Kilbane’s MOTD Comments About Wilfried Zaha Were Simply Outrageous

5 Posted by - April 22, 2018 - News

Saturday evening’s Match of the Day may not have been a bumper edition of the show but former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane certainly did his best to boost its viewing figures amongst Palace fans, after unleashing a dangerously inflammatory and utterly unfair tirade against Eagles winger Wilfried Zaha.

Whilst our game against Watford is unlikely to go down in history as a classic top flight encounter, the academy graduate was thrust into the limelight once more after being incorrectly booked for diving by referee Chris Kavanagh.

With Christian Benteke once again left on the bench by Roy Hodgson, we saw Zaha instigating the majority of attacks for Palace throughout the afternoon, leading plenty of Watford’s players and fans to target the 25-year-old for abuse that was quite simply unwarranted.

The opening 45 minutes saw Zaha tumble after having his shirt clearly pulled inside the penalty area, prompting the already booked Abdoulaye Doucoure to sprint 30 yards to shove Wilf, before mimicking a “diving” motion towards the referee and receive no further punishment, much to the surprise of his teammates who quickly pulled him away.

Zaha was the centre of attention twice more shortly after the interval, initially being spoken to by Kavanagh after making an honest attempt to get a toe on the ball as it raced towards Watford stopper Orestis Karnezis, before being cautioned for the aforementioned incident which, the vast majority of pundits have since admitted was in fact a penalty.

Keeping all of that in mind, Kilbane’s conduct on what is the BBC’s flagship football show really should be called into question, with the “analysis” he offered veering way too far into the realms of personal slights rather than an impartial take on the incidents in question.

When speaking about the first-half fall, he lambasted the Palace man for shoving Doucoure, completely ignoring the fact that the Watford midfielder had travelled upwards of 30 yards to get in his face, despite his previous caution. Discussing the toe that Wilf caught Karnezis with, Kilbane suggested that it was a “debatable red” despite no one else feeling that way and Match of the Day’s own commentator saying that Wilf had every right to go for the ball. On a foul which saw Adrian Mariappa booked on the edge of Watford’s penalty area, Kilbane ciriticised Zaha for “falling into the box” despite it being his obvious direction of travel prior to the blatant foul.

All of this came about following a yellow card that the Palace man was wrongly given over an incident which could and probably would have resulted in Luka Milivojevic tucking away the spot kick and giving us an absolutely massive three points in the battle against relegation.

The saddest part of this, is that no neutral will remember the mistake Kavanagh made yesterday by the time next week’s fixtures take place. They will however, fall back on the fact that Zaha has been booked more often than anyone else for “diving” this season. Is it fair? No. Is it likely to stop? No. Is there anything we can do to open people’s eyes? Obviously not.

I could probably rant on for another 1,000 words about this, it’s been a bugbear of mine for years already but clearly, there is no way to stop the likes of Kevin Kilbane from hopping aboard the bandwagon of idiocy that surrounds the Palace star.

HLTCO has no adverts, we cannot survive without your help.


  • Robert Lycett April 22, 2018 - 8:08 am Reply

    Why doesn’t the strong and athletic Zaha try and stay on his feet a little more often?
    Sanchez will lower his centre of gravity and use his strength to shrug off challenges; Winifred looks as strong, must be quicker and have similar core stability as Sanchez, even though he’s taller.
    I just feel that he’s after what he can get, referee decision-wise, rather than pursuing what he can do (with his talent is an awful lot).
    Is there a deep belief that his efforts are best served by aiming to get the ball placed on the penalty spot rather than try to score more of those spectacular goals.
    Reputations are formed fairly and unfairly… I don’t think Zaha is any more of a cheat than any other professional…but if you keep ‘crying wolf’ who’s going to listen?

  • P.broomhead April 22, 2018 - 8:16 am Reply

    What did Kilbane achieve in football at least Hanson won medals.why not mention how many players prey on Saha,and who got most fouls given against him yes it’s Saha.
    As an ex pro he more than some of our referees know how this lad is the target of some rough treatment,and knows that he did not get similar because he was not as good a player as wilf.
    Three Huddersfield players booked all for fouling Saha in the recent encounter and in the first game of the season he was kicked off the park and put out the game for weeks.
    Dive is a joke he is to God for most opposition as is kicked in order to stop him.

