Former Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie was interviewed earlier this week by SoFoot about his time at the club. The Dutch striker was a priority signing for Sir Alex Ferguson, and ultimately delivered as his 26 goals fired United to the Premier League title in what was Ferguson’s last season in football management.
In the interview, Van Persie revealed that he had options during the transfer window before he ultimately chose United. “I had two other options, Juventus and Manchester City.”
“At this point, it is a reflection that begins, you weigh the pros and cons between the positive and the negative of each choice. But I had always had positive feelings towards Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. If you look at this team at the time, you see players like Vidić, Ferdinand, Scholes, Giggs, Carrick, real winners, experienced players”
The Dutchman also recalls an infamous dressing room story during the 2013 title race. United lost to Manchester City in April 2013, which closed the gap between the rivals to ten points. After the game, it was revealed that two United players went out partying after the derby loss. According to Van Persie, this infuriated Ferguson and in the next team meeting the whole squad received a dressing down.
The former Red refused to reveal the names of the teammates involved but he was happy to narrate the incident: “Yeah, I have the names, but I really can’t give them. They got rotten by the coach, but it stayed in the locker room. It was incredible, he had pasted lots of photos, we had limited the evening of the two players hour by hour: 2am, 3am, 4am, as if to emphasize the extent of their bullshit.”
The 36-year-old also revealed that Ferguson gave the team a stern warning following the incident. “He didn’t stop there, but warned us that if he heard of any of us going out before we’d won the league we’d be out of the team.” He was merciless, saying: ‘I don’t care who you are or how many trophies you’ve won – if you go out before the end of the season I’ll sell you‘.”
“After that speech, I had the two hardest training sessions I’ve ever had in my life. We went on to win the title. A manager has to know when to be tough, and when to take the pressure off. ”
Ferguson’s speech had an immediate effect as United coasted through the business end of the season to seal their 20th league title, Van Persie’s first and last in England.
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