Zaha wants to play for England not Ivory Coast, insists Hodgson

20:06 13 November 2012

England

England's Wilfried Zaha in training at the Friends Arena in Sweden tonight. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA wire

Roy Hodgson insists he only wants players who are 100 per cent committed to playing for England after selecting Wilfried Zaha in the squad for tomorrow evening’s friendly encounter with Sweden in Stockholm.

The Crystal Palace winger is also wanted to play for the Ivory Coast - the country of his birth - and inclusion for a non-competitive international will not affect his eligibility.

Zaha has assured Hodgson he wants to represent England but second thoughts or doubts from any player about taking up such an honour would in any case receive short shrift from the head coach.

Hodgson said: “It is very simple for me. England, for me, is very important. To be asked to play for England is a major honour and a major feather in people’s caps.

“I am not interested in people who are deciding whether England is where they want to be or whether they want to be somewhere else.

“I have a simple attitude towards it. When people are called up I expect them to come running, get on a bicycle and cycle to the training session if they have to.

“Then they shake hands with everyone and tell everyone how happy they are to be there.

“There is all this nonsense about players receiving phone calls and being enticed away.

“If they are going to be enticed away, they will be enticed away. But if they are being enticed away they are not the right player for us.”

As regards Zaha’s commitment, Hodgson said: “I spoke to him before he joined up. I explained to him we were interested in him, but only if he was interested in us.

“He assured me he was. He has played for England at Under-21 and Under-19s.

“It seems to me fairly obvious if you want to play for the Under-19s and Under-21s, and are very happy to accept a call-up to the first national team, then that is where you want to play.

“Perhaps I am too simple. He has told me that is what he wants to do.”

Hodgson admits Zaha was a transfer target during his spell as West Brom manager.

He said: “Wilfried has been chosen because I’ve watched him over the last couple of years.

“He was a transfer target for West Brom when I was manager there.

“We followed him and I know the type of player he is, the qualities that he brings and, when an opportunity arose with a gap in our squad, it was the obvious thing to ask him to come in.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crystal Palace news

West Ham United's Andy Carroll celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game from a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

We’ve picked out five fantastic bets ahead of a busy weekend of football both in the Premier League and the Football League where the race for the play-offs is hotting up.

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates with Hector Bellerin  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

What a long weekend of Premier League football coming up and our reporters have tried their best to predict the scorelines. Can Spurs win a league game at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1990?

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (left) and West Ham United's Dimitri Payet battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Spurs could miss out on top 4, West Ham could finish 3rd and Palace could still get relegated.

Lee Chung-yong of Crystal Palace makes a challenge on Wayne Rooney.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-Yong has vented his frustration over the lack of opportunities he has had at Selhurst Park this season, revealing he is eager to leave the club this summer.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) celebrates victory (Credit: Adam Davy)

Crystal Palace will continue to monitor Wilfried Zaha’s fitness in the hope he recovers from a leg injury in time for their visit to Newcastle.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport