Southgate rues letting Zaha slip away | Kwesé

Southgate rues letting Zaha slip away

Southgate rues letting Zaha slip away

13:00 SAST | 28 Mar 2017

 

England manager Gareth Southgate regrets seeing Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha banging in goals for the Côte d’Ivoire.

The Abidjan-born winger grew up in the UK and represented the Three Lions at youth level, but has since switched allegiance to Les Éléphants due to a lack of call-ups by the English.

After Zaha scored for the Côte d’Ivoire in the recent friendly win over Russia, Palace chairman Steve Parish questioned why England let the 24-year-old leave in the first place.

“I know Steve’s an intelligent guy who’s done a great job for that football club,” Southgate said, but insists that the blame is not on him.

“I wouldn’t comment on his decisions and we’re both in important roles. But [Parish] is passionate about his football, his players.

“But I go back to that it was a very small timescale for me to pick [Zaha]. I didn’t really appreciate there was this disappearing egg timer on him going to the Ivory Coast, and of course I was interim manager at the point.

“I didn’t want to pick him just because there was a chance that might happen, but the first opportunity I had as permanent manager I did go and speak to [Parish].

 

“Wilfried was the first player I went and saw when I got the job permanently, but he’d already made his mind up to go across to the Ivory Coast.

“In the end I have to focus on players who are desperate to play for England. For me, it’s different to a club. If you feel that internal 100 percent passion for playing for England, then I’m not sure it’s for me to sell that to you. I think it should be your desire to do it.”

For the world’s best movies, series, kids shows, live sport and more, subscribe to Kwesé TV now in Ghana, Zambia or Rwanda. To live- stream our free channel offering, download Kwesé App or register on the website.

More Sport

Kwesé Sports brings you the WNBA Finals

Action all the way on Kwesé Sports this Weekend

Interview with Ndamukong Suh of the Miami Dolphins