Wilfried Zaha grabs rare opportunity to impress new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

The Dutchman has bluntly stated that he only sees the player as a striker and not as the winger he was known to be at Crystal Palace

Washington DC

It didn't need much imagination to know how David Moyes felt about Wilfried Zaha fuelling baseless stories about an assignation between himself and the manager's daughter by publishing an oblique tweet about them last season. Zaha's excursion onto social media contributed to the impression that it was his attitude, more than his football, which led Moyes to limit him to one Manchester United start before farming him out to Cardiff City on loan.

Zaha's demeanour when he speaks after an emphatic contribution to Manchester United's penalty shoot-out victory over Internazionale on Tuesday night suggests an intelligence and some powers of introspection and self-analysis, though: qualities that are imperative in any Louis van Gaal player. He does not criticise Moyes for not playing him. “There was so much pressure on him so I can't really blame him. I could have got a better chance but coming to United brings a load of pressure,” he says. But he defends himself emphatically against suggestions that he had an attitude problem. “To be honest, if you are not the managers cup of tea you can't do anything about it. There was nothing I could do about it. It was definitely not my attitude. The manager had his way of playing and maybe I just didn't suit it.”

Read more: Hummels, Vermaelen and Blind on United radar
Hernandez set to leave

He looks as far away as ever from making it as a Manchester United player, with manager Van Gaal having bluntly stated that he only sees him as a striker and not as the winger he was known to be at Crystal Palace.  “I don't know [if I've got the ability to play there],” he says, having demonstrated against Inter that he does.“If the manager wants me to play there it would help me to discover what I can do there. I don't think I have ever played there before but I enjoyed it there [against Inter]. I am used to being a winger but if a manager wants me to adapt to a new position than I will have to and I don't mind. To be honest, it's not as much running as being a winger so I will take it! I don't know what people say but I just need to keep it simple. I have tried to over-elaborate and then I lose the ball and that doesn't help anyone.”

 

Read more: Fellaini and Kagawa set to leave
Ronaldo set for Manchester United reunion

But his contribution against Inter, just as in the solitary game Moyes gave him against Norwich City in last season's Carling Cup, revealed that he does seize his brief chances. Zaha will not die wondering what van Gaal thought of him, either. “Yeah, he will tell you exactly how he wants it,” he says. “He won't beat about the bush or not tell you anything. He will just tell you and that helps you instead of isolating you or just not telling you. He will let you know exactly where you are and what you are doing wrong.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London