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

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

It’s not just your wardrobe you need to change up when autumn hits. Your make-up routine needs updating too.

Read more

X Factor boss Simon Cowell cringes with embarrassment after his shirt bursts apart, accidentally flashing his chest.

Read more

We give our verdicts on the outfits that graced the red carpet.

Read more

Match Reports

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more

Crystal Palace Transfer

Friday, September 5, 2014
Thibaut Courtois. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

The transfer window slammed shut on Monday night but it has been a busy week in the London 24 office.

Read more
Lukas Podolski
Friday, September 5, 2014
Zeki Fryers of Tottenham  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace supporters will have rejoiced with the news that the south London club finally signed a left-back. However, celebrations will have been muted with the arrival of little-known Tottenham defender Ezekiel Fryers.

Read more
Europa League
Thursday, September 4, 2014
James McArthur (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

Scotland midfielder James McArthur is looking to put a stressful period behind him as he focuses on the clash with world champions Germany.

Read more
Premier League
Thursday, September 4, 2014
West Ham's Diego Poyet, Tottenham's Kyle Naughton and Arsenal's Francis Coquelin. Pictures: Getty Images

The transfer window has slammed shut and Premier League clubs have finalised their 25-man squads for the season.

Read more
Harry Redknapp