Wenger puts Van Persie rest ahead of record quest

 

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, says he is quite prepared to deny Robin van Persie a shot at breaking the Premier League calendar year goals record for the sake of the team.

The Arsenal striker is two short of Alan Shearer's record of 36 goals scored in 1995, having equalled Thierry Henry's seven-year-old club record by scoring against Aston Villa on Wednesday. But Wenger – who is mulling over whether to offer Henry a loan deal back at the club – is concerned that the demand of three games within the next six days, starting with Wolves at the Emirates tomorrow, will be too much for Van Persie, who has been dogged by injury in previous seasons.

He said: "I don't want to stop him. I am very happy if he does it but if he can combine the record with staying fit, then that is better."

Wenger admitted the fact the record is within touching distance may be playing on his striker's mind, something he noticed with both Henry and Ian Wright when they had Shearer's target in their sights.

He said: "Wright was aiming for the record and he didn't score. After he said 'no I am not bothered' but you know with Ian Wright, the one thing he thought about day and night was scoring the next goal.

"It was a little while for Thierry as well. It's strange – you score goals when you don't think about it."

Wenger believes the key to Van Persie's success has been his fitness – the Dutchman has played 23 times in a rare injury-free run this season. He said: "The difference is just the injuries and it shows how important it is to have a consistent presence."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue