RvP

GazTheLegend

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Great player, but I've always felt a big "what if" because we could have had Lewandowski instead. Would Lewandowski have been good for us or would our Dortmund jinx have just continued onwards? That's another discussion though to be fair - and weakening a rival club while strengthening ourselves is dumb to criticise because Arsenal were half the team without him.
 

Hammondo

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We were easily good enough to win the Champions League with him that season.

Until that Nani red card happened.

Think he would have stayed at his peak for a few more years if Fergie didn't retire.
We really were not, we were nothing special that year, aging team and we lacked quality.
 

Andycoleno9

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It still amazes me how good of a player he was & for £20M I think it was? 10 years ago fees were very different, but when you think about it.

Rival team, star striker, for £20M! We got a hell of a bargain.

Probably one of the last out and out strikers we’ve actually had at the club. (Rooney was more than just a striker in my opinion) - Oh what we could do with a 28 year old RvP now eh?
Beat part about that deal were negotiations.
Fergie said;
"I told him again: I wouldn't go to £25m. Arsène asked what my best offer would be. Answer: £22m. The reply was that Arsenal would take £22.5m and a further £1.5m if we won the Champions League or Premier League during the period of his contract. Deal done."

You are going to buy world class no9 and trying to save 1 million.
 

MiracleInMadrid

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His very first shot for the club was that magnificent volley against Fulham. Such a beauty of a finish. Right there, you knew he'd be gold. Between 2011-12 & 2012-13, when he was injury-free for the most part, he was up there with the best in the world.
Will never forget that goal. Absolute class in its purest form.

I instantly lost all doubts or fears of him in a United shirt when he scored that goal.

He was just the perfect combination of effectiveness and class. What a striker.
 

Phil Osophy

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I used to annoy some Arsenal supporters I know with that famous picture of RvP and the rest of the team receiving the guard of honour from their players. Their hate towards us was absolutely peaking at that moment. Good times.

 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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In terms of a player having such an impact over a single season, it's hard to think of many better during my time watching United
He was the type of forward that can be transformative for a side that can make the most of him. People remember Rio's story about Sir Alex giving the team a bollocking after a win because they hadn't utilized van Persie as they should have, and they often cite it to argue for the service a forward must get from his teammates. But it goes deeper than that. There wasn't a goal RvP couldn't score: Inside and outside the box, shot or header, placement or power, near-post, far-post, cut-back goals, pose a threat from the right, the left and the centre... you name it, he has scored it. It becomes a simpler game when both the finishers and the creators add more variables for one another.

A case can be made about Ronaldo's 2007-08 season. He played in a far better side, probably Fergie's strongest United ever, but his numbers were incredible. He went on to normalize this kind of end-product, but watching it unfold for the first time - more so at a time when conservative tactics and a solid defences were still the way to go - it was a joy to watch, and it felt like we had a cheat code.

For me, nothing can beat Cantona in the two seasons we won the double in 93/94 and 95/96. In the former, he was the first violin in an orchestra that played some of the most scintillating football the PL has ever seen. I don't know if he was the best player in the world, as some were claiming back then, but you could definitely argue that he was one of the most intelligent. He was always in the right place and at the right time to make things happen. In the latter, after murmurs that his ban had previously cost United the title, he took the Class of 92 by the hand and led them to the double: Scored in 6 consecutive games in the run-in for the title, getting United's only goal in four wins and a draw and, then, he added the cherry on top of the cake by scoring the winner in the FA Cup against the scousers.
 

Rapsel

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Not just you miss him. The Dutch NT would love a striker like him right now although he always underperformed for Oranje.
 

Gabriel Djemba-Bebe

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It was Moyes that changed his training regime.
Yep. I remember him picking up an injury just before the City game and thinking Fergie wouldn't have let that happen. We had a CL game a few days earlier where Moyes played him for the full 90. Little things like that made me realise we no longer had a manager who I trusted.
 

GMoore23

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He was so good in his first season that he's almost a United legend for me.

I don't think I've ever been captivated by a single player as much as RVP that season. He really stole the show and pretty much won the title for us.
Made even more special as it was Fergies last.
 

Kelly15

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We really were not, we were nothing special that year, aging team and we lacked quality.
You're not serious are you? We were nothing special? Aging team? I think people forget how good we were because our 2008 team was so good.

