By ROB BEASLEY
ROBIN VAN PERSIE last night insisted the Emirates boo-boys were not Gunner hurt him.
Arsenal fans are promising a hostile reception for their former hero when champions Manchester United face the North Londoners today.
But RVP, celebrating his first league title win in his debut season with United, said: “I don’t expect anything less than a lively atmosphere — but it doesn’t hurt.
“I have always respected the Arsenal fans and always will. They love their club so I understand their feelings.
“Players, staff, managers and even directors come and go, but fans will always stick with their team.
“So I am looking forward to playing at the Emirates again. I have good memories there.
“And it will be good to see my old colleagues, staff and friends again.”
Van Persie spent eight seasons with Arsenal.
But his only silverware came in the Community Shield and FA Cup in his very first season. He returns as a champion less than a year after quitting for Old Trafford in a £22million move — and it was his brilliant hat-trick that destroyed Aston Villa last Monday to clinch United’s record 20th title.
At least it spared Arsenal fans the agony of seeing RVP win the Premier League crown on his former stamping ground.
Van Persie, who scored against Arsenal at Old Trafford in November, added: “I am so glad we have won the title.
“And it was nice to win it at home in front of our own fans. That was a really great bonus.”
But, despite his heroics last weekend, RVP is still not certain he will start today.
He confessed: “I’m a footballer. I like to play in every game no matter who we play against, but that is up to the boss.”