Arsenal are over reliant on Robin van Persie admits Arsene Wenger


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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal have been over-reliant on Robin van Persie this season.

And Gunners boss Wenger claimed there was little he could do to change that for the club's final two games of their Barclays Premier League campaign.

Urging the Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year to fire Arsenal to third place, Wenger said: "He has to push us over the line.

"There are two games to go. We have been a bit over-reliant on him, I concede that.

"But it is difficult to change that before the end of the season."

Van Persie bagged his 28th league goal of the season in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke, which left Arsenal four points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham having played a game more.

Newcastle - thrashed at Wigan at the weekend - and Chelsea are also breathing down their necks ahead of their midweek clash and Wenger said: "We'll see how important this point is at the end of the season.

"I knew that Newcastle were losing, so in the last 20 minutes I thought it was important not to lose the game.

"We had a good game defensively. We had some great fluency in the first half. In the second half, we did not create enough anymore.

"I don't know if it was because Stoke defended better or we were tired.

"It was a valuable point because we showed battling qualities we have not always shown here."

Arsenal were today assessing the extent of the thigh problem picked up by injury-plagued midfielder Abou Diaby at the Britannia Stadium amid fears he could miss their final two games.

It is understood Diaby's injury is actually a calf problem and it is unlikely he will feature again this season, casting doubt on whether he will be selected for France's European Championship squad.