Robin Van Persie has had mixed fortunes so far this season for Manchester United. On the back of a successful World Cup campaign for his national side, many thought this season would be his swansong.
With Louis van Gaal coming to the club, the relationship between the two was meant to bring the absolute best out of Van Persie. Instead, this year has been extremely up and down for the Dutchman. A poor start had a lot of people including Van Gaal, wanting Van Persie dropped. However, his luck seems to be turning around.
Against Hull, Van Gaal admitted that Van Persie would not have played had young starlet James Wilson been fully fit. Instead Van Persie got his chance and grasped it with both hands. A stunning strike from outside the box gave United fans a glimpse of the old Van Persie, something they hadn’t yet seen all season. From there, he kicked on. A man of the match performance away at Southampton followed as well as a goal at the Stretford End against arch rivals Liverpool and it really seems like Van Persie is getting back to his best. Is it pure coincidence, then, that his rise to form has come at the same time as Michael Carrick’s return to the squad?
With Carrick in the team, Van Persie is a different player. He is back to the player he was when United were winning the league in 2013. The Englishman seems to be the only one in United’s squad capable of spotting Van Persie’s trademark runs. He can pick out a pass like no one else at the club and that has helped Van Persie come on leaps and bounds. Carrick’s return from injury has seen United win six games in a row and these have been six games in which Van Persie has excelled.
It’s quite simple, if you play Van Persie and Carrick together, you will reap the rewards. Louis van Gaal seems to have understood that since Carrick has returned. The defensive injury crisis has forced Carrick to play in the centre of defence for the Reds on multiple occasions. Once more defenders return to full fitness, it would be great to see Carrick advance into his preferred midfield position. Form here he can dictate the play and pick out the forwards at will.
Van Persie has been consistently inconsistent this season. He is a real treat to watch when on form, a true goalscorer. I’m sure that as soon as Van Gaal can afford to put Carrick back in the midfield, United will be back to their fluid best and Robin Van Persie will be firing on all cylinders on a regular basis.