Robin van Persie insists Manchester United are still gunning for the league title, although he accepts it is a difficult task.
When Sir Alex Ferguson led the Reds to a record-extending 20th title in 2013, few could have expected his departure would have led to such a dramatic fall from grace. His successor, David Moyes, didn’t even make twelve months of a six-year contract, as he oversaw the majority of a campaign which resulted in a seventh place finish last term.
Louis van Gaal is now in the dugout and the Dutchman was able to bring in a number of top quality players in the summer, including the club record £59.6million capture of Real Madrid’s Angel di Maria. But United have again toiled this season, although their less than convincing 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday has lifted them to fourth position.
Due to missing out of the UEFA Champions League this term, such a placing at the end of the campaign would probably be welcomed. However, van Persie doesn’t quite see it like this. Because whilst the 31-year-old striker admits it will be difficult for the Old Trafford club to catch Chelsea, who are 13 points ahead, he insists this remains the target.
“This year it’s still possible as we’ve only played [a quarter] of our games, we’re aiming for this year but it will be very hard,” van Persie, who was speaking as a BT ambassador for The Supporters Club, said. “If not this year then hopefully next year.”
On a personal level, it has been a frustrating time of late for the former Arsenal favourite. After a fairly impressive World Cup for Holland, in which he helped them to a third-place finish, he has struggled to get out of first gear for United in recent weeks. He has started 11 Premier League games for van Gaal’s side so far, but has registered just three goals.
This has led to speculation he could be dropped at the weekend when Hull City visit Manchester, especially as Radamel Falcao, the Colombian international, is now back to fitness. There have also been suggestions that the Reds could instead give young James Wilson, who has made five substitute appearances, a chance to impress from the start against the Tigers.
Is van Persie just toeing the party line, or do United still have a chance of catching Chelsea? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion.