Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha’s rapid rebirth puts Manchester United back in the dock

 

Neil Warnock spoke of Wilfried Zaha being swallowed up at Manchester United, but the rebirth, the reminder of what persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to spend £15m on a 20-year-old in January 2013, was so immediate as to pose more questions about what is going on at Old Trafford.

Zaha, who returned to Crystal Palace only on Thursday on a season-long loan, had 25 minutes on Saturday to suggest he might emerge from his United hell as a Premier League player.

That he could not have done much more – scoring a 95th-minute equaliser, having a goal ruled out for a marginal offside and nearly scoring another when his side led 2-1 – suggests he will rise again.

“It’s difficult for such a young lad at such a massive club where you can easily get swallowed up,” said Warnock. “Maybe at that top level they wonder if they can rely on him but he just needs to be given that bit of freedom, because I’ve heard one or two say his attitude is not so good, but for me it’s fantastic.

 

“He can look a little arrogant on the pitch, but if you look at him and what he does for a forward, he works so hard.

“During the week he wants to do more training. I don’t think he was given too much of a chance to do that up there because they’ve got so many players. Here, I think we can improve him.

“He’s got more than enough in his locker to score lots of goals. For the time he was on today he had two great efforts, one he put in and one I think should have counted. You can’t ask for much more than that and you’d never question his talent and I think there’s even more talent in this team than people think.”

READ MORE: Match report

Zaha had last been at St James’ Park on the final day of Newcastle’s home season in May. Then he was on loan at Cardiff and in 11 appearances he could not arrest his apparent decline.

It remains unlikely there is a future at United for a player who is still only 21, given the uncertainty at the club.

Warnock admitted no deal had been put in place for beyond this season.

Fraizer Campbell, another substitute to have an impact, said of Zaha: “He’s an unbelievable talent and I’ve seen enough of him to know what he can do with the ball at his feet. He’s come back to where he’s from and, hopefully, he can find his form again.”

Palace led early through the excellent Dwight Gayle. Daryl Janmaat equalised for Newcastle before Jason Puncheon restored the lead with a fine volley. A poor Newcastle were invigorated by the substitute Rolando Aarons, who scored their second and teed up Mike Williamson for what looked a winner. Then came Zaha.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy