It’s getting to that time of year again where Red Flag Flying High readers get to vote for their player of the year. Voting opens soon, but over the next few days you’ll see our team tell you who they’re voting for and why. Will their views influence your choice? To kick us off, Steve Crabtree tells us why he’s voting for Robin Van Persie….
The 2012-2013 season has been one hell of a whirlwind. There’s been the uphill struggle of regularly going behind, the last minute winners that United are synonymous with, and of course the huge gap at the top of the table which propels us towards bagging that twentieth title.
Twenty-five wins from our first thirty matches can’t give us much to grumble about, although many reds feel that the entertainment factor, or should I say “The United Way” has largely eluded us this term, and has somewhat smoke-screened just what a great season this is turning out to be.
And it’s because of our habit of ticking off the games and just getting the job done that it makes it difficult to choose a stand-out player of the season.
However, for me only two players come close to taking the crown this year; and the main man up top, Robin Van Persie just shades it over midfield talisman Michael Carrick.
Signed in a blaze of glory – if you remember, we were “never going to get him”, but after apparently turning down more money from elsewhere to play at Old Trafford, RVP already proved he was a United type player by being hungry for success and silverware whilst earning big-bucks over silly-bucks.
He then steps on to the pitch. And he’s immediately paying back the fee we paid The Gunners. With ten minutes of his home debut gone, we saw him score with an incredible finish out of nothing, the type of finish we may not have seen since Van Nistelrooy, and he’d well and truly arrived…
Next up, we visit Premier League new-boys Southampton, and we’re 2-1 down with minutes left. He’d scored one, and taken and missed a poor penalty, but as a team we’d had a poor game. The Dutchman stepped up, took the game by the scruff of the neck, and added two goals to the one he’d already scored to win us the three points well all had looked lost.
“Who’s Wayne Rooney?”, some of us were asking at this point with our tongues firmly in our cheek. Our new man was fast taking over as the main man, and we were loving it.
Moving through the season, we look at the important winner he got at Anfield, and then it’s not long before we realise “Hang on. This guy takes our bloody corners too!” Our goals from corners and set pieces increase because of the pin point delivery of our new number 20, putting players like Ashley Young and Nani to shame.
He scored the all important winner in the 3-2 win at the Etihad against City with a last minute free-kick, and although United win as a team and lose as a team, he’s certainly had a bigger say than most in how we’ve fared this season.
I write as we have seven games left. Robin Van Persie has played in 43 matches so far, and scored 23 goals. He’s provided 8 assists, and had 114 shots on goal.
But what stats don’t show is what he does and where he goes off the ball. He drops away to receive the ball, but then he creates something. He jumps for aerial challenges, wins the ball and finds a team mate. He makes sensible stuff look flamboyant, and makes the flair play look simple….like that bit in the West Ham game away in the cup…
Michael Carrick has had a fantastic season for the reds, and for me hasn’t put a foot wrong for us. But RVP has won us games. Lots of games. And my vote is well and truly cast against the man they said was “injury prone, past it and had one good season.”
It’s a no brainer. It’s simple. Vote orange. Vote Robin Van Persie.
Follow me on Twitter: @stevecrab
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