‘I didn’t like it’ – Van Persie on what bothered him on his return to Arsenal

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It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that Robin van Persie enjoyed huge acclaim at both Arsenal and Manchester United.

The Dutchman was an integral player for the Gunners during his time there and eventually won the Premier League whilst at Old Trafford.

However, it was precisely that triumph that ended up leaving a bad taste in his mouth when he went back to the Emirates Stadium after the Red Devils had secured the title.

Six days prior to the meeting in North London, van Persie had scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa to help secure the league, and, as has become customary, the champions were given a guard of honour and clapped onto the pitch in their next match.

Given the opponents, the Dutchman felt uncomfortable with the whole thing.

“I didn’t like it. Some of them were my friends, I spent eight years there and I was just happy that it was over,” he said on the UTD Podcast, cited by the official Man United website.

“I could see in their faces that they didn’t like it, which I get. And then you see me walking there, I was just happy that it was over.

I think it’s a nice gesture to do towards the champions, but it just didn’t feel right, not for me and not for Arsenal. It was a little bit awkward there, so I didn’t feel really comfortable about that.

From my point of view, it didn’t need to happen. Okay, it’s part of the rules and, from the basics, I did like it but not that particular day.

Uncomfortable it may have been for the Dutchman, but it didn’t affect his concentration because his goal on the day gave United a 1-1 draw.

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