QUOTES: Zaha Forced To Reiterate That England Ignored Him For Four Years

0 Posted by - June 5, 2018 - News

With the World Cup now fewer than 10 days away, a fair number of neutral fans have been asking why more wasn’t done to ensure that Wilfried Zaha’s international status as an England player, leaving the man himself with no option but to reiterate the fact that the Three Lions completely ignored him for four years.

Now 25, the Palace academy graduate has taken the plunge and is happy to represent the Ivory Coast but he is quite rightly quick to point out that he gave the England set-up more than enough time to involve him in their plans before finally giving in and saying “yes” to the country of his birth.

Having represented England at U-21 level, Wilfried had high hopes for his future with the full side but lies springing from his turbulent spell on the books of Manchester United seemed to stop any hopes he had of stepping up into the first-team dead in their tracks. For years he waited, performing superbly at Palace from week to week without so much as a phone-call from anyone within the England set-up before finally biting the bullet and giving in to the Ivory Coast’s frequent advances.

Looking back now, it’s a decision Zaha doesn’t regret in the slightest, with the constant struggle for international recognition having been replaced by a sense of comfort and appreciation in his abilities but for those with a vested interest in England’s success, it no doubt feels like a case of not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone. You’d have to be a fool not to recognise the difference Wilfried could make to the current England squad given his pace, skill and ability to frighten defenders but for a multitude of increasingly baffling reasons, he was never shown even the slightest bit of interest when the time was right.

It comes to something when a player who was told he “lacked the passion” to play for England has to remind everyone that he waited a full four years for a sign of England’s intent before deciding to switch allegiances but unfortunately, that’s the bubble we now live inside when it comes to the coverage of the national team.

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2 Comments

  • Rhys Jones June 5, 2018 - 6:40 am Reply

    Whilst I am a passionate England & Palace fan, part of me is glad Wilf went with the Ivory Coast. Yes, he’d shine for England NOW but I just dont believe he would have been allowed to develop into the player he is now had he been part of the England set up over the last 3 years. Just look at the stuff Sterling has to put up with. The media would have crushed Wilf and I think all that extra pressure would have stopped him playing with the freedom he now displays. He’s needed time and space to make mistakes and learn his game and develop into the man he now is. He gets enough bad press as it is but imagine how all those Ex England pundits would have scrutinised every failed cross or missed shot? And the thing is, Wilf does care, so that would have just weighed him down. I’m glad he’s been set free of all that and allowed to flourish.

  • Pete Burch June 5, 2018 - 2:16 pm Reply

    Rhys’s analysis is probably very close to the truth. :’-(

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