August 17, 2012

RvP tilts the Manchester derby towards United

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

I’ve actually been holding off writing this post until everything was officially, but I figured that since everyone else in the world has already made the assumption that Robin van Persie is indeed a member of Manchester United, I might as well too. Besides, the fee has already been agreed to, the managers have already talked about gaining/losing RVP and all that has to be done is a medical and an agreement of personal terms.

Side note: Nothing could possibly go wrong with either of those things, right? It’s not like the past season was the first full one that RVP has played or that he might have an inflated sense of worth after leading the EPL in scoring and winning player of the year honours. Right?

The fact that RVP was leaving Arsenal is something that we’ve known for a while now. He publicly announced he wouldn’t re-sign with the club after his contract ran out after this year, putting Arsenal in a situation where they could either sell their best player, or lose him for nothing.

Now, the fact that he was sold to Manchester United is the interesting part. Why Arsenal would want to sell anybody that’s even remotely good without bumping up the rate is beyond me. Helping a rival is something that usually doesn’t happen in any sport.

And it’s not like there wasn’t an offer on the table from a team abroad: Juventus were in the market for a striker and were reportedly willing to splurge for the Dutchman.

Now, with RVP joining Man U, the question arises about how well he will work with Wayne Rooney up front. Rooney recently has been evolving into more of an attacking midfielder – sometimes even playing box-to-box – and it suits him well. Having him playing in the hole behind RVP might yield better results than playing the two side by side. Using Rooney in this role would also allow him to cover up some of United’s deficiencies down the middle.

Bringing in van Persie also raises the interesting dilemma of what to do with the excess of strikers now at Old Trafford. After RVP and Rooney, there’s also Danny Welbeck, Chicarito and Dimitar Berbatov. Even last year Berba struggled to get on the pitch – now it’s hopeless. It looks like Javier Hernandez is destined for that role and most likely won’t be happy about. Talk about ‘What have you done for us lately?’

But if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that this was just the move that the Red Devils needed to push them ahead of rivals Manchester City. United won too many games by a single goal and usually left it late to score the winner. With a bonafide attacking stud like van Persie, that shouldn’t be an issue now.

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