal mileage in remaining cordial and has instead decided to place the blame elsewhere, albeit in a manner which cannot be easily described as combative, just catty. 

It was almost certainly the lack of enthusiasm on show from Southgate and indeed Roy Hodgson towards Zaha which made his decision so simple when push came to shove. On one side of the fence were a country who were desperate to build a team around him, on the other was a nation who routinely looked down their nose at him for no apparent reason. After four years of hanging on, I don’t personally see how any logical football fan can lambast the lad for switching his alleigenaces to the country of his birth. 

The above quotes from Southgate smack of nothing more than sour grapes, having realised far too late that he and other managers before him had dropped the ball by not embracing Zaha and all that he brings to a side.

In truth, you only need to look at the justifiable tantrum Ross Barkley has thrown over his continued exclusion from the England side to see that Wilf is better off out of that set-up for the rest of his days. 

Forgive me for rattling on a bit but this subject is one I feel incredibly strongly about. The backside-covering, insular approach of this country’s football association is squarely to blame for Wilfried Zaha’s international switch and the above quotes from Gareth Southgate are nothing more than a pathetic attempt to shift the gaze away from FA headquarteres and onto our club’s front door. 

I’m not suprised, I’m just keen to ensure that the people in charge of our national game don’t get away with spinning the story in a manner which suits them, regardless of the facts at hand. 

They had their chance with Wilf and they blew it in very deliberate fashion, now they should be forced to live with the consequences, without resorting to snide digs in the press. 

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  • Kevin March 28, 2017 - 7:32 am Reply

    I’ll be honest this is pretty poor journalism, from a usually very respectable source – couldn’t read half of this article and I’m questioning if it was even revised? It feels rushed and I’m hoping that this isn’t a reflection of how this site’s content will continue to be published

    • admin March 28, 2017 - 7:44 am Reply

      I’m intrigued and concerned as to what made you think that Kevin. Please feel free to drop me an email at if you want to give me any further feedback regarding the piece.

    • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh March 28, 2017 - 10:16 am Reply

      The Guardian article linked doesn’t even have a space between some of it’s words. That is a professional newspaper, this is fan run blog. I think the standard is very good.

      • admin March 28, 2017 - 5:31 pm Reply

        Perhaps Kevin was referring to the Guardian rather than me; I hope so anyway.

  • Clive March 28, 2017 - 7:38 am Reply

    Worth asking big Sam why he didn’t pick him either and with the benefit of hindsight would he gave done so now having worked with him.

    • admin March 28, 2017 - 7:46 am Reply

      Indeed it is, Clive. I noticed that Big Sam described Wilf as a “genius” the other day. I highly doubt he felt the same when sitting in the big chair. The England set-up’s blindness to Zaha’s talent is infuriating.

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh March 28, 2017 - 10:23 am Reply

    I do not blame Wilf at all.
    1. England chose to ignore him and pick much worse players
    2. He was born in Ivory Coast, his family are from their but moved to England very young. He is the definition of dual nationality
    3. England don’t play a style of football suited to Zaha. His smile on your face showmanship is well suited to an African teams style of play
    4. Why would you want to play for England, the FA, team, fans and history all stink. Ivory Coast will probably do as well as England at the next World Cup and he has a chance of winning Afcon.

    Funny how all the people who said Wilf was too inconsistent and not good enough are now calling him Judas for playing for Ivory Coast. If you can’t see a lad’s talent and nurture it then why should you reap the reward of the full player?

    He may be play for Ivory Coast but he was made in South London. That is fine by me.

    • admin March 28, 2017 - 5:31 pm Reply

      Nail on the head JFB. I can’t remember ever disagreeing with a word you’ve said.

  • Wiltshire Eagle March 28, 2017 - 6:36 pm Reply

    I believe Wilf is better off out of England. Even if Southgate had picked him, the usual England fear of failure and negativity would have stifled his talent. In the Ivory Coast team, judging by the weekend’s performance, he will have the freedom to express his skills and he won’t have the press on his back all the time. It’s England’s loss but the right decision by Wilf, and certainly not an ‘easy option’. I also think Gareth is showing some early promise as England coach – and it’s good to see an ex Palace player in that position -but his comments about Wilf were unnecessary and ill-advised.

    • admin March 29, 2017 - 10:42 am Reply

      Agree with all of that Wiltshere Eagle, it’s definitely a better move for Wilf.

      Sorry it took so long for me to reply, I look forward to chatting to you more.

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