Robin van Persie has been confirmed as United’s first superstar arrival since Dimitar Berbatov. Our editorial team give their reaction to the signing:
Until this deal was confirmed I was never fully convince it would happen. Now it has it raises more questions than answers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Adding a world class player to your side is always a reason to celebrate.
There are a number of potential positives. Firstly the burden on Rooney to be our main source of goals is reduced. This increases our opportunities to rest or drop Rooney when his all around game falls short. I’m always concerned when a player is deemed irreplaceable despite form and the arrival of RvP will hopefully galvanise Rooney to put the effort in to improve and maintain his performance levels (this was certainly the case in the Ronaldo/Tevez era). In addition the fact that on the pod we couldn’t reach a consensus on how he would be used means that, in the light of Kagawa’s arrival – we are genuinely unpredictable in terms of personnel and tactical shape. This was rarely the case last season. Finally, the timing of this addition is vital for re-energising a jaded, divided fan base. Arguably for the first time since last season’s denouement it feels like we’ve regained our swagger.
There are potential risks with the transfer. The age and injury record of the Dutchman have been covered at length. In addition the injection of an established superstar into a dressing room packed with egos is always a risk – although there is no finer manager than Ferguson at ensuring unity amongst big names. A further concern going forward is the impact on our young strikers – Hernandez would hope to push on after a difficult second season and Welbeck will aim to build on the momentum of his own breakthrough season. A look at our fixture list (particularly after European fixtures) indicate there should be enough games to go around but it would be a real shame if their development was stalled in pursuit of short term glory. Perhaps the biggest concern about this transfer is that the money could have been more wisely invested on a quality midfielder (such as van Persie’s wantaway now former team-mate) given our shortcomings in that area last season. Only time will tell if this is a Ferguson master-stroke or one luxury too far.
I am in my mid 30’s and I have to admit that I have been very giddy today. It has been a long, long time since I have been this excited about a Manchester United signing. What a statement of intent from Ferguson. The fires still burn deep inside him and last year’s last minute failure hurt him and this is his response to the league.
I have always admired Van Persie as a player. With a wand for a left foot and an intelligent mind, he has impressed ever since he signed for Arsenal. But I hated him as a man as he appeared arrogant and aloof and being one of our rivals best players always made me fear his presence on the team sheet. The main thing now is that he becomes “our” arrogant superstar and has the added bonus of having a touch of nastiness about him too which we can lack at times.
Off the pitch, van Persie is coolness personified. He came across wonderfully well in today’s press conference. The main thing I liked was that he just “gets” what it means to be a United player. He was beaming from the minute he learned the deal was done and could barely hide his deep admiration of the club and its principles.
On the pitch, he gives United a new dimension. For the first time since the departure of Ronaldo, opponents will take to the pitch fearing our firepower. In the mid to late 1990’s, teams took to the field often simply happy to keep the scoreline vaguely respectable. To return to this level of intimidation is beyond exciting. How Ferguson fits everyone in is another question altogether and one I do not envy the great man. On paper, Rooney, RvP, Welbeck, Hernandez, Valencia, Nani, Cleverley, Scholes etc look a formidable force but how do you mould them into a cohesive unit? One thing is for sure, we will not be short on goals or excitement! The return of Vidic will be key as if we can keep it tight at the back then with that mouth watering attacking lineup, we are almost assured goals.
In a preview of the season, I longed for a return to exciting football played with verve and exuberance that has been the hallmark of United down the years. I have a feeling that I will not be disappointed. Strap yourself in, it promises to be one hell of a ride.
Have yourself a good look at this picture. Look at it. Grasp it. Feel it. Remember when your art teacher used to ask you; “when you look at this picture, what do you see?”, obviously wanting you to pinpoint your emotions and feelings when watching it. I do. When I look at this photo I see shock. I see an element of surreality. I see the unexpected. I also see promise and progression. I see hopes and dreams, I see a man of goals and his smile that gleams. I see something I never thought I’d ever see, I see Manchester United’s RvP.
“Manchester United have announced the signing of Robin van Persie.” I think none of us really expected it. Amid the rumours and the expectations we all made. Juventus would come in, City would manhandle us financially. “Van Persie prefers United to the rest”. Just like Samir Nasri did, just like Lucas Moura did, just like Eden Hazard did. You can read all the stats and numbers in the world and you would still know nothing about what Robin van Persie brings to a worldwide fanbase who have been begging for someone like him. To say that this is not the marquee signing people have been waiting for would be nothing short of asinine. If there ever was a question of intent, I think those who raised that question, among them a certain English striker, received their answer just by quickly glancing at this photo.
What I believe Robin van Persie brings to Manchester United is his hunger. His time at Arsenal have not been as fruitful as one may have hoped, thus leaving him more wanting of success than perhaps anyone out there. For a Manchester United who last year was caught out due to lack of maturity and experience during the run-in, this was the perfect signing. I’m not saying that “RvP” is a specialist in terms of calming the ship. I’m saying that when the going gets rough, he’s used to people looking at him for the advice. When Wayne Rooney crumbles under the pressure, and he needs someone to step up to the plate, he’ll have van Persie. A football team needs leaders who shine through even on the darkest of days. A talisman. Someone who can carry their team on the back. These are qualities that embody Robin van Persie.
So here’s to you who went sleepless last summer waiting for Wesley, here’s to you who saw Samir lift a trophy with skyblue ribbons, here’s to you who thought this was our time to walk in the garden of Eden. Here’s to you who said Shinji Kagawa wasn’t a big name signing. Here’s to the hopeful, here’s to the doubtful. Here’s to you all. Here is Robin van Persie – Manchester United player.
Van Persie’s arrival has lifted the air of resignation thats been slowly drifting around the outskirts of Old Trafford and put the defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, on the back foot.
It was widely expected that Glazernomics would see City pull away and consolidate their position at the summit of English football this summer but this signing is the first time we’ve acted in anger to their recent rise.
The arrival of the Van Persie will reinvigorate the squad and transform a potent team into a deadly one. The Dutchman is a world class striker and will bring back a fear factor unseen since the Ronaldo days.
Inevitably, it will be difficult for SAF to balance playing time between the strikers but it is a position that the likes of Di Matteo & Vilas Boas could only dream of. Tactically, the arrival will also give offer Sir Alex a more flexible front line with the overdue arrival of not one, but two, left footed attackers to the first team and see us revert back to the more fluid formations seen back in 2007/08.
Financially, I’m pleasantly surprised that we’ve made such a financial investment. £25m on RVP this year is not a waste of money, £100m on interest payments is.
For videos of van Persie’s press conference, check the CanTheyScore homepage for recent posts.
Tom is a southern dwelling Kendalian who is one of our editors and a weekly guest on the podcast. He has an unhealthy obsession with Jaap Stam and despite 20 years of success never expects United to win.