Wenger ponders RVP dilemma

Should the free-scoring Dutchmen be benched against Wolves, the

move could wreck the Arsenal striker’s bid to break Alan Shearer’s

record for most Premier League goals in a calendar year. Van Persie

moved within two goals of Shearer’s six-year-old Premier League

record last week when he slotted home a penalty against Aston Villa

to take his tally for 2011 to 34 goals. Arsenal face Wolves at home

on Tuesday before making the short trip to Loftus Road to face QPR

on