Crystal Palace star responds to public Alan Pardew criticism

Wilfried Zaha has responded to suggestions that he is not enjoying football.

Speaking to London24, Zaha has addressed the criticism aimed at him from Alan Pardew, who believes he is not smiling enough when playing.

Speaking to the same outlet last week, the 53-year-old coach expressed his belief that the young winger was still struggling to overcome his disappointing 18 months with Manchester United. Having failed to make any impact at Old Trafford, the 22-year-old completed his permanent return to Selhurst Park in January, and Pardew said that he was showing signs of being damaged when making mistakes.

“I don’t see him smile enough,” he said. “He takes everything like a massive disappointment, that is a player who has been damaged.”

Having improved in the last few weeks with Palace, since completing the permanent transfer, Zaha appears to be enjoying his football more and more. He scored the winning goal at the weekend as the Eagles defeated Stoke City 2-1, and maybe Pardew going public with his criticism meant that there was a real response from the youngster.

The performance in the victory over Stoke showed his ability again, and he appears to be rediscovering the form that had United spend highly on him when only a Championship player. A pacy and tricky winger, Zaha showed off his talent with a self confidence that was seemingly destroyed during his time with United, and it now appears that he is finding it again with his boyhood club.

Showing some of his playful side again, Zaha’s form has improved, and he has addressed the need to smile that Pardew requested of him.

He told London24: “When it is time to be serious I’m serious. When it is time to play around I will play around. I will smile when I need to.

“I’m buzzing I got a goal again.”

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch