Wilfried Zaha impresses Brian Eastick
England Under-21s coach Brian Eastick heaped praise on Wilfried Zaha after his man-of-the-match performance against Romania.
The 20-year-old scored his first goal for the Young Lions in some style this evening, curling home after ghosting past a number of defenders.Zaha's goal kicked off a 3-0 win against an admittedly poor Romanian side, who struggled to cope with the attacker at Wycombe's Adams Park.
The Crystal Palace man's strike was complemented by efforts from substitutes Jack Robinson and Nathan Delfouneso in Buckinghamshire, although there was only one star of the show. Eastick, speaking instead of manager Stuart Pearce, said of Zaha: "He is a very talented player and everybody knows that."
He continued: "Obviously playing up front again tonight like he did against Sweden has given us another option. I thought the front three players and Jonjo Shelvey playing in behind them were very fluent. Even though Romania had 10 or 11 players behind the ball, we caused them quite a few problems."
Zaha is spending the rest of the season in the Championship with Palace, before linking up with Manchester United in the summer.
Predominantly used as a winger, he was deployed as a lone frontman tonight and put in a far more assured performance in the role than against Sweden last month.
"He plays wide for Crystal Palace and it is slightly different role we are asking him to do," Eastick said. "Obviously in terms of international football, you need that flexibility. We don't want to be too mechanic, too robotic when we have possession of the ball.
"Having someone like Wilfried helps as he can play wide and he showed tonight can be really effective in those forward areas. I thought Jonjo Shelvey's performance tonight was really outstanding.
"I though when Wilfried came short into those pockets of space, Jonjo picked his timing of the runs really well and the movement from those two players was excellent.
"And of course the wide players were excellent as well so it has certainly given Stuart some options for Monday and also for the finals."
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