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Gary Neville: Robin van Persie needs to improve

by Sam Peoples

Gary Neville believes Robin van Persie needs to improve his individual performances for Manchester United under Louis van Gaal.

Van Persie, 31, has been out-of-form all season for United and so far has failed to live up to expectations created by himself from his first year at Old Trafford.

Neville doesn’t feel Van Persie isn’t doing enough with his runs and although he pointed towards United’s players for not providing enough of the right passes to Van Persie where he wants them, Neville wants Van Persie to delivery more.

“There’s pressure on Van Persie, people want more from him,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He’s got to do better in long situations and needs to make better runs, but his team-mates aren’t finding him as much as [Paul] Scholes and [Michael] Carrick were two years ago.

“I called him a burglar before, he lives off back of centre-backs. The type of pass he wants is into space. In defence of Van Persie I don’t think his team-mates are in synch as they were two years ago. Maybe Carrick coming back will help him.”

What Van Persie really needs to improve is his off the ball work as Neville points out. Making more of those runs in behind defenders and encouraging his team-mates to find him with those types of passes will inevitably create chances.

To a degree, Neville is right in that his team could probably do a little more to make the most of runs he currently does but the simple fact remains that, even when he does get chances, right now he isn’t taking them.

Van Persie has had dry spells at United before but his goal against Chelsea was seen by many as a potential catalyst moment in his season, something which he didn’t follow through into the City game.

With Radamel Falcao sidelined, Van Persie has more time to improve and with a trip away to Arsenal on Nov 22, the Dutchman will want to be firing on all cylinders again.

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