Has Wilfred Zaha got the right attitude to succeed in the Premier League?

by Graham Fisher

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The young Crystal Palace star has been called up for the England squad to face Sweden. Since then Zaha has been talking to the press about his ambitions both domestically and internationally in the game.

Confidence is an important quality in a good player and something that the 20 year old has in abundance. He recently told the press there are only two players he looks up to; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Zaha is thought to be too big for his boots according to some fans who have commented on skysports.com’s recent interview with the youngster where he went on to explain how the Championship is not a challenge for him anymore.

This could be perceived as disrespectful to his peers in this division but self belief in what you do is important if you want to be successful. A good example is the boxer, David Haye who over the years has always talked up his abilities and gone into competitions with no self doubt that he will win. Obviously, boxing is a promotional sport whereas in football it is best to conceal this attitude but undoubtedly the best ooze with confidence even if they don’t make a song and dance about it. Though, many do when the ball hits the back of the net of course.

In respects to this comparison it is fantastic that the Eagles starlet has this type of confidence but expressing it too much gives the press every opportunity to paint a bad a portrait of one of the best up and coming English players at this moment in time.

Last season Zaha experienced one of the biggest games of his career so far when the South Londoner’s came up against Manchester United. This was a game that he dazzled in as Palace went on to beat the Red devils.

Those around the youngster have backed him with the same confidence he has in himself. George Burley who was manager when he was 17 years old compared him to Diego Maradona and George Best because of his balance and skill. His new manager Ian Holloway described his ability with the ball as mesmeric. Being a player who learned a lot of his footballing talent on the streets, Zaha has a sixth sense that allows him beat players almost instinctively.

Whenever a talented player emerges from a smaller club’s youth system these days there is always a worry that they will get courted by a bigger club at a very early stage in their development as a first team player. Theo Walcott at Arsenal is a perfect example. The Gunners star is still learning the game at 23 years old and has been involved in first team action since 16.

The Eagles starlet has recently spoken to the press about the issue of player development referring to the career of John Bostock who was playing regularly for Palace at the age of 16 before leaving for Tottenham. Bostock has now faded into obscurity having not achieved anywhere near the heights that his young career seemed destined for.

Zaha has played over 100 games for Palace and seems to know how to go about achieving the success he wants and is simply using the confidence as a vehicle for getting there.

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  • Matt

    I don’t think too many Palace fans will say he is getting too big for his boots – he has confidence but he’s not arrogant and is very honest and hard-working. There always seems to be an ends to a means, he doesn’t tend to do his tricks just for the sake of it to showboat its just the way he plays.

    If you read his comments fully you see that he’s just being honest and doesn’t sound as if he’s bragging. Dougie Freedman would not have accepted that and with the set up at Palace I think he will have very quickly had any sign of this taught out of him

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    i cant say I know much him. All I can can find is some terrible Youtube videos of him celebrating goals but not actually scoring many. Quite a lot of Palace fans are saying he’s over hyped. Is this because they know he’s Premier League bound?

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