Moyes denies De Boer’s claim that Van Persie is unsettled

Manchester United boss insists players are trying for him


David Moyes has strongly denied any suggestion Manchester United’s players are collectively unhappy with his management and insisted Robin van Persie is settled at the club despite Ronald de Boer’s claims that his fellow Dutchman might want to leave.

Moyes (above), whose team visit West Brom in today’s lunchtime kick-off at the start of a critical three-week period, said he plans to begin easing Nemanja Vidic out of the team after confirmation from Inter Milan that United’s captain will be moving to the San Siro next season.

Caused disquiet
That statement has caused disquiet at Old Trafford because of its timing. However, the United manager made it clear he does not expect Van Persie to follow Vidic out of the club despite De Boer saying this week that the striker was “not enjoying the football Manchester United play” and contemplating his future.

“I couldn’t reply to that and I wouldn’t know how Ronald de Boer would know that,” said Moyes. “I travelled back from the [Holland] game with Robin the other night. I went to the game, watched them play and travelled back with him. I hardly feel I need to answer the question.”

Moyes went on to say he had no issues with Van Persie’s comments about the team’s tactics after the 2-0 defeat to Olympiakos – “none whatsoever, if you actually read the full transcript I understand totally where he was coming from” – and added there was no issue between Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

Statistics in recent weeks have shown a sharp deterioration in their link-up play, most notably against Olympiakos when Van Persie played one pass to Rooney, direct from the kick-off.

“The statistics before they both came back [from injury] proved that we had lost one game with them in the team up until the previous three or four games,” Moyes said.

“The record with the two of them in the team was fantastic, so I was talking up how good they were together a month ago. It’s only in the last couple of games that has gone.

“We didn’t play well at Olympiakos but prior to that we won at Palace and drew at Arsenal. It was that one game that has dragged this up.”

United, seventh in the Premier League and 18 points behind Chelsea at the top, lost to West Brom at Old Trafford earlier in the season and desperately need a better result this time bearing in mind they face Liverpool and Manchester City before the end of the month.

“I don’t know if it’s the right thing [to say] that they’re not playing for me,” Moyes said. “I think they definitely do, so I don’t accept that. . . .

Will improve
“Olympiakos was the poorest we’ve played. That was disappointing but we will improve from that and we will be better.

Vidic will continue with the captaincy but Moyes intends to use him more sparingly.

“I am going to try to give the younger centre-halves opportunities. We will look to see how Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, when fit, are able to handle this part.”

Asked about the announcement from Inter, Moyes said: “I don’t think we like it in this country. I don’t think it’s something that’s done here. I can think of [Robert] Lewandowski going to Bayern Munich. I can think of [Mario] Gotze, who went last year between two of the biggest clubs in Germany. But it’s happened and we’ll get on with it. Vida has been a brilliant servant for the club and we’ll treat him with all the respect he deserves.”
– Guardian Service