The Greenhoff Column: Van Persie Is A Fantastic Signing

The Greenhoff Column: Van Persie Is A Fantastic Signing

Just call me Mystic Brian, saying van Persie would jet in to Manchester to sign for the club on Thursday night!

I’m not the only person who must be thrilled by the signing and I’m not the only person who knows that Sir Alex Ferguson is fantastic at buying for the future; but sometimes, you have to buy for now, which I said in my last column. I think it’s a fantastic signing, and his words at saying how honoured he is to play for the club mean so much.

A club like City just have money; I don’t even see why they need to employ people to broker signings, people like Brian Marwood… they have money and that speaks for itself. It’s the Etihad this, the Etihad that… it’s money that’s been brought in, and has built the club, whereas United have always made it themselves. Look at the Bwin partnership deal; a company that sponsors Real Madrid and wants to partner with us.

It brings me back to the point I made in the last column and brought me some criticism on Twitter regarding the Glazer ownership; I’ve said and I’ll repeat that I don’t know precisely where it sits with me but Manchester United is their football club at the end of the day. Debt isn’t in the right interest of any business but the sponsorship deals have been incredible; and I repeat, when I ask the question about what is happening about the ownership, it’s a genuine one.

A major thing is honesty and I admit to not knowing so much about it to give a qualified opinion; I enjoy reading the tweets of Andy Green as he breaks it down, but I’m not always convinced that everyone is being transparent and honest with their own views. I just want the truth; to hate the Glazers has become easy, and though I sound as if I’m coming across as “pro-Glazer”, I’m not – I’m pro-Manchester United.

It’s refreshing to see that van Persie is too! It’s a signing to improve the squad; City have signed Jack Rodwell but it just looks like another player in an area they already have plenty. A good player, but is he better than what they have? I say, “buy better and you’ve got a chance of being better”.

Another problem with Rodwell is his injury record; though United have two players like that at the moment, with Tom Cleverley and Anderson. I spoke last time about how highly I rate Cleverley and I love Anderson too, but he’s always injured! Someone told me that Rodwell has played 100 games for Everton and I was gobsmacked (Before someone mentions van Persie’s record to me, he’s been fine for a couple of years)! So, like I’ve said before and said the other night on Twitter, I feel we probably still need a midfielder. I’m just gutted that Javi Martinez looks like he is signing for Bayern Munich, and Modric, a player I really like, has gone to Madrid – what a steal at £25m!

Some people are concerned that van Persie’s arrival might limit chances for other players; but I think it might bring somebody like Welbeck, for example, on, and might excite players like Rooney. Rooney probably needs a player around him to excite him and with van Persie he’s got someone around who’s as good as him; it happened to me when I was at United, and Gordon McQueen was brought in probably to replace me. Nearly half a foot taller, a different kind of player, but it’s the challenge that should excite the other players. van Persie could quickly become the hero at United; will Wayne Rooney like it? I hope not, because I want him to react in the right way, and I think he really will. For Welbeck, he’ll be thinking, “I’ve just signed a new contract on £75,000 a week (poor lad) and this bloke’s come in and earning more than twice that”. Hopefully he’ll be thinking as well, “I want to be you, I want to be on that money, I want to stop you getting in the time.”

It barely matters what fee we paid for him – if he’s forced to sit on the bench for the season, it will be money well spent. There might be times when nearly all of the forwards might be required to play; but to start against Everton, I’d perhaps start with Scholes, Carrick and Anderson in the midfield and Valencia, Rooney and van Persie up front. Playing a tighter midfield with Valencia wide might mean that Baines – one of their most attacking outlets – will have to concentrate on defending.

That’s how I would start it but I think he will be on the bench at Everton; once again, I think he’s a fantastic signing. I read on Twitter that Rodney Marsh called him a panic signing, and I thought – when City signed him and lost the league because of it, that was a panic signing. Robin van Persie is a far better player than Rodney was! He’s a signing you don’t normally see Fergie do; a signing for now that will make an instant impact. Apparently Roberto Mancini said that if we signed him it would make us favourites; I think that’s the first time he’s ever been right!

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