Southgate Wrong to Question Wilfried Zaha’s Commitment to the National Team
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has questioned Gareth Southgate’s methods after the England manager publicly criticised the winger’s commitment for the national team.
The former Manchester United player recently chose the opportunity to play for Ivory Coast, despite having represented England at various levels, in what is seen as a move to get regular international football. As one of the best players with the Ivory Coast national team, Zaha is guaranteed a starting role every time the national team plays. Southgate, though, said that the winger lacked passion when it comes to play for the national team. Zaha has criticised the statement claiming that it was his personal right to represent Ivory Coast.
Despite having appeared for various levels of the England youth teams and, of course, for the England national team in a couple of friendly games, Zaha has been obliged to play for the country where he was born. Zaha represented the England under 21 team in 13 games.
Even though his ability to make an impact was questioned after a failed to spell at Manchester United, he has come on leaps and bounds over the last 12 months. Especially after the arrival of Sam Allardyce, Zaha has been brilliant. This is yet to rumours about a £ 25 million move to Tottenham in the summer.
“It was Wilfried’s personal choice and it was his right as a senior player to accept the opportunity to represent his nation of birth and that of his family heritage. His ‘desire’ or ‘passion’ should never have been publicly questioned for making that decision. Wilfried is very proud of his family and very proud to represent the Ivory Coast, most recently demonstrated by his performance against Russia. Wilfried made his decision to play for the Ivory Coast prior to Mr Southgate being appointed interim and subsequently permanent England manager,” said Zaha’s representative, Will Salthouse.