Saturday, July 13, 2024

Robin van Persie reveals the reason he was at Old Trafford for Man Utd vs Aston Villa

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Robin van Persie revealed it was a happy coincidence he returned to Old Trafford to witness a famous Manchester United comeback against Aston Villa.

The Dutchman, along with compatriot and another former United star Edwin van der Sar, were in attendance last night as Erik ten Hag’s side recovered from a 2-0 first half deficit to complete a rousing and much needed victory.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Dave Brailsford also taking a watching brief, speculation was rife that, perhaps, Van Persie was being lined up as part of a new-look backroom team under the INEOS regime.

The 40-year-old, who is currently coaching Feyenoord’s Under-18 side, insisted it was merely fate that brought him back to his old stomping ground to watch a game against a side he had happy memories of playing.

United last celebrated winning the Premier League title with a 3-0 win over Villa back in 2013 with Van Persie scoring a memorable hat-trick.

Asked ahead of the game what it felt like to be back at Old Trafford, Van Persie told MUTV: ‘It’s always nice to be back. I feel that (being part of the Manchester United family),

‘Not only in the stadium but I feel it in the streets. This afternoon I was walking in Deansgate and the love the Manchester fans still give me is incredible.

‘Obviously, it was a bit of a coincidence that I’m here now with my wife and friends.

‘When I looked at the schedule I was like if I can pick that game, I will pick that game because of course our sort of shared memories we have against Villa.

‘It was one of the most special nights personally as a Manchester United player. Villa is doing well this year so it’s a nice game to watch.’

Van Persie, ultimately, left enthralled after watching Rasmus Hojlund finally break his Premier League duck after a 15-game goal drought, to seal a memorable victory.

‘I hope we get a good game in and three points,’ he added in his pre-match interview.

‘I know Erik is working very hard, he is working long days. The boys are working hard so it would be nice to get three points with a really good game of football for themselves and for the fans.’

Whether Hojlund, meanwhile, is now capable of kicking on and matching Van Persie’s achievments remains to be seen, but Ten Hag is confident the Dane will now kick on after finally breaking his domestic duck.

‘Of course I’ve had several talks with him and every time I’ve pointed out he has scored for Denmark a lot, he has scored in the Champions League, he has demonstrated his ability so you can do it, believe,’ Ten Hag said of the 20-year-old striker.

‘I’m sure now he has the first goal he will score more…

‘When a striker doesn’t score it’s a problem but he has a strong character, he is so solid, determined. He has a big personality. I think this is what a striker needs. When you keep investing, the goals will come.’


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