Several days ago The Guardian asserted that Manchester United have been carrying Robin van Persie.
Van Persie’s class is not in doubt and his movement is sharp and efficient when he is at the best but United are carrying him at the moment. How long before Van Gaal gives James Wilson a chance?
In fairness, this was before the Dutchman scored a blinder against Hull. But, with James Wilson showing flashes of brilliance and Radamel Falcao back, is it time for a change up top?
With the spotlight on Van Persie for this game, after widespread speculation about his demise, he did seem to lack confidence in the first half particularly.
Strikers feed off it and Van Persie is suffering from a lack of the stuff of late.
But there was no lack of effort on his part in this game – he put in a real shift. The goal, which came out of nothing, can only really be scored by a few players in the world and must’ve given Robin a massive boost.
Another game in which RvP showed improved workrate and movement – he was everywhere for the team and clearly feels that he is now fighting for his place in the starting line up.
His efforts weren’t rewarded with a goal – but they should have been as James Wilson shot instead of passing towards the end of the game, in a moment which could have been massively costly for Manchester United, as Stoke so nearly equalised in the dieing seconds.
Van Persie too was culpable of bad decision making as he should have passed to James Wilson in the first half when he instead squared to Ander Herrera – here we perhaps saw RvP’s over reliance on his left foot (or lack of confidence). A more two-footed player might have touched it to Wilson earlier in the move. But RvP wasted time taking taking the ball back onto his left.
The big question is, when everyone is fit, do you still start RvP? Until the recent surge in form of James Wilson we would have said ‘yes, undoubtedly.’
But Wilson’s pace and guile could mean more starts in the coming weeks. We think that LvG will regularly use two up top and Rooney in the hole. But with Falcao also itching for games, RvP may find his time on the park more limited.
Manchester United fans: what is your favoured strike force right now?