Football

Van Persie admits 'standards dropped' at Man Utd but Moyes 'not to blame'


Robin van Persie has insisted that David Moyes was not solely responsible for Manchester United’s downturn in form after Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

The former Netherlands striker also detailed how he joined United in 2012 under the impression that Ferguson would be with the club for another three years – only for the legendary Scot to retire one season later.

Van Persie moved to Old Trafford from bitter rivals Arsenal in a £22million deal, while Manchester City and Juventus had also been swooping for his signature.

And he maintains that a key reason why he joined United was to play under Ferguson, who assured him at the last minute that he would be with the club until at least 2015.

Moyes was sacked after 10 months as United manager

Speaking about Ferguson’s retirement to Premier League Productions, van Persie said: “That was a bit of a shock.

“Just before I signed, I literally had the pen in my hand and I said ‘One more thing Sir Alex, how much longer are you planning to stay?’ And he said, ‘At least three more years’.

“To be fair the reason why he stopped was family reasons and family comes first. He was one of the big reasons I signed so it was a blow but then that is football.

“Players come and go, managers too. He played 26 years and built the club up but that’s life.”

In their first season without Ferguson, United slumped from Premier League champions to a seventh place finish.

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This drop in standards was inevitable according to van Persie, but he maintains that it was not just the fault of Moyes.

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He added: “We did struggle because we ended up being 7th. From such a high…we were thinking about winning the Champions League and moving on.

“It was a new period as well with Scholesey coming to the end, Giggsy taking a player-coach role. It was all new.

“Moyes was not to blame, anyone who came in after Ferguson good luck to you. It was not only him to blame, it was us as well. The standards were so high but they dropped.”





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