Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha must shoulder some blame for Ian Holloway's departure from Crystal Palace.

The former Eagles boss left Selhurst Park 'by mutual consent' on Wednesday, following discussions with the club's chairman Steve Parish, to bring a disappointing end to what had been an encouraging spell in south east London.

With just three points from their opening eight Premier League games in 2013/14 - thanks to a solitary home victory over rock-bottom Sunderland - there's no denying that Palace have endured a difficult start to life back in England's top-flight.

However, the decision to sever ties with Holloway has left a sour taste in the mouths of football fans not even affiliated with the newly-promoted side. The question is, where did it all go wrong?

Many have pointed to the sudden influx of players; no fewer than 16 new faces were brought in by Holloway during the summer, leading to a complete overhaul of the squad that successfully won promotion via the play-offs last season.

The 50-year-old admitted himself that he had lost the backing from members of his first-team, after alienating some factions, and disintegrating the spirit and camaraderie built in the previous campaign.

Palace's failure to bring in a replacement for injured striker Glenn Murray has had an impact, even if club-record signing Dwight Gayle has shown promise, with brief flashes of brilliance at places like Old Trafford and Anfield amongst others.

However, the biggest void that hasn't come close to being filled, is the one left by Manchester United bound Zaha in the summer. The England U21 international agreed a £15million move to the Premier League champions back in January, before returning to Palace on loan to help them in their bid for promotion in 2012/13.

It's even more baffling then, why the club didn't take the time to identify a viable replacement for the 20-year-old, who had given so much during his time at Selhurst Park.

Even more frustrating, is the fact that Zaha is yet to feature for Manchester United in the Premier League, with David Moyes restricting him to just one appearance in the Community Shield victory over Wigan Athletic in August, despite his impressive showing for the club in pre-season.

There's a case to argue that Zaha would have been better off staying at Crystal Palace for the 2013/14 campaign. He would certainly have been given more Premier League playing time, and when you consider the impact he made in games last season, would have more than likely improved Palace's paltry points tally this term.

It's disappointing that players still push for big-money moves, too early in their respective careers, rather than continuing to work on their trade and hone their skills, at the club that first afforded them a chance in the first-team.

Palace and Holloway would have been much better off with the wing wizard still in the Selhurst Park side, and judging by his continuing lack of action at Old Trafford this season, so too would Zaha.

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Wilfried Zaha
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