Ex-Liverpool star: Manchester United winger not a team player

Former England goalkeeper David James criticised on-loan Cardiff City winger Wilfried Zaha on his team ethic during the pre-match build-up to the England and Wales U21 match

When the England U21 side was announced on Wednesday night and Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha was left out, there was a sense of shock.

The 21-year-old had been playing relatively well for Cardiff and was recently backed by Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to play a big part in their fight to survival.

Despite all the sense of shock over his exclusion from the starting XI, there was one man in the ground who seemed unfazed.

Speaking on behalf of BT Sport before the game, former England goalkeeper David James explained his thoughts on the Zaha situation and his reasoning to why the starlet was on the bench.

When asked if he was surprised by the decision to leave him out, he said: 'No I'm not, because he is an exciting player but he isn't fitting into the philosophy of England which is a team player.

'One of the criticisms which has always been is that he wants to do things that make him look good. Having said that, he came on for his debut at Cardiff and the first thing he did was lay someone on.'

And it wasn't just David James laying the criticism on the England winger alone, as Steve McManaman also questioned the substance to his hype, remarking: 'He hasn't done it since his big money move to United and when the pressure was really on.' 

A comment which I believe to be slightly unfair, as the change in manager at United clearly didn't help his cause.

The possibility of Zaha making the England squad for Brazil looks slim to none at this current moment in time.  But if he really wants to give himself a chance in the summer then he needs to work hard on keeping Cardiff in the Premier League, showing the grit, determination and 'philosophy' England desire.

image: © Jon Candy

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