In an interview with ITV, the former Manchester United Captain recalled his discussion with Robin Van Persie in which he called Arsenal a ‘baby team.’
Van Persie joined the Red Devils for a £22.5 million transfer fee in 2012 after spending the previous eight years with the Gunners. In his first season, he helped lead Manchester United to the Premier League title.
Apart from a 2005 FA Cup victory, Van Persie won no titles while at Arsenal.
Recalling the Dutch forward’s arrival to Old Trafford, Evra said, “First of all when he came I said ‘Welcome to a proper team, a man team, not a baby team’.
“And he laughed, but he understood straight away because I remember him saying: ‘Patrice, to be fair, I just feel like now I’m playing for a big team because all of you win many trophies, many medals, and you still go in the gym before training, going in the gym after training’.”
Understandably, Van Persie seems to have grown frustrated with the lack of success at Arsenal. Evra continued, “Robin was like a kid, he was just like amazed about that. When he looked at us he’d say: ‘When I see all of you guys, I have to work hard because I want to win, I want to win trophies’.”
As new manager Unai Emery takes charge at the Emirates, Evra’s comments show the re-branding he will have to lead at Arsenal. The glory of the 2003-2004 Invincibles squad has become history. Now Arsenal’s crest causes football fans to think of ‘Wenger Out’ signs and unmet expectations. To really bring Arsenal back, Emery will first and foremost have to repair the ruined Gunner’s brand.
Will Emery usher Arsenal into a new age of success both domestically and in Europe? Or will Arsenal remain a ‘baby team?’ Let us know by commenting below, or tweeting us @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF