Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDon't judge Wilf too quickly - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Don't judge Wilf too quickly - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Don’t judge Wilf too quickly

Well that was a bit of an anti-climax wasn’t it!

I know the match was on last week and we’d all rather forget about it but there are one or two points I think need addressing.

The first is Wilfried Zaha. Many people seem to have already made up their mind about the Crystal Palace winger after his short-lived cameo against Sweden.

Zaha came on in the last few minutes of the game for Raheem Sterling and was tasked with providing England with some much needed directness, to take the game by the scruff of the neck and run at Sweden.

The stage was set. With England trailing in the dying minutes of the game we hoped the precocious youngster could replicate some of the magic he has been showcasing Selhurst Park with all season.

Like his brilliant 80 yard run against Peterborough in which he provided the assist for the winning goal, or the superb bit of skill earlier in the season against Wolves where he beat 2 defenders before slotting home.

This however was different, and nothing really happened.

Zaha showed a couple of good touches and managed to beat the Swedish left back before delivering a tame cross along the floor which was just a little bit too far behind the on rushing England striker.

Now before we chastise Zaha too harshly it is well worth remembering that, much to the dismay of many Palace fans, he was only given a run-out. Not exactly the sort of platform to produce your best ever performance from.

Yet already some journalist and fans have already started hurling abuse at Zaha for not living up to his billing. A cursory glance at the back pages the day before the game would have suggested that Zaha was the best player who has ever lived, like the lovechild of Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In this country we have a tradition of exaggerating the talents of even our most moderately talented youngsters and Zaha was no different.

Whilst he is an exceptional young footballer the sorts of claims made before the game meant that he would have struggled to live up to expectation no matter how well he played.

The dearth of top quality young talent in this country means we raise our hopes so high when a half decent teenager comes along; “Saviour of English football” and “The Future” are two phrases and potential wonder kid can expect to have pinned on his chest.

It is unfair but that just seems to be the way it is in this country. Zaha won’t care however.

Hopefully he can build on this introductory performance, take the experience of training with the first team and use it as inspiration for the future.

Zaha’s got a long way to go, but hopefully with a few more minutes under his belt for club and country the boy from the Ivory Coast can become a star.

Palace fans don’t sing “He’s just too good for you” for nothing.

Robert Lock