Sir Alex Ferguson is calling on a piece of advice he was given decades ago to help Robin Van Persie turn his form around.
That piece of advice was handed down from Ferguson’s father, when Sir Alex was growing up as a prominent striker and learning more and more about the game on a weekly basis.
Van Persie is fortunate in two respects; that he plays for arguably the greatest manager of all time and for a boss who understands the pressures and frustrations of being a striker and not scoring.
What Fergie’s Dad told him, was in effect, when you’re in a good position, absolutely blast the ball into the net. Very simple, black and white advice which can apply to a number of various strikers in different places at different clubs.
Whichever way you look at it, Van Persie has been a big success for United this season and not just in the Premier League, he’s bagged 32 goals in 44 games for club and country but he has struggled since the turn of the year.
One of the situations where that bit of advice from Fergie’s Dad could be useful is when Van Persie finds himself confronted with one on one situations with a goalkeeper, or when he’s in positions where it’s very difficult for him to miss.
There was a good example during the 1-0 win over Sunderland last weekend where he almost had too much time to decide what he was going to do, as he side footed the ball straight at the goalkeeper.
He doesn’t have to blast the ball all the time, it’s just a simple way for him to hit the back of the net until he gets a bit of his confidence and momentum back, which is the most important thing.
It would be a shame to change his game towards that old and proven method too much, because he’s one of the most talented and clever strikers currently in the Premier League.
It would be an injustice to his skill and touch if Fergie, and United, tried to change him into less of a player so if the boss has passed on this advice, it’s likely to have been in the context of use it until it works.
The Dutchman is very lucky that he’s playing for Ferguson because plenty of other Premier League managers would have dropped him and stuck a lower quality player into the side ahead of him, in the hope that could produce some goals.
He will improve because he’s far too good a player to go through the rest of this season, next season and his United career, with a Fernando Torres at Chelsea type of strike rate, especially after the impact he’s had throughout the current season.
Good or bad advice from Fergie’s Dad?
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