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Rio: Van Persie like a sideshow under Moyes

ESPN staff
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Robin van Persie and David Moyes did not see eye to eye very often last season © PA Photos
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Rio Ferdinand has said that Robin van Persie became a "sideshow" at Manchester United under David Moyes and believes he did not feel loved last season.

Van Persie and Moyes denied there was a problem with their relationship, but the Netherlands international criticised United's tactics and many believed he fell out with the Scot due to his training methods.

Former team-mate Ferdinand, who left Old Trafford in the summer after his contract expired, feels Moyes' focus on Wayne Rooney was to the detriment of Van Persie.

The former Arsenal captain scored 30 times in his first season for United, when he struck up a rapport with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before the Scot then retired last summer.

And Ferdinand told the BBC: "When Sir Alex Ferguson left, he [Van Persie] went from being the star man, our go-to guy, the top scorer, to being almost like a sideshow.

"I think that the dynamics changed. The manager, David Moyes, was talking up Wayne Rooney and forwards need to be loved. And I don't think he felt that love last season."

Incoming United manager and current Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal appointed Van Persie as captain for the national side, and the striker scored twice as they beat Spain 5-1 in the World Cup on Friday.

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