• Premier League

Van Persie: Title justifies Arsenal exit

ESPN staff
May 6, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Robin van Persie wants to get his hands on the Premier League trophy © Getty Images
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Robin van Persie says his decision to swap Arsenal for Manchester United can no longer be questioned as he prepares to lift the Premier League title this weekend.

Van Persie's hat-trick in the recent league win against Aston Villa sealed a 20th league crown for United, which will be lifted after their home clash with Swansea on Saturday.

The Netherlands forward made the controversial decision to leave Arsenal for rivals United last summer, after a barren spell of trophy-less seasons at the Emirates. Instant success with United, says Van Persie, justifies the departure.

"I wouldn't have moved if I'd had doubts," he told United Review. "Instead, from day one I was almost certain we would win trophies - not in a couple of years but this year.

"I saw the players in training. I saw the way they behaved, the way they lived, their mentality, the way the staff worked, the way the manager and the staff acted.

"When all those elements combine you end up with a team of champions. It also helps when you have so many players who know how to win.

"There were some great pictures taken after the Aston Villa game, but there was one thing missing from them all; the trophy. That's the picture that will be framed in my house; me, lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy. I can't wait for that moment."

Van Persie says he enjoys stopping goals as well as scoring them and revealed his team-mates judge him on his efforts defending corners. Since his £24 million move from Arsenal, Manchester United's 29-goal top scorer has been stationed at the near post when opponents have had set-pieces.

"That's part of my job. I'm not judged on that by outsiders but, I can assure you, I'm judged on that by my team-mates and the manager," he said. "That's something I've agreed to do for the team, so it's just as important as scoring goals. I have a very important role when it comes to defending corners, free-kicks and set-pieces. I love to do it, too,

"It gives me a buzz when I clear a corner with a nice header and then we launch a counter-attack. I'm not a player who only thinks about scoring goals - football has so much more to offer than just goals."

Van Persie endured a two-month goal drought from February to April but said he took solace from helping out with his defensive duties.

"You get spells that don't go so well, when you don't score so many goals and I had one of those this season," he said. "Even so, I kept clearing headers from corner kicks, I cleared balls off the goal-line, I set up team-mates to score goals."

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