Paul Parker

Sorry Palace, but Zaha is ready for United

Paul Parker

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Wilfried Zaha was the star of the show as Crystal Palace won promotion back to the Premier League and Ian Holloway has already said he hopes to bring the Manchester United bound youngster back to the club on loan.

However, if I was David Moyes I would not be allowing him to go anywhere. I think the lad himself wants to go to Old Trafford and he has shown the right attitude throughout the season after the deal was confirmed in January.

We have seen other players disappear while waiting for a big move; they don't want to get injured, thinking they are better than the rest, but Zaha has shown 100 per cent commitment to Palace with his manner, his desire and his performance.

Now is the right time for him to go though, it is a childhood dream for a player to join the best team in the country and be around all those great players.

Even if he is not going to play straight away from the start, at least let him get there to train with the squad and allow him to try and make his mark.

If he was to go back to Palace, and maybe get injured, it could set him back.

I can understand Holloway's attitude, he has to think about Palace, but Zaha deserves the opportunity to go to United and play with the type of players he has been dreaming about.

From what I've seen of him he is ready for the move too. He's got pace and he's got tricks but he also works hard and his biggest strength seems to be his attitude.

To me he looks like he could become a better version of Antonio Valencia because he has a few extra tricks which allows him to skip past players.

We've hyped the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott but to me Zaha can surpass them. He has learned his trade in a lower division and achieved something already. I believe in that type of path, I did it myself, and I think he's had a better upbringing than those two. He hasn’t been at a top club, he's had to work hard, he's not had the servant treatment and I think the boy has a great chance to shine at United.

Going back to Palace's promotion though and it is always nice to see somebody like them – a founder member of the Premier League – return to the division after such a long absence.

With all teams that go up though you worry about whether they can stay there. This last season has shown that throwing money at trying to stay up (like QPR) or using mainly the players that got you up from the Championship (like Reading) cannot guarantee you anything.

I watched the game against Watford and you could see there was a big difference in class from even the poorer teams in the Premier League.

The one thing both sides struggled to do was to keep the ball, so Palace need to go out and get some good experienced players to help all those young players they have to coming through.

Even from my time as a player, Palace were always good at finding young talent, but when you get promoted the hardest job is getting that right mix between youth and experience – along with having a manager who you know is not going to get the sack.

I feel West Ham were the type of club that got the balance right last season. They benefitted greatly from having an experienced manager in Sam Allardyce who knew the right recipe for establishing yourself in the Premier League.

When you look at the three clubs who went up this season I think most people would say Cardiff are the most likely to stay up because they have money, and also an experienced player like Craig Bellamy who can make things happen at the top level. Hull have an experienced manager but have been a bit too reliant on loanees, while Palace lean too heavily on young talent.

For me, Palace don't just need experienced players, but British players who have played in the Premier League before.

We have seen in the past that when it matters at the bottom of the table you really need to dig in and grit your teeth. We saw with Newcastle United that things were fine with their French players when they were playing well but when results started to turn, they didn't know how to deal with it.

It is very difficult to find the right type of British player though because they cost more than the foreign players and it is hard to attract stars who are willing to take on a relegation battle too.

Looking at Holloway, he wouldn't be the type of manager that I would like to have played for to be perfectly honest, but that's taking nothing against him. He was a neat and tidy player at QPR in his day, who arrived a couple of seasons after I had left the club, and he has something about him as a manager.

He is great at getting teams into the Premier League and then competing once they get there. What he needs to work on now is becoming a manager that keeps teams in the league, he can certainly talk the talk, but in this league, we all know, talk is cheap.

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