Robin van Persie ‘shouldn’t be bothered’ about Arsenal reception

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Robin van Persie to ignore any hostility aimed his way from Arsenal supporters at The Emirates on Sunday

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson's United won the Premier League title on Monday Photo: The Sport Review

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Robin van Persie to ignore any hostility aimed his way from Arsenal supporters when he lines up for Manchester United at The Emirates on Sunday.

Van Persie is set to face his former club for the first time at their home ground after his £24m transfer to Old Trafford from the Gunners last summer.

The 29-year-old striker has hit the ground running with the Red Devils, scoring 24 league goals to help United wrap up their 20th top-flight title this season.

But Ferguson is not expecting the forward to be affected by the atmosphere in north London in Sunday’s clash.

“I’m not really bothered about that [any hostility from the crowd] to be honest with you,” said Ferguson “I don’t think Robin should bother about it either.

“There was some booing of him when he played against Arsenal at Old Trafford and I think you probably expect a portion of the fans will do that. But that’s the modern generation and modern society, I’m afraid.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday that his side will form a guard of honour for the newly-crowned champions.

And Ferguson continued: “I’m glad Arsene has done that. When we played them some years back, we did exactly that and that’s what great clubs should do.”

Ferguson also insisted that he would field his strongest starting line-up possible for Sunday’s showdown.

“Having won the league, there’s always a danger of falling into the trap of ‘it’s all over and we can relax’ and enjoy ourselves but I think we’ve got a duty to other clubs who are chasing Champions League places,” he added.

“Also, the rivalry we’ve had with Arsenal and then Chelsea over the years does put an edge to these games anyway so hopefully we’ll represent ourselves in the right way.”

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