“Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in. And when I see that, it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And, unfortunately, they are often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame.”
Those were the now well-known words of Robin van Persie when speaking to Dutch TV station NOS after the defeat to Olympiakos last night.
He went on to answer a question about his current boss David Moyes - stating:
“He's working hard at it and so are we. Sometimes we play well but not all the time. We don't have luck on our side. It's easy to point the finger at someone but I'm not like that. We have to do better ourselves. With all due respect, we should be able to defeat this team 2-0 or 3-0.”
Now while not directly criticising his current gaffer - his criticism of players being in his position seems to point the finger at his new manager’s tactics.
It is not the first time that reports of RVP unrest have surfaced in the Moyes era. It was reported his injury was being mismanaged earlier in the campaign and that he is not keen on Moyes’s style of play.
In the wake of the defeat there have been several rumours of Moyes potentially being on his way already - but I ask this question, why sack Moyes - sack Van Persie instead?
In the Sir Alex Ferguson era this type of comment would simply not be tolerated - RVP would be out on his ear as fast as you can shout ‘Van Persieee!’
RVP brings goals - that is undoubtable.
But what else does he really bring to the table?
Fitting him in alongside Wayne Rooney leaves the team disjointed and playing a dinosaur tactic. He lacks pace and dynamism and at the age of 30 is no spring chicken either.
Moyes could stamp his authority on this team, whose players are woefully underperforming, by making an example of RVP like Sir Alex would have in the past.
Cast him aside for the bulk of this season - make Rooney the undisputed starter and play three creators in behind him.
Sell RVP at the season’s end for a decent price and move on to a new future for the club.
It is a difficult decision to make - but one that might just be in the best interests of the club.
image: © little-pete