Robin Van Persie – A Trick or Treat?

Posted on: Aug 18, 2012 in Premier League

We have been through the rumors with a fine comb, dissecting every bit of information and devouring news as if it were food from Gods. However, was the eventual outcome of this transfer saga predictable? Honestly, I cannot say for sure. With all the information flowing in and out of the transfer centres, I had somewhat expected this to happen. But the shock of it was enough to get me out of bed when the transfer alert came on my phone in the wee hours of the morning. The feeling was that as if someone had hard wired me into a system where the adrenaline rush was ample to keep me awake but I was devoid of feeling. Deprived of sleep and exhausted, I cannot think of anything better then to slice up this news some more.

History is being made with an agreement materializing between the two clubs for the first time (apologies for not including Silvestre as that seemed more of a pre consented hand out). The rivalry between the two managers has been nothing short of intense and if Wenger has agreed to let go of his talisman for a club which has been a constant thorn in his side, hints at a bit of desperation. Not for money though but I feel that Wenger has given up especially after seeing a bunch of his players reaching their prime and leaving for greener pastures.

I for one have a slightly pessimistic approach to Rob van Persie’s arrival at Manchester United. Some of the Old Trafford faithful might be ready to immerse me in holy water while others might set me up for an urgent appointment with doctors for the clinically insane. But I have my reasons. Most importantly, as I had pointed out in a number of discussions, I questioned the pairing and formation with RVP in the team. In my opinion, Rooney and Van Persie have a similar style of play. Both of them are clinical finishers and they tend to seek out advancing strikers in order to create a goal scoring opportunity (though Rooney is stronger on the charge). The advantage of pairing both of them together can be phenomenal as they can easily swap roles and attack from both wide out and central positions. One disadvantage of this entire set up can be the exclusion of a natural pacer up front. The other option could be playing Rooney on the flanks, but what do we do with our talented natural wingers? Rooney could be placed in the midfield, pairing him up with Kagawa or Scholes, however in all these scenarios we might lose Rooney’s goal scoring prowess and his instinctive attacking dominance over the other team’s defense. Plus teaming him up with a creative midfielder might just leave a gap open in the middle incase Rooney ventures out into the box often. Secondly I feel that Van Persie is someone who is more comfortable when the team formation plays around him. The reason for last year’s success mirrors this fact.

Arsenal were short of attacking options and with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both departing last summer, the responsibility fell on the Dutchman to take control in his own hands. He flourished under this idea because the midfield (whoever played from the lot), comprising of Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Gervinho, Alex Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Andrei Arshavin and Aaron Ramsey all revolved primarily around RVP. Unfortunately, he will not be able to get that kind of singular support at Manchester United. The other reason for him netting 35 goals in all campaigns (27 in the Premier League) is because he had an injury free season. That should be a major concern for the Red Devils as we really cannot afford a “Luis Saha” repeat especially if we are to compete with Chelsea and Manchester City. Plus this entire transfer seems very unlike Manchester United. This actually reminds me when Sir Alex Ferguson announced the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov. An ageing striker (nothing against RVP but I used this term only because us United fans are not used to seeing 29 year old individuals being brought in) brought in the team to diversify attacking options.

On a personal note, I think I am done with dissecting the RVP transfer for good. I have learned to blindly trust Sir Alex Ferguson’s decisions for the past 20 years of me supporting Manchester United. Whatever happens, as of this moment I find myself strangely excited by the prospect of RVP playing in United colors and cannot wait for the medical fitness reports and the personal agreements to be finalized. My only advice though would be purchasing an extra insurance cover for the injury costs.


About the author

Aman Sahibzada is a die-hard Manchester United supporter and a football enthusiast.


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