Robin van Persie said there was a huge difference in the work ethic of the players at Manchester United compared to Arsenal, where he would “see kids in convertible cars going to Harrods” while he was still on the training pitch.
After seven years without a trophy, Van Persie made the controversial switch from Arsenal to United in 2012 and played a big role in the Red Devils’ last Premier League trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson.
And according to Patrice Evra, Van Persie was hugely impressed by the training efforts of the United players compared to those at Arsenal.
On Van Persie’s first impressions of United, Evra told the Vibe with Five YouTube channel: “Robin, he’d say: ‘Patrice, I’ve never seen people so professional. Training the way you’re training in the training session’.
“He’d say he’d finish the training session, everyone is in the gym. Before training in the gym, after training in the gym.
“That’s why he was like ‘when I was playing at Arsenal, I was still on the pitch and I’d see kids with convertible cars already going to Harrods or whatever.'”
Van Persie scored 26 league goals to win the Golden Boot in the 2012-13 season as United won the title by 11 points, while the Gunners finish fourth, 16 points behind the Champions.
And Evra also recalled how Ferguson went easy on Van Persie compared to the other players at United, as he needed to manage the Dutch striker to avoid injury problems which had disrupted his career up to that point.
“I don’t know if you remember, the way Ferguson managed Van Persie,” Evra said, addressing former team-mate Rio Ferdinand.
“He knows we are animals, if someone doesn’t train we are going to say he doesn’t deserve to play.
“But with Van Persie he said ‘guys, this guy he won’t (be) training every day. Sometimes he’s going to be on the side training with his own physio. But I have to manage his injury. But this guy is going to win the league for us.'”