Saturday’s game between Watford and Crystal Palace saw Wilfried Zaha coming under heavy scrutiny through no fault of his own, prompting the Palace man to make an appearance alongside Ben Shepard and Chris Kamara on Goals On Sunday yesterday morning.
WATCH: Wilfried Zaha on yesterday's incident at Watford, where he was booked for simulation.
Should he have got the penalty?
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Anyone who has watched the Eagles regularly over the last few years will know that the academy graduate has become something of a pantomime villain for the Hornets’ faithful, drawing howls of derision and boos with his every touch. The roots of their hatred towards him appears to stem from a stonewall penalty he won for us in the 2013 play-off final but in truth, the passion with which they choose to jeer him some five years later just leaves them looking a tad pathetic.
From the first minute of Saturday’s clash the home fans were on the winger’s case, eventually provoking referee Chris Kavanagh into incorrectly cautioning Zaha for a “dive” when in truth, he should have pointed to the spot for a Palace penalty. In the immediate aftermath pundits everywhere showed sympathy for the wide-man but with plenty of “neutrals” deciding to pile in on his disciplinary record without taking the time to view the incident for themselves, Wilfried’s decision to expand of the game live on Sky Sports yesterday felt like a necessary step.
For reasons unbeknown to me, casual observers across the country have developed a deep, irrational hatred of the Palace man; a fact which is made all the more baffling when you consider how well he comes across whenever he’s interviewed face-to-face. I defy anyone to watch the above clip and disagree with a word Zaha says. It’s easy to write someone off when you allow the media to dictate your stance on them but in just a few moments, Wilf puts to bed any talk of him trying to con officials into giving penalties.
It’s been bugging me from the moment Chris Kavanagh pulled out his yellow card but rather than banging on for days, I’ll let the man at the centre of the discussion speak for himself.