Blogs & Opinion


David Jones:

Most Popular Posts:

Roy Hodgson and FA must not let Wilfried Zaha slip through their fingers, says David Jones

David Jones - David Jones Posted 14th November 2012 view comments

In footballing circles he has long been a poorly kept secret beyond the confines of Selhurst Park.

A teenager blessed with god given skills that come along only once in a generation or, in the case of Crystal Palace, every couple of years!

And on Wednesday night in Sweden, Wilfried Zaha, born in Ivory Coast but brought up in south east London, could fulfil the prophecy of his employer by making his England debut having just turned 20.

Zaha: the England new-boy is being courted by Ivory Coast, the country of his birth

Zaha: the England new-boy is being courted by Ivory Coast, the country of his birth

Only last Thursday on The Footballers' Football Show, Steve Parish, co-owner of Crystal Palace, shared his frustrations at England's lack of urgency in making sure Zaha did not go the same way as Victor Moses, another Palace prodigy.

Chelsea's Moses is now a committed Nigerian international having turned his back on England after appearing through the age groups from 16 through to 21.

It was in London that Zaha honed his natural talent and Hodgson must convince the Palace flyer that England is his footballing home.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

Parish warned the FA that famous footballing figures from the Ivory Coast, and you might be able to think of one who played his football in West London until very recently, have been making very loud and direct overtures to Zaha.

His suggestion was unless the FA acted swiftly, Zaha's sublime talents would slip through their grasp as those of Moses did before him.

But I suspect even Parish might have been surprised by the speed of young Wilfried's elevation from the under-21 squad.

So the story goes, he went from celebrating his birthday with family and friends to being whisked off to join the England squad in a matter of hours, and with very little notice.

Of course, this being a friendly international, Zaha still has the option of representing the country of his birth, a country to which he has never returned having left Africa aged four.

It was on the streets and parks of London that Zaha honed his natural talent and this week Roy Hodgson must use this opportunity to convince the Palace flyer that with England he has indeed found his footballing home.

Don't miss The Footballers' Football Show, 10pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 2 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League: 10 questions

We look at the big talking points ahead of a key weekend in the Premier League.

Hart signs new City contract

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Redknapp: Reds need big win

Liverpool can get back in the top-four race with a win over Arsenal, says Jamie Redknapp.

Van Gaal chasing perfection

Louis van Gaal will continue to demand more from Manchester United despite Sir Alex Ferguson telling him: 'It's results that count'.

Wenger: How I signed Sanchez

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

With another huge weekend of Premier League football ahead of us, we ponder 10 questions that will be answered by Monday evening...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.