Van Persie senses something special is brewing

Thursday 23 February 2023 10:05

After Rio Ferdinand discussed the positive vibe around Manchester United this week, Robin van Persie has spoken about the same experience at Carrington when meeting up with Erik ten Hag and the squad.

The Dutchman, so instrumental in our last Premier League title success in 2012, is backing his fellow countryman to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford, and is eagerly anticipating the chance to attend the Europa League tie with Barcelona.

For van Persie, a chance encounter with a supporter at Manchester Airport helped further transmit the buzz surrounding the current side, with the Reds playing a brand of vibrant football that is exciting fans all across the world.

"I can feel that," he replied, when asked if he could sense something is brewing under Ten Hag. "Just by simple things. For example, this morning, when I arrived at the airport, a fan came towards me and asked the question if I'm going to the game.

"I said yeah, I'm going to the game, I'm here for the game and he said okay, me too. I said where did you travel from and he said I travelled especially to watch the match tomorrow and on Sunday for the cup final, from Bangkok. So he travelled and I said wow, it's a big commitment and he said yes, I'm a big fan. He said this Manchester United makes him really happy with the way they play, the energy, the intensity. 

"I said it's nice to hear but that is like a sign - people are really happy to see Manchester United play. The whole energy around the club is so much more positive than it used to be in the last few years. So that is like, Erik earns credit for that, but the players as well. Everyone earns credit.

"It's nice to see the whole energy around the club is so much more positive and the guys are working very hard for that."

Van Persie thoroughly enjoyed the first leg at the Nou Camp, which finished 2-2, and expects more entertainment in the 20:00 GMT kick-off at Old Trafford.

"It was like a Champions League-worth fixture," he admitted. "What I liked about that game was they always stayed calm. No matter what happened, they had to play with [nearly] 100,000 people against a very good side now and they stay calm and trust their own quality and ability. They know, sooner or later in a match, Marcus Rashford will have his moment. Bruno Fernandes is there. You have quality players in front who can make the difference. In any normal game, they will make that difference.

"It's all to play for now. From the fans' point of view, it's a joy to watch. Both teams want to attack, both want to play dominant football, both are very fit. I'm really looking forward to it."