Crystal Palace chief makes captaincy revelation over Wilfried Zaha

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Wilfried Zaha will not take on the Crystal Palace captaincy on a permanent basis.

The Ivorian attacker was made skipper for last weekend’s 3-1 victory at Manchester United.

Luka Milivojevic, who has usually led the Eagles, only came on in the closing stages of the fixture.

Gary Cahill would be another contender to captain Palace but is sidelined with an injury.

Asked about Zaha’s extra responsibility, Hodgson said: “He’d taken the captain’s armband at Southampton at some stage because some of the players who have done it when Luka Milivojevic wasn’t available aren’t around.

“He wasn’t the only choice. There were others I was happy to give it to also. But I just thought he had started the season very well, he was very good in the pre-season games – we were going to Manchester United, who rejected him many years ago. That will still hurt a little bit.

“It occurred to me it would be a nice gesture to offer him – if he felt he wanted to take on the responsibility – to captain the team on that occasion.

“I think he’s fully aware that when the senior captains return they will get the armband back. But all the time he’s prepared to take on that responsibility at the moment then I’m happy with that.

“I don’t want to put it solely down to getting the captain’s armband that his performances have shot up. He was very good in pre-season, he was excellent against Southampton and he was excellent again on Saturday.

“I’m pretty certain that whether he has the armband on or not, we’re going to see some very good performances from Wilf Zaha going forward.

“He’s a very interesting and strong character. I’m not prepared to go into leadership qualities here. Often a captain is chosen by their longevity at the club, in relation to who is available at the time.

“I think people are reading too much into it. I hear people giving me praise for giving him the armband, but it’s praise I don’t deserve.”


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