Over the last few years, Palace fans the world over have consistently complained about the rough treatment Wilfried Zaha receives from defenders on a week to week basis, prompting eye rolls from rival supporters. Luckily, one particularly peeved Twitter user has taken the time the time in the video attached below, to systematically break down the manner in which Huddersfield targeted the winger last weekend.
Whilst the videos have drawn one or two protestations from Huddersfield fans in the hours since they were first put online last night, it’s worth saying that Devin Mendenhall (the man responsible for the compilations) was not singling them out for criticism but instead, highlighting that the trend of routinely kicking Wilfried Zaha is something which is now firmly ingrained in the collective game-plans of every one of our opponents.
Some will inevitably argue that Wilf’s style is one which sees him voluntarily put his body in between the ball and an opponent and whilst that is partly true, I refuse to believe that any truly neutral viewer can look upon the evidence provided in the link above and state that Zaha was fairly treated by referee Jon Moss last Saturday.
Now out of action for a month as a consequence of his battle with David Wagner’s Premier League new boys, Palace’s immediate chances of getting points on the board look to have taken a battering but if nothing else, I hope that the footage provided above (and any future montages) go some way towards altering the perception most referees seem to have towards Wilf.
His reputation as a “diver” has always been unfair but now we appear to have entered a new era entirely, where opposition players can freely hack the academy graduate with little to no fear of disciplinary action being taken against them, regardless of the official in charge. Thanks to the power of Twitter, I sincerely hope that this becomes a regular feature (once Wilf returns from his spell on the sidelines of course).