First thing’s first, I used to despise this man! The first time I saw him play, he was a young and arrogant player playing for one of my most hated teams, Arsenal Football Club. And now? Now, I am embarrassed to admit that. I cannot believe I did not like van Persie! It must be made crystal clear that just because he is now playing for the team I support, Manchester United, does not mean I am such a huge fan of Robin van Persie now.
The truth is I started to enjoy watching van Persie play his last two seasons with Arsenal. He grew up, he became a senior player at that club, he became a leader. Over the years he had calmed down tremendously, he became more humble and that is what I enjoyed seeing. Even when he scored goals against Manchester United, I would praise him.
He always has scored superb goals. His vision, abilities on the ball and movement off it, is quite phenomenal. He is a match-winner, literally a match-winner. He has saved Arsenal, single-handedly, on many occasions. In his first season at Manchester United, he has already done it.
It’s quite sad that a player of his calibre has not won any major trophies. Arsenal’s drought for the past six/seven years has not been ideal and van Persie “was running out of time”, so to say. Now the media claims that van Persie left for more money, but this is not true. Rumours are that he snubbed Manchester City, who were willing to pay him almost double than what he is now earning at Manchester United. He is desperate to win trophies, and he reckons he could do so at Manchester United. I am almost certain that he will win at least one trophy this season!
Robin van Persie began his career in football at the age of 14 with Dutch club, SBV Excelsior. After a fall-out with the coach after just one year, van Persie joined Feyenoord at age 15. Due to many injury problems amongst the 1st team squad, van Persie found himself playing for their 1st team. The following season he signed a professional contract with Feyenoord. After having endless issues with his coach, their relationship was deteriorating and van Persie was shopped out at the end of the season. Few clubs were interested in the youngster because of his attitude, reputation and lack of discipline. One of those “few clubs” was Arsenal. I have to say, Arsene Wenger (manager of Arsenal) has a habit of finding young, “unknown” talents. Robin van Persie was one of them.
Arriving at Arsenal in May 2004, he became extremely popular, at a rapid pace, amongst the Arsenal faithful. Football fans like myself, on the other hand, basically despised him. He just had this attitude about himself, as if he thought he was the greatest. Well, that’s the impression I got. It used to drive me crazy, especially when he scored a goal and even more especially when that goal was a touch of magic.
Like I said earlier, I grew to like him. He matured as player, as well as a man. He became a leader at Arsenal, deservedly so. I think August 15, 2012 was the best day of my life. It was the day Robin van Persie had signed for Manchester United. I was just so excited because I highly doubted that he would join United. It was a real shock to me. Another reason being was that United haven’t signed a high-profile name in absolute years! Myself, and I am sure millions of United fans worldwide were extremely happy to say the least. It is against United’s policy to sign a player of his age for that amount of money – Sir Alex Ferguson clearly wanted this man. Yet again, Ferguson was spot on.
I can confidently say that van Persie has been every penny’s worth. He is scoring goals, setting them up, running box to box and just playing his heart out! He has that hunger to win trophies that any manager or fan expects from a player. I tend to be superstitious at times and believe that van Persie is wearing the number 20 jersey to bring home Manchester United’s 20th crown. Sounds cheesy I know, but I just have that suspicion. Welcome to Manchester United, Robin!