• Premier League

Van Persie hails Rooney partnership

ESPN staff
November 5, 2012
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have quickly developed into a deadely strike partnership © Getty Images

Robin van Persie believes the understanding he has quickly established with Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney is helping the duo to reinvent the traditional strike partnership.

The Dutchman, who scored against former club Arsenal in United's 2-1 win on Saturday, says neither he nor Rooney line up in either of the traditional forward positions - the predatory No. 9 or the creative No. 10 - but instead share the responsibilities of both roles.

"I call it a nine-and-a-half because you have two positions, the nine and the 10, and we are both nine-and-a-half ," Van Persie told the Manchester United website.

"We are just helping each other out. We both play behind and a bit higher up. It seems to be working well and I am very happy with Wayne - hopefully we can keep it going."

Sir Alex Ferguson expects more from the partnership as they develop their understanding, and endorsed Van Persie's theory about their new roles.

"I think he's right," Ferguson said. "There's flexibility there and the right type of movement. They also both have the courage to play in these positions. Robin's not far away in that respect.

"They're both mobile players and good footballers with a great desire to play and win. I don't think you saw the best of them as a partnership against Arsenal."

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