Manchester United's smash and grab raid against Arsenal yesterday could well provide the platform for Louis van Gaal's side to find some consistent form heading into a busy run of festive fixtures, but regardless of a 2-1 win at the Emirates star striker Robin van Persie's place has to be called into question.
Van Persie was dreadful against his former club, a fixture which in the past two seasons has brought out the very best in the supremely-gifted Dutch marksman.
United fans hoping to defend the £250,000-a-week striker will point to United being penned back for large spells of the match by Arsenal's commitment to keeping possession, although that defence looks pretty flimsy when you analyse Van Persie's statistics from the bitter showdown.
Dutch master's showing was pretty pathetic
During 75 minutes on the pitch yesterday Van Persie touched the ball just 12 times, an absolutely staggering statistic when you consider he was leading United's line against a makeshift Arsenal backline.
Van Persie also only managed to make only two successful passes, five less than goalkeeper David de Gea completed in the first half alone. No other player who started the Saturday evening showdown managed less.
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Time for Van Persie to be dropped?
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal replaced the Netherlands captain with 15 minutes to play at the Emirates, bringing on a youngster in James Wilson that clearly has his trust to compete on the biggest stage.
Wilson is just 18 but should surely be given a chance to shine against Hull City next weekend, with Van Persie so hopelessly out of form and Radamel Falcao continuing to struggle with a host of injury problems.
United got the very best of Van Persie in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season in charge, but the forward now looks a shadow of that prolific marksman and at this rate is fast approaching the end of his time as a key figure at the Theatre of Dreams.
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