De gea 22. Rafael 22, J Evans 24, Valencia 27, Rooney 27, young 27, welbeck 22, kagawa 23, chicharito 25, Jones 20, Nani 26, Anderson 24, Smalling 23, Fletcher 28, lindgard 20, Januzaj 17, cleverly 23.

The aging thing was used as a excuse by the next mangers so they did not need to take any blame for the poor performances. The truth is SAF left a perfect balance of youth and experience.
 

Superunknown

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You're not serious are you? We were nothing special? Aging team? I think people forget how good we were because our 2008 team was so good.

De gea 22. Rafael 22, J Evans 24, Valencia 27, Rooney 27, young 27, welbeck 22, kagawa 23, chicharito 25, Jones 20, Nani 26, Anderson 24, Smalling 23, Fletcher 28, lindgard 20, Januzaj 17, cleverly 23.

The aging thing was used as a excuse by the next mangers so they did not need to take any blame for the poor performances. The truth is SAF left a perfect balance of youth and experience.
Christ, I would take that 'aging team' right now in a heartbeat, in place of the cnuts we have now.
 

Andycoleno9

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Please don't insult Robin like that.
Don't twist my words. I said not impact like him but close. We are talking about impact which one player did to the squad.
Remove Casemiro from last year's squad and we are not winning LC and we are not finishing in top 4.
 

Andycoleno9

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Not just you miss him. The Dutch NT would love a striker like him right now although he always underperformed for Oranje.
Holland have same issue with strikers like United have last 10 years.
For decades both teams were having world class striker in a team. In some periods couple of them.
Last 5-6 years both teams are having average strikers.

Only top striker who United had post RVP was aging Zlatan and it was for only one season.
 

el3mel

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He was such an entertaining striker. I just adore everything about his style. The perfect striker for me.
 

Rapsel

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Holland have same issue with strikers like United have last 10 years.
For decades both teams were having world class striker in a team. In some periods couple of them.
Last 5-6 years both teams are having average strikers.

Only top striker who United had post RVP was aging Zlatan and it was for only one season.
Brian Brobbey at Ajax looks like the next big thing but he is far from the finished product. We'll see in a couple of years I guess.
 

the_cliff

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I used to annoy some Arsenal supporters I know with that famous picture of RvP and the rest of the team receiving the guard of honour from their players. Their hate towards us was absolutely peaking at that moment. Good times.

If that happened today it would break social media.
 

Hammondo

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You're not serious are you? We were nothing special? Aging team? I think people forget how good we were because our 2008 team was so good.

De gea 22. Rafael 22, J Evans 24, Valencia 27, Rooney 27, young 27, welbeck 22, kagawa 23, chicharito 25, Jones 20, Nani 26, Anderson 24, Smalling 23, Fletcher 28, lindgard 20, Januzaj 17, cleverly 23.

The aging thing was used as a excuse by the next mangers so they did not need to take any blame for the poor performances. The truth is SAF left a perfect balance of youth and experience.
Well Rooney had already started his steep decline.

Rafael, Welbeck, smallish, Jones, cleverly were all injury prone.

Nani also into his decline.

And tbh that's not a strong squad, nowhere near CL winning quality.

None of them went onto do anything else.
 

SirMattlives

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Correct. And not just RVP; Rio also, and possibly others. Fergie became a master at getting the best out of crocks by careful management of their training regimes and game time

Not LvG; Moyes. He was much more of an old fashioned sergeant major type of manager, who didn’t believe in special treatment of individuals and had them all running up hills till they were sick.
It was Moyes that changed his training regime.
Yes, thanks both, I probably have erased the memories of that Moyes season...and jumped to LvG being the one who let RvP leave. Indeed, clear evidence form the start that Moyes was not going to take some of SAF's wisdom on board.
 

Dansk

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It still amazes me how good of a player he was & for £20M I think it was? 10 years ago fees were very different, but when you think about it.

Rival team, star striker, for £20M! We got a hell of a bargain.
Well, he was almost thirty and notoriously injury-prone, so while it was a deal that we were right to take, I don't think it was some incredible steal at €30m. That same summer, 27 y.o. Luka Modric went to Real Madrid for €35m, and the highest transfer fee in the world that season was Thiago Silva to PSG for €45m. RvP was in the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2012/13. We hardly swindled Arsenal, they got what he was worth.

