There has been plenty of talk about Wilfried Zaha in the past year or so, a promising young forward who could beat a man, hold the ball up, and could finish. Such attributes which are possessed by a man that hasn’t even reached the age of 21 and carried out to a high standard can be something of a rarity.
In Manchester United’s previous two games, the onus has been on them to go and get a goal, against Chelsea because they were the home side, against Liverpool was because they could’ve done with starting the season without losing to one of the fiercest rivals.
Zaha had an impressive pre-season on his first tour with Manchester United and managed to get himself in amongst the goals. Fans were excited, he looked confident, in some eyes he was ready to be considered for a starting place.
However Moyes is aware of rushing a young man who has had a hand in getting a side promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, straight into the starting line-up for the Champions of England, or being shown as if he is a solution to the problem by trying to find a goal – though from the bench, Sir Alex Ferguson was no stranger to chucking a youngster on and coming up with the goods in a big game.
Yet he has already received his England bow, so he has already been exposed to a great degree of pressure, and Roy Hodgson seems keen to select him for future internationals.
Maybe it isn’t in David Moyes’ make-up to be aggressive and chuck youngsters into the action in such a big game. Understandable given that at Zaha’s age he is still developing and the United manager would rather opt for the more experienced Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia amongst his 18 man squad.
But United wouldn’t have made the big for Zaha if they didn’t think he was ready for the step-up, should Moyes have given him the opportunity in these games to become a hero? Or is he right to hold him back? A difficult one, but you can understand both sides of the argument.