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Manchester United's Zaha, Le Tissier says, has the same tendencies as a young Ryan Giggs
With the managerial merry-go-round in full effect this summer, one of the more relevant topics of discussion has been just which of the Premier League’s big guns will fare best from their changes in leadership.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton have all appointed new bosses in the last few weeks. Asked whether Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement would make the title race more exciting, Le Tissier responded: “Will it be more exciting? Do you mean Manchester United might not win it, is that what you mean?”
The former Southampton star continues: “I think it’ll be closer, yeah I do. I think purely by having Sir Alex as manager, through tactical awareness and the awareness he has of several bodies around football, I think that will cost United a few points and they’ll be a few points short of what they got this year just by not having him as manager.
“And I think City and Chelsea will both improve. Whether or not the two North London clubs will get closer, I’m not sure, but certainly City and Chelsea will run United a lot closer in the title race,” Le Tissier adds.
And what about [Wilfried] Zaha? He’s obviously gone to Manchester United for quite a sum of money, do you think he’ll succeed there?
“I think he’ll take a bit of time to settle there, he’s still a little rough around the edges. A lot of the times I’ve watched him, he does some good tricks but then his final ball is also a little bit wayward,” the pundit said.
It’s what Le Tissier mentions next that piques interest, however, likening the Crystal Palace product to a name that will remain notorious in Manchester United folklore for decades to come, saying:
“I was in an era watching Ryan Giggs grow up, and for the first few years of Ryan’s career, his final ball was a little bit dodgy. Now just look what he’s done. So, he’s got loads of ability and he’ll get better [Zaha], but it may take a little bit of time.”
Do you think it’s better that he go out on loan rather than stick around at Old Trafford?
Le Tissier: “It is a difficult one. What is he, 20? I think he’s had enough games to not go out on loan, I think he should be old enough to try and make an impression there and not go out on loan, to be honest.”
Just whether or not Zaha will prove to be as successful as one of the best players in the Red Devils’ history will be answered in time, but the youngster has now been handed the target by someone most certainly in the know.
There’s a notion that the Premier League is on a downward slope while divisions such as the Bundesliga would be a prime example of one on the rise. Do you buy into that vein of thinking?
“Not really. I know two German sides reached the Champions League final but I don’t think you need to get carried away by it. If they did that three or four seasons in a row, then possibly we might say “Okay, that’s pretty decent.” But if you look at the Bundesliga this season, Bayern Munich won it with about eight games to go! Borussia Dortmund, even, were well behind in the league, so, is it that competitive if there’s that much of a gap between first and second? What happened to the rest of the teams? How far behind were they?” Le Tissier asks.
“I’m not sure if you took the bottom six teams in the Bundesliga and played them against the bottom six teams from the Premier League, I fancy the English sides.”
So, even though the elite German clubs might be better than their English counterparts right now, the average is still close?
“On the whole, as a division, I don’t think it’s as competitive as the Premier League, I don’t think you get the same kind of shock results going on as you do in the PL. You know, any week in the Premier League, you can get a team at the top of the league going to play the team second from bottom and you can’t guarantee the top sides will win every time. Every season, you see clubs in the relegation zone beating teams in the Champions League places, every season you see that in the Premier League.”