Considering his age and the fact that he missed 18 games through injury in 2011/12 and 35 games in 2010/11, I don't even really think we got him cheap. It was actually a huge gamble, and while he was fantastic in his first season, we did pay top-10 transfer money for one season (and not even a whole season really) of quality service. It'd be like paying €80m for Harry Kane last year and getting 25-30 excellent games out of him before he falls apart and is essentially finished as a player. Might have been worth it, all things considered, but hardly some historically great transfer.
 
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RedDevilCanuck

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Amazing player.

Had the best 6 month spell perhaps in PL history. I guess Suarez or Henry had something similar but RVP simply won games on his own for 6 months.

Then the drop off was big. He could hardly run and luckily Rooney and Chicharito picked up the slack.

The rest of his time here he simply tried getting fit for Holland.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Please don't insult Robin like that.
United got the same points in 2011/12 as they did in 2012/13 after Van Persie arrived, whereas last season United improved by 17 points on the previous season. The main reason United won the league that season Van Persie arrived was they maintained their level and City dropped off considerably
 

thisisnottaken1

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Great signing, I have fond memories of him hanging in goals in the 12-13 season. As others had said, he wouldn’t have dropped off had Fergie not left at the end of the season.
 

Gopher Brown

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Genuinely thought he was one of the best players in the world the season before we got him. The way he carried a very poor Arsenal team was amazing.
 

ROFLUTION

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Genuinely thought he was one of the best players in the world the season before we got him. The way he carried a very poor Arsenal team was amazing.
Same here. I remember he was just everywhere, completely involved in every attacking play of theirs. Picking the ball up, finishing, laying it off, everything and made the right decision in every move. I remember his last season at Arsenal as one of the most complete strikers the league’s ever seen.
 

Sandikan

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We really were not, we were nothing special that year, aging team and we lacked quality.
We had Fergie's magic though and were well on course to knocking Real Madrid out until the mad red card. They got to the semis that year, so we'll never know how far we'd have got in Fergie last year, with a Hampden final send off as the reward.
 

Sandikan

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It still amazes me how good of a player he was & for £20M I think it was? 10 years ago fees were very different, but when you think about it.

Rival team, star striker, for £20M! We got a hell of a bargain.

Probably one of the last out and out strikers we’ve actually had at the club. (Rooney was more than just a striker in my opinion) - Oh what we could do with a 28 year old RvP now eh?
£24m wasn't it? And this was 10 years ago when that wasn't the amount you'd pay for some teenager you'd loan out for years.
 

Hammondo

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We had Fergie's magic though and were well on course to knocking Real Madrid out until the mad red card. They got to the semis that year, so we'll never know how far we'd have got in Fergie last year, with a Hampden final send off as the reward.
Yea we did, but we were big underdogs against RM still, and there were harder teams to face that year.
 

NZT-One

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Well Rooney had already started his steep decline.

Rafael, Welbeck, smallish, Jones, cleverly were all injury prone.

Nani also into his decline.

And tbh that's not a strong squad, nowhere near CL winning quality.

None of them went onto do anything else.
Fully agree here... People a year later talked about "the titlewinning team" when it was pretty clear, that the tendencies weren't really good. Granted, there was some hope for Rafael, for Welbeck to a degree - but the rest were already considered as "probably not good enough to do it again". Fergie didn't modernize the team when he should. He choose the more comfortable part with keeping Rio and Giggs as first teamers. Don't want to criticize him though - it isn't as if he didn't try. It was to a degree a bit of bad luck that a few of the transfer turned out as not as good as hoped: Smalling, Jones, Anderson, Zaha.

No question it was still a good team but I always thought we kind of overperformed that last season... iirc the games were pretty boring to watch, lots of boring 1:0 wins. Rare chances but having Rooney and RVP meant that we only needed half a chance to win a game 2:0...
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Fully agree here... People a year later talked about "the titlewinning team" when it was pretty clear, that the tendencies weren't really good. Granted, there was some hope for Rafael, for Welbeck to a degree - but the rest were already considered as "probably not good enough to do it again". Fergie didn't modernize the team when he should. He choose the more comfortable part with keeping Rio and Giggs as first teamers. Don't want to criticize him though - it isn't as if he didn't try. It was to a degree a bit of bad luck that a few of the transfer turned out as not as good as hoped: Smalling, Jones, Anderson, Zaha.

