Robin van Persie likes being in the zone but doesn’t like it when his teammates are in it, too.
Van Persie aired his frustrations with Manchester United’s tactics following Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League.
The Mail reports van Persie told Dutch television station NOS that his teammates are making it difficult for him to reproduce the stunning goal-scoring form he showed in seasons before this one.
“Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in,” van Persie said. “And when I see that, it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players.
“And, unfortunately, they are often playing in my zones. I think that’s a shame.”
Pundits have interpreted van Persie’s comments as direct criticism of embattled Manchester United manager David Moyes.
The Red Devils have struggled domestically in their first season with Moyes at the helm. They now face the prospect of an early exit from the Champions League.
Van Persie, 30, has battled injury problems as well as his team’s new tactical scheme this season. The Dutch marksman scored 30 Premier League goals in 2011-12 and 26 last season (under Manchester United’s former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson). He scored four in the Champions League in 2011-12 and three last season.
Van Persie has 11 Premier League goals in 16 games and just one in five Champions League games this season. Even if he stays healthy and scores at a goal-per-game rate for the rest of the campaign, he’ll fall short of his usual lofty numbers.
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