West Ham defender James Tomkins has insisted that he believes Robin van Persie’s elbow on him during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at the Boleyn Ground was intentional.
The Dutchman caught Tomkins with a flailing arm whilst the duo contested a header in the match, and the latter has stated that his opposite man knew exactly what he was doing.
Coincidentally the West Ham centre-back had his nose broken later in the game after a collision with Marouane Fellaini, but as he’s made clear he’s more aggrieved by the first incident.
Tomkins labels Van Persie malicious
“The nose is a bit swollen,” Tomkins admitted, according to The Guardian.
“Fellaini was the second time in the match when I broke it. He has always got that about him when he goes up with his hands a lot.
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“It is tough to say that he does it deliberately, but with the Van Persie one, I think he had a look at me first and then he has gone for me.
“I think that was more malicious than the other one, even though I came out worse the second time.
"I think that was more malicious than the other one, even though I came out worse the second time"
“I was shocked he didn’t get a yellow card. I think the linesman could have helped him a bit more, he was closer to it and he had a good angle."
Van Persie woes
The accusation will compile yet more misery on Van Persie, whose tame performances have become a staple of his Old Trafford career this season. Nine goals in 21 appearances in the Premier League is seen as a poultry return for the man who finished with the Golden Boot two seasons ago, and he has routinely cut a frustrating figure as the spearhead of Louis van Gaal’s attack.
Such ill-fortune has continually cast doubts over his long-term future, with the question posed as to whether or not he’ll be shipped away in the summer. With teammate Radamel Falcao also under-performing Van Gaal has a decision to make, and if the Dutchman persists in playing Wayne Rooney in the middle of the park it makes sense to assume a new striker will be on his radar.
With Van Persie edging into the twilight of his career it could spell the end of his life at Old Trafford, though there would no doubt a host of European sides queuing up to secure his services.
West Ham positives
In contrast Tomkins is enjoying arguably his best campaign in the heart of West Ham’s defence, with Sam Allardyce’s side performing above expectations. The Hammers find themselves in eighth place in the Premier League, just two points adrift of seventh placed Liverpool, after 24 games, and a spot in the Europa League could be theirs if they can continue in the same vein.
Next up for West Ham is a trip to high-flying Southampton, with Ronald Koeman’s men sure to provide a tough test. United meanwhile host league stragglers Burnley in a fixture Van Gaal will certainly be expecting to take three points from.