I was crushed when Alex Ferguson retired, claims Wilfried Zaha
CAPE TOWN – Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has revealed he was crushed when Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager of Manchester United.
Zaha was Ferguson’s last signing as United boss, and there was a lot of hype surrounding the then 19-year-old England youth international. But, before he joined the club, Ferguson shocked the football world by announcing his retirement from football after they clinched the 2012/13 Premier League title.
With Ferguson gone, Zaha found life at United difficult with game time hard to come by during the ill fated 2013/14 season which saw David Moyes sacked after just eight months on the job.
After two frustrating seasons at Old Trafford and one on loan at Cardiff City, Zaha returned to Selhurt Park and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand about his two years at Old Trafford, Zaha said: “It crushed me a little bit because it was like, after speaking to him, it was a no-brainer that I wantred to go there. I had no idea he was leaving.
“He didn’t tell me exactly how he wanted me to play. He just told me straightforward stuff like ‘obviously you know you’re going to have to fight for your position you’re not going to play all the time, ther’s a lot of youngsters in the team so you’ll be able to go in with the likes of Welbeck and Cleverley,’” said Zaha.
“And I was like, ‘that is more than fine. All I want is my opportunity to show what I can do.’ It was a straightforward conversation.”
With Moyes at the helm folloring Ferguson’s retirement, Zaha barely got a look in during his time at United. However, he has no regrets.
“There’s never regrets Rio. I met so many amazing players that I watched from when I was young. You were there, Giggsy was there, Rooney was there, Van Persie was there. So many players I’ve managed to learn from so it’s never regrets.
“I’m sitting in the same changing room as the players I’ve seen win titles after titles after titles that what I want in my career and it’s like I’m really here with this lot. It’s different when you watch them first hand.”