Robin van Persie has opened up about David Moyes' troublesome tenure as Manchester United boss, claiming the Scot is not to blame for the club's downfall.
Former Everton boss Moyes was declared 'the Chosen One' by United fans in 2013, famously being hand picked by Sir Alex Ferguson to replace the legendary manager after 26 trophy laden years at the helm.
However, the decision didn't work out and Moyes was sacked before the end of his first season, with the club ending the campaign in seventh place having won the Premier League the previous year.
Former Arsenal and Netherlands striker Van Persie has now declared that the dip was just as much the fault of the players, as they slacked off when standards dropped.
He said, as quoted by the Daily Star: "We did struggle because we ended up being seventh. From such a high, we were thinking about winning the Champions League and moving on. It was a new period as well with Scholesy coming to the end, Giggsy taking a player-coach role. It was all new.
"Moyes was not to blame, anyone who came in after Ferguson good luck to you. It was not only him to blame, it was us as well. The standards were so high but they dropped."
Van Persie was signed from Arsenal in 2012 and the deal turned out to be a masterstroke as RVP formed a formidable partnership with Wayne Rooney. He scored 26 goals in his debut campaign as United romped to the Premier League title - the first and only of the striker's career.
Van Persie only managed 22 goals across the following two seasons as United fell away under Moyes and Louis Van Gaal. However, the Dutchman claims he expected Ferguson to stay United for a little while longer when he first signed.
He added: "That was a bit of a shock. Just before I signed, I literally had the pen in my hand and I said 'One more thing Sir Alex, how much longer are you planning to stay?'
"And he said, 'At least three more years'. To be fair the reason why he stopped was family reasons and family comes first. He was one of the big reasons I signed so it was a blow but then that is football. Players come and go, managers too. He played 26 years and built the club up but that’s life."