We always talk about players having ‘something to prove’ against their former clubs and they regularly give the performances of their lives against previous employers.
In truth, if the same motivation ran through every 90 minutes they played, many wouldn’t have to move on in the first place.
But, in the case of Wilfried Zaha, we have some sympathy for the lad in terms of his Manchester United career.
David Moyes clearly didn’t fancy him and Zaha got precious little opportunity to impress at Manchester United before he was shipped out on loan to Cardiff and Crystal Palace. In fact, he only played twice in his two, highly frustrating years at the club.
So motivation should be no problem for Zaha when he faces his old team on Saturday. His loan spell back at Palace proved fruitful and made the move permanent this season. He’s troubling defences again and, with Manchester United once more rocking, Zaha will hope to twist the knife in with a potentially critical victory for The Eagles.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew said of Zaha, in his weekly press conference:
“It was a period in his career that didn’t work out and that happens. He wasn’t perhaps quite ready. We hope he can grow here and make an impact tomorrow.
“He’s a player that needs to have his confidence reinforced. He some times gets the final decision wrong, but even Ryan Giggs was like that.
FINAL WORD: Zaha was never going to be the star player at Manchester United. But he was never afforded a realistic opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the first team. He certainly has the capacity to make Manchester United pay for selling him this weekend.
Manchester United fans: Did the club sell Zaha too soon?