Wilfried Zaha is already getting his name dragged through the mud

by Sam Peoples

Wilfried Zaha isn’t even a Manchester United player yet but the English press are already vilifying him.

Yesterday, the Daily Mail ran a piece ‘revealing’ that his older brother Herve was heavily involved in London gangs and used quotes from  2009, yes four years ago, to prove said involvement.

It should be noted that the Daily Mail has changed their article over the course of the day. They have tried to balance the piece out by taking out the screen-grab of his brother’s Bebo page in 2009, instead including a picture of him and his brother doing charity work last week, but the original purpose of the piece still resonates.

My mum and dad were giving me the advice. My dad knew how much I wanted it. I had strict parents from an early age. I had the earliest curfew ever. It was 6pm and 7pm… and I was 17. Wilfried Zaha

The English press will do anything to try and tarnish the name of any footballer won’t they? Especially if he is English.

The Daily Mail has even followed it up with another piece claiming that Zaha has to prove his worth after problems ‘on and off the field’.

What problems? The only controversy I have seen him involved in is giving the travelling Leeds fans the middle finger. Hardly the new Ravel Morrison is he?

As humans, we are not defined by our family but by who we are and by our own actions. Everyone will have something in their past but it is exactly that. They are bygones, forgotten issues of a different era that shouldn’t eclipse the present.

Look at Rio Ferdinand or Jermain Defoe. Both have grown up in tough environments but through hard work they have been able to use their talent to move onto a better and altogether happier environment.

Why should Zaha’s brothers actions be used as a weapon to try and tarnish the reputation of a young footballer who has come through the ranks of a club since the age of nine and, through hard work, finally earned his big break?

It’s disgusting. It sells papers. It is to be expected from the English press. If they can’t find any dirt on anyone, they will keep digging until they find something.

Zaha has coped fantastically well with the burning media spotlight on him since signing for United. His form may have dipped but his career is only just getting started and unfortunately, so has this sort of press.

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