No question it was still a good team but I always thought we kind of overperformed that last season... iirc the games were pretty boring to watch, lots of boring 1:0 wins. Rare chances but having Rooney and RVP meant that we only needed half a chance to win a game 2:0...
Zaha was more than good enough when you consider United’s wingers since and his career. It’s a shame Fergie giftwrapped a talented young winger for Moyes and Moyes didn’t want a bit of it. The team Fergie left I feel was better than was given credit for, Moyes was a disaster and then Van Gaal sold them all off when they still had some talent.
 
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Well, he was almost thirty and notoriously injury-prone, so while it was a deal that we were right to take, I don't think it was some incredible steal at €30m. That same summer, 27 y.o. Luka Modric went to Real Madrid for €35m, and the highest transfer fee in the world that season was Thiago Silva to PSG for €45m. RvP was in the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2012/13. We hardly swindled Arsenal, they got what he was worth.

Considering his age and the fact that he missed 18 games through injury in 2011/12 and 35 games in 2010/11, I don't even really think we got him cheap. It was actually a huge gamble, and while he was fantastic in his first season, we did pay top-10 transfer money for one season (and not even a whole season really) of quality service. It'd be like paying €80m for Harry Kane last year and getting 25-30 excellent games out of him before he falls apart and is essentially finished as a player. Might have been worth it, all things considered, but hardly some historically great transfer.
I remember him playing every single league game in 2011/12, so that's definitely not true.

At the time we signed Van Persie, he'd been pretty much injury-free for 18 months. And he made it another 12 months until the issues started again under Moyes - I doubt the much-discussed change of training would have helped.
 

NZT-One

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Zaha was more than good enough when you consider United’s wingers since and his career. It’s a shame Fergie giftwrapped a talented young winger for Moyes and Moyes didn’t want a bit of it. The team Fergie left I feel was better than was given credit for, Moyes was a disaster and then Van Gaal sold them all off when they still had some talent.
I agree with you, Moyes did a bad job and was very wrong in the way he tried to get a tune out of these players. LVG really gutted the squad, I liked to see that happen but I agree, he definitely overdid it. But, to me, it was always more of a "they weren't properly replaced"-issue than a "damn we should have let them go". Most of the players he ripped were on a deadwood trajectory, issue with LVG was that he brought so much other deadwood into the team.

And I wouldn't agree on Zaha. I mean, you are right, now, 10 years later, we now that Zaha would have been a better player than to stick with Valencia or Young at the time but when Zaha was bought, he wasn't that player at all. Admittedly, he didn't really got a chance then but even when he left, it took what? Another 3 to 5 years until he established himself as one of the leagues better players.

So I can see why you say that the team got a little too much flack for what it was but I think its effect was maximized by Fergie himself who made them overperform to a degree. I wasn't active on here so don't know the notion on here but by then most fans in German fanbase already realized, that Valencia and Young wouldn't make another step up. Realized that while being good players Smalling and Jones wouldn't be in the same category like Rio and Vidic. And that young players like Welbeck and Cleverley also wouldn't turn out as world beaters. The last game was a 5-5 to Westbrom, wasn't it? I am pretty sure I was thinking back then that this actually is a good game to summarize the season. A team that was a bit of wonderbox but always capable of relying on older worldclass players to come up with something.
 

Hammondo

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Zaha was more than good enough when you consider United’s wingers since and his career. It’s a shame Fergie giftwrapped a talented young winger for Moyes and Moyes didn’t want a bit of it. The team Fergie left I feel was better than was given credit for, Moyes was a disaster and then Van Gaal sold them all off when they still had some talent.
But in terms of winning the CL he's not close to good enough.
 

Hammondo

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Great signing, I have fond memories of him hanging in goals in the 12-13 season. As others had said, he wouldn’t have dropped off had Fergie not left at the end of the season.
He already dropped off before the end of the season.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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But in terms of winning the CL he's not close to good enough.
Within a good system at his peak he would have been good enough to play a role in a top team. CL-level winning maybe not, but then no English team even made the final from 2013 to 2017 as it was dominated by Spanish teams. In terms of adding to a team to compete for the title, then I think he would have.