independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Evra: RVP was right to quit Arsenal

Robin van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal before switching to Manchester United last summer

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra believes Robin van Persie's status as Barclays Premier League title winner proves he made the right choice to quit Arsenal for Old Trafford.

Having spent eight years in north London before switching to United last summer, Van Persie's affection for the Gunners runs deep. The striker, who almost walked into the home dressing room following his arrival at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, opted not to celebrate the penalty equaliser and then went for a chat with his old team-mates after the 1-1 draw.

"He hasn't made the wrong choice," said Evra. "It was a long time that he didn't win the league (at Arsenal). He has come to Manchester United and won it."

Evidently, the affection is not reciprocated by the Arsenal fans, who gave their former captain a torrid time. Evra cannot understand why, given Van Persie did so much to advance the Gunners' cause during his time with the club, but he thinks winning the championship this year proves the 29-year-old has no need to reproach himself.

He added: "I still don't understand why the fans boo him. I am disappointed that the fans have quickly forgotten what he did for the club. I think he felt it as well."

Van Persie's goal took him within one of the 30 barrier, and in netting 25 in the Premier League the Dutchman has broken the record for most league goals in a debut campaign for United.

"He has a chance to reach 30," said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. "If he does that it justifies all our faith and hope in him."

It could be argued the move has worked out well for both parties, given United's success has not seen Arsenal collapse in the manner so many felt likely.

Indeed, as Chelsea and Tottenham still have to face each other and Arsenal's final three games are against teams who have either been relegated - QPR - or battling to avoid the drop - Wigan and Newcastle - they should preserve their long-held top-four status.

Although aggrieved United did not claim the victory he felt they deserved, Evra was impressed by the hosts' battling qualities, and he added: "hey were one of the most aggressive teams I have played against. It was good to see Arsenal like that. They always get abuse about being a team with good football but not being aggressive enough. This time they were."

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