    • Yourspellingisshite April 22, 2018 - 5:21 pm Reply

      wilf is taller and quicker which makes it easier to go over compared. To smaller slower players centre of gravity etc and his strength as a winger I may add not a striker is going round more people then sanchez ::: attempts he is officially the most tackled player in the division , quite basic really, if he’s such a cheat why haven’t the fa banned him yet , cry wolf I don’t see putting to bed a witch hunt by naive ex players and refs making a name for themselves I think hltco is quite within his rights and I’m very glad he’s doing it, it’s actually disgusting some of the crap written about him , Kevin Kilbane making a name to get on tv more

  • Chris April 22, 2018 - 9:40 am Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly how I saw it. I am admittedly 100% biased but I don’t expect this kind of analysis to be broadcast. Fair play to Watford as I think they psyched the ref into his decisions and why not. All’s fair etc etc. But refs and pundits are paid to be above it. There is a general conversation being propogated by the media around Wilf being a diver because villains are good news for sales. Again I accept that as part of how media rolls but not for refs and pundits. And incidentally, while I’m at it, if you trip Wilf because he leaves a leg behind or has outwitted you and he goes down because he is running at pace or, God forbid, beacuse he is trying to win his team a penalty by choosing not to stay on his feet, I have an answer to all PL defenders. Don’t trip him because that is a penalty.

  • Sally Bruce April 22, 2018 - 10:39 am Reply

    I agree totally, with both of you. It’s hard to explain to non Palace fans who think that we’re all blind but watching Wilf week in, week out, it’s so obvious. He really is just too good for the opposition who have no alternative but to hack him down. I’d love to know exactly how many points we have lost this season through wrong decisions – they say that it all evens out in the end but I’m pretty sure that we’re well down on the deal.

  • Barry broughton April 22, 2018 - 11:22 am Reply

    The problem is players are taking in turns not only to double up with hard tackles but are trying to wind him up verbally , the treatment he got against Huddersfield first game of the season was the start . All the skillfull players are getting the same treatment they need protection not yellow cards.wilf zaha is one of the most entertaining and exciting players to watch , he’s a local lad the fans favourite , other clubs supporters all talk about him .

  • Mike Leuty April 22, 2018 - 6:31 pm Reply

    Great read …referees seem to be blind to the rules of the game whether it be Wilf or another player with good dribbling skills and unfortunately these daft pundits just propogate fouling when defenses can’t deal with players like Wilf. Wilf Zaha has unique dribling skills like George Best and during his day the only way defenses could deal with him was to foul him – unfortunately nothing has changed! I’m astonished that the holding, pulling, shoving and shirt holding, is ignored – whatever happened to shoulder to shoulder challenges? The quality of referering now is appaling and the odds are stacked against Wilf – as quite rightly we chant at Palace – “ He’s ttoo good for you” – and the sooner referees recognise this the better it will be all round for the game and not just gor Wilf!

  • richard down April 23, 2018 - 1:32 pm Reply

    Happily he now seems to have eaten a little humble pie on Motd 2. We can hope maybe now that other than in Watford, or Brighton this canard about Wilf will start to die. I find it amazing that Watfords pros bought into their fans myth so readily. When I saw the hypocrite Doucore, yes the same one who deliberately scored with the palm of his hand against Southampton, on tv; bounding up the pitch like that, I thought , poor little chap, he’s missing his rocking horse

  • Exile in Sweden April 23, 2018 - 6:02 pm Reply

    Wilf Zaha is a top player and a truly exciting talent. As some here have said he needs protection and he simply won’t get it from officials like those in charge at Watford this weekend. Too many so called elite referees want to court controversy by looking for any opportunity to make that populist decision which vindicates the majority view, even when it is so clearly wrong. Zaha tries to use his skills to win football matches not to con people. Shame on those inside and outside the game who can’t see or appreciate that.

  • Leave a reply