By 90Min
October 28, 2018

Wilfried Zaha has been chastised by Alan McInally for his early-season claims that he should be given greater protection by Premier League referees. 

Having been on the end of some strong challenges thus far this season, Crystal Palace's Zaha came out earlier this campaign to suggest that he does not receive enough protection from Premier League officials.

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As Palace's star player, Roy Hodgson will likely have supported Zaha's comments and hoped that it would have had the desired effect on referees.

However, Sky Sports' Alan McInally was having none of it as he strongly criticised the Ivorian international's claims, while speaking over the weekend.

As reported by the Sportsman, he said: "Unbelievable! His manager should have come out and said 'I'll have a word with him. I cannot believe he has come out and said, 'I need protection, I'm getting kicked because I'm such a good player'.

"To say he's getting targeted, I'm like 'forget it'. Even half of the Palace fans must be thinking 'seriously, just play, just go and doing what you're really good at which is being an influence on our team, don't be a cry baby.'

The Scotsman believes that Zaha needs to take example from Lionel Messi, who is constantly targeted by opposition players. 

He said: "If you were the manager of any team and you're playing Barcelona, would you target Messi? I don't once remember him giving it - 'I need protecting'. Do me a favour. Seriously, do me a favour."

Zaha's decision to publicly demand more protection was a bold one and could easily have backfired. By making his irritation known about the matter, he could well have invited more strong challenges upon himself. 

Nigel Roddis/GettyImages

Hodgson will be hoping that Zaha can avoid any sort of injuries this season as the Ivorian represents Crystal Palace's best chance of staying up again this season. The Eagles have struggled to find the net this season and Zaha provides a welcomed attacking threat.

Hodgson's side next face Middlesbrough in the League Cup with the hope of reaching the quarter-final stage of the competition. However, based off of Palace's start to this season, their main priority should perhaps be to remain in the Premier League.

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Eagle (-2)
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