Ian Holloway questions Wilfred Zaha call up

Holloway questions Zaha call up
© PA Photos
Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway questions Roy Hodgson's decision to bring Wilfried Zaha on as a late sub in England's 4-2 defeat to Sweden.

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has questioned Roy Hodgson's decision to bring Wilfried Zaha on at the end of England's 4-2 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday.

Zaha, who is also eligible to play for Ivory Coast, came on with just minutes of the game left to play, while England's other subs were on for significantly longer.

Holloway was left scratching his head at Hodgson's decision, hinting that he thought it could have been a tactic to pressure the youngster into pledging his international allegiance to the Three Lions.

"I would like to know the motive behind Roy Hodgson's decision to hand Wilfried Zaha his England debut during the week. Was it because the England manager wanted to see how my Crystal Palace striker would handle international football just a few days after his 20th birthday?" Holloway wrote in the Sunday Mirror.

"If so, why the hell did he give him just four minutes of action in Sweden in a friendly that had already slipped away from his team? Every other substitute got 20 minutes. And that worries me. I've got a horrible feeling that the reason Wilfried was given a first Three Lions cap because it was a way to pressurise a young lad into committing himself to England rather than the country of his birth.

"Wilfried was born in the Ivory Coast and moved to live in London as a four-year-old. Not surprisingly, after seeing how well he has been playing for Palace this season, Ivory Coast are also on his case with the African Nations coming up in the New Year. I really don't know which country Wilfried wants to play for. But I desperately hope that handing him a few minutes in Stockholm on Wednesday night was done for all the right reasons and not to press gang the lad into choosing England."

Zaha, 20, has been in fine form for Palace so far this season, scoring four goals in 18 appearances to help the Eagles to the top of the Championship.

Wilfried Zaha
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