Wilfried Zaha’s reputation as a “diver” is something he just can’t seem to shake off but as the video attached below proves, he is being kicked more and more by opposition players who simply have no other way of stopping him.
Whilst the early years of the winger’s career may have involved the occasional loss of composure on his part, recent seasons have seen the Ivory Coast international use the aggression defenders inflict upon him as a motivational tool, relishing the rough treatment that comes his way by embarrassing them with a moment of individual skill.
Thanks in no small part to the influence of both Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce, Wilfried has learnt to take the fouls made on him as a compliment, proving without the need for words, that his covering markers have no idea what else to do when told to stop him from finding a route to goal.
We talk time and again about the need for referees to give the wide man more protection from week to week and if this pre-season is a sign of things to come, Zaha’s going to need all the help he can get from the officials during the 2017/18 Premier League season.
Frank de Boer has already spoken at length about the obvious victimisation of his star man during his first few games in the dugout but as he will soon learn, protestations relating to the unfair treatment of Wilfried Zaha always seem to fall of deaf ears once they reach the string pullers within the English game’s governing body.
The Dutchman will undoubtedly have been prepped over the rough tactics used from match to match on Wilf but with the season set to get underway in just a few days time, you can be sure that de Boer will be losing his temper in post-match interviews on more than one occasion between now and May.
People will inevitably continue to refer to Zaha as a “diver” but as the above footage proves, it couldn’t be further from the truth.