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Robin van Persie aims dig at Chelsea and reveals why he wants Man City to win.

Robin van Persie aims dig at Chelsea and reveals why he wants Man City to win.

Robin van Persie aims dig at Chelsea and reveals why he wants Man City to win.

Ex-Manchester United player Robin van Persie has little care for former contests as he is willing Manchester City to prevail their first-ever Champions League title come Saturday night.

Van Persie’s thought derives from a tremendous recognition of City boss Pep Guardiola, with the former Barcelona manager playing the most beautiful brand of football on the planet according to the Dutch striker.

Guardiola has not won the Champions League since he beat van Persie’s former team United in the 2011 Champions League final, though the forward was plying his trade for the Gunners at the time of Barcelona’s 3-1 victory at Wembley.

The Dutch international thinks it is about time Guardiola ends his drought while avowing he is not a supporter of the style of play adopted by Man City’s opponent Chelsea.

Van Persie said:
“While my football heart glows when I see Pep’s teams play, I don’t have any warmth when I see Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel.

“The way they dealt with Real Madrid in the semi-final was great – so full respect to them. With and without the ball they were fantastic against Madrid.

“Pep seems to be convinced that he needs a different style from the great Barcelona team he coached to win the Champions League.”

“But he still delivers more entertaining football than all the other coaches in the world.


The now-retired striker continued: “What really amazes me is that he has been playing for a long time without a real striker. I have never seen that at any team before in my life!”

The former Arsenal captain alleged that Guardiola has been overcome to tinker with his footballing philosophy in a bid to try and transfer his Premier League success onto the European stage.

Van Persie said: “Pep has let go of his footballing ideal since last year.

“He used to have this super-attacking style, not giving even five yards of space to the opponent and putting them under pressure from the moment they take a goal-kick.

“But with the teams he has coached since Barcelona, it has gone wrong a few times at crucial moments in the Champions League. Pep is now counting on his star players constantly running into striking positions.

“I find it fascinating how his key players are executing this. [Phil] Foden, [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Ilkay] Gundogan are fantastic.

“They start in midfield and drive into the spaces. This way they are constantly creating an extra man in most situations.

“Sometimes his team misses a target man – that is the downside of this system – but defensively they look more secure.”

Van Persie went on to mention how Tuchel’s team requires less technical flash, and more enthusiasm to be part of a wider system.

“You have to be half a machine to get a place in Tuchel’s team. You only have to look at the type of players he uses and the things he expects from them.
“Tuchel wants stamina, an extreme amount of work and energy on the pitch, and his players must do everything he tells them. He is not a defensive coach – but it does have a high priority.

“It is a shame that the creativity of players like [Hakim] Ziyech, [Christian] Pulisic or [Mateo] Kovacic are not used to the full.”

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Robin van Persie aims dig at Chelsea and reveals why he wants Man City to win.

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