If Wilfried Zaha is worth £100m then football has finally gone mad

By Ian Hart

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:52 am
Wilfried Zaha milks the applause from the Crystal Palace fans after his leveller against Brighton and Hove Albion at Selhurst Park on Monday night

VAR does it again?

Martin Montoya tripped in the Palace penalty area on 21 minutes, a stone wall penalty, goes to VAR, and the stadium waits, and waits.

At this point and clearly a theory that goes out of the window almost immediately, I’m sitting in the stand at Selhurst thinking the longer it goes on the more chance there is the Albion will get the decision.

Misplaced optimism? Clearly, although even the most hardened Palace fan feared the Albion would be given the opportunity to go one up on ‘Derby Night’, but it was not to be.

That said whilst the Palace first half performance was woeful, in fact you could say 75 minutes, the Albion have only themselves to blame for only coming back from South London with a solitary point.

Graham Potter’s men will rue several missed opportunities in an otherwise impressive first half showing, maybe it was a mistake not to start Glenn Murray as a number of the those crosses that ended up finding no one in the first half were tailor made for his style of play.

When the Albion did eventually take the lead through Neil Maupay early in the second half, a second goal by the visitors looked the only likely outcome. Then the game turned, as it has a habit of doing, on one moment.

I made an 11-year career/hobby on the back of a phone in, I still think they are the ultimate knee jerk reaction forum, and even with social media, I firmly believe there will always be a place for them in British Football.

It’s all about opinions, but listening to the Palace fans on Talk Sport, I wondered what they were actually serving in the bars at Selhurst? Wlifried Zaha, is a good player, but is he a great player?

He did nothing for 75 minutes on Tuesday night, other than hitting the floor every time an Albion player went near him, to the point that if ITV ever come calling for Dancing On Ice he’d make Gemma Collins look like Jane Torvill.

Yes he scored, and gained his side an arguably undeserved point, but to hear the Palace faithful on the wireless, I felt the Messiah had arrived nine days early.

Is he worth £100 million?

I’d certainly like to shake the hand of any chairman who paid that, before they put him back in the straight jacket. If he’s worth that, football truly has gone mad, he’s the classic big fish in a small pond at Palace.

BUT...If Palace would accept Andone, Locadia and Balogun in exchange, maybe just maybe, I could remember the likes of Neil Smillie and Simon Rodger and accept Zaha in a Brighton shirt. Provided he stays on his feet that is!

As this is last column before 2020, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers and very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

Football over the holiday is always that little bit extra special, none more so than this year when Worthing take Horsham on at Woodside Road on Boxing Day, as the arguably the two best non league clubs in Sussex lock horns at the top of the Isthmian Premier League.

So if you’re not going to Spurs to watch the Albion or just fancy some fresh air get down to Woodside for the 11am kick off.