What a difference a year makes. This time last year Robin van Persie could do no wrong and Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson were no longer speaking. The cold hard fact is that if Van Persie were not a Manchester United player, United does not win their 20th title.
Exit Sir Alex; enter David Moyes and now the tables have completely turned. Several months ago, while Van Persie was still nursing an injury, the sounds of faint grumblings could be heard. A few stories started to surface that Van Persie was unhappy with Moyes and how training was being conducted. Strange talk since Van Persie was not taking part in training due to his injury, but none the less, there it was the beginning of the end.
Van Persie returned to the pitch and again started to score, but yet the United team he returned to had changed. They were no longer a “Top 4” side with discontent and rumors of players leaving throughout the ranks. The grumblings grew louder. Several stories again surfaced that Van Persie was again at odds with his manager and a big announcement was in the wind.
Wayne Rooney, who last year was only a shadow of his former self and always “second choice” to Van Persie, was handed an enormous new contract. Three days later, Greek side Olmpiakos handed United a 2-0 loss in the Champions League and now the grumblings were no longer in the shadows, but front and center and from Van Persie himself.
Van Persie, speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS: "Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in. When I see that it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. That forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And unfortunately, they're often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame."
Though he has been careful with quotes to the media, it isn’t hard to see that Van Persie is feeling underappreciated and is looking elsewhere for next season. Of course Arsenal will be in the conversation and probably the front runners if Moyes emulates Sir Alex and sells him on. Sir Alex was never afraid to sell talented, disgruntled players. Ask David Beckham or Ruud van Nistelrooy if you are unsure.
If David Moyes is ever going to make Manchester United his own team and step out of the legends shadow, now may be the time. Moyes will probably only get one more year to set United back on track and he has placed his faith in the man named Rooney.