Hodgson backing for Zaha

England boss Roy Hodgson has predicted a bright future for Wilfried Zaha.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 07:46 Post Comment

Wilfried Zaha: Praised by Roy Hodgson

Wilfried Zaha: Praised by Roy Hodgson

England boss Roy Hodgson has predicted a bright future for Wilfried Zaha.

It has been quite a season already for the Crystal Palace winger.

Handed his first full cap by Hodgson during the November friendly in Sweden, Zaha then became what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing for Manchester United prior to his retirement.

By loaning Zaha back to Palace immediately, Ferguson ensured his development continued, leading to a place in Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad for this summer's European Championships in Israel.

And on Monday Zaha will feature in the biggest game of his life as Palace take on Watford in a £120million scrap for the final place in next season's Barclays Premier League.

So, whilst Hodgson accepts Zaha must take the opportunities ahead of him if he is to fulfil his promise, he feels the signs are encouraging.

"I like Wilfried Zaha," said Hodgson. "I think he is a good player.

"I went to Palace not so long back to have a look at him and of course he has a massive move to Manchester United.

"It seems to me he is on the threshold of something big."

Whilst life at United is not quite the same following Ferguson's departure, and David Moyes will find himself under far more pressure to deliver results in even the lowest priority competitions, Hodgson is confident the Old Trafford philosophy of giving chances to younger players will remain.

"He will be given the opportunity," said Hodgson.

"When a club like Manchester United is prepared to pay a lot of money for a player because they will help them to win things it is a tremendous boost to both confidence and ego.

"As coaches we can't do any more. After you have lit the touchpaper, all we can do is retire and hope they buzz."

Having committed to letting Zaha get some tournament experience with Pearce, Hodgson knows it is how the 20-year-old adapts to life at Old Trafford that will determine his immediate England prospects.

Others have something to prove over the next week as England take on the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday before their quick trip to Brazil for Sunday's showpiece friendly in the famous Maracana Stadium.

With Steven Gerrard, Ashley Young, Jack Wilshere and Chris Smalling missing from the squad Hodgson announced last week, Andy Carroll pulling out and doubts remaining over Tom Cleverley due to a calf problem, it is not entirely the squad Hodgson would have wanted for fixtures that might be deemed an unnecessary addition to the season by some.

It is an argument he simply does not agree with.

"I can never stop emphasising how important playing for England should be," he said.

"If we are not careful we will lose sight of the fact that whilst the Premier League is fantastic and the Champions League and Europa League are big competitions too, international football is something apart.

"It only takes the World Cups and European Championships to come around to realise how vitally important people regard their national team.

"It brings people together. You should never debase the chance to play for England.

"Even if you are lucky enough to get one game it should be something that will keep you going in your football life and give you photographs and stories to tell your grandchildren."

With Rio Ferdinand and John Terry now retired, Hodgson will be looking for Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones and Joleon Lescott to provide the central defensive lead next week, which will feature a welcome reunion with old friend Giovanni Trapattoni.

"Giovanni is a good friend and has been for many years," said Hodgson.

"He is one of the world's outstanding coaches.

"The game that stands out in my meetings with him was in the European Cup when my Malmo team knocked Inter Milan out.

"Overall I am in credit in our meetings but that doesn't mean much.

"I am not a great believer that wins in the past can get you wins in the future."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan fans.

Europa League: Everton open Group H campaign with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property