Since his £24 million move from Arsenal this summer, Robin Van Persie has been gaining the majority of the plaudits from Manchester United’s fan, players and the media.
He has hit the ground running at Old Trafford and is emulating the early successes of compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy in his debut season at the club, but still feels he is always improving as a player.
Speaking to Dutch television station NOS, Van Persie said: “Every day I work on new things, I become alert to small details that make me better.”
It is not difficult to see why Van Persie is earning such plaudits after an astonishing start to his career at United that has seen him score 18 league goals and bag six assists already in his debut campaign, but the Dutchman believes that it is his compatriot Rene Meulensteen who deserves praise.
“The way he (Meulensteen) trains in an exceptional” said Van Persie.
“He is truly one of the best coaches in the world.”
“I have had a lot of good trainers, but it is the way he prepares our team for games. Every match is different, so every training session in the build-up to games is unique.”
“We know exactly what to expect and he wins points for us through his training.”
“We’ve won a lot of games by the odd goal and they are point winners which we train for. For instance, against Chelsea I scored after a low cross from Antonio Valencia on the right. It might seem a fluke, but the whole week before the game was spent working on that move.”
Meuelensteen has worked as first team coach since 2007 and has been involved in one of the most successful eras in the clubs history. Three Premier League titles, a Champions League and two League Cups are just a few of the honours United have won since the 48-year-old was appointed.
And when speaking about the atmosphere around the training ground, the Dutchman seemed rather smitten with life in Manchester.
He continued: “Training is really good. It’s a pleasant environment to work in.
“I go into work every day whistling. From the first day, they made me feel welcome, the boys made me feel right at home.
Van Persie played 45 minutes in last nights 1-1 draw against Italy and appears to have come through unharmed ahead of a pivotal period in the season, with key games at home to Everton and away to Madrid in the next week.
To see a player enjoying playing for the club really is refreshing and after Van Persie spoke of the “little boy inside of him crying out,” it is plain that he is really enjoying his time at the club. The way he appreciates the fans, the players and the staff really is heart-warming.
What is love? It’s Robin Van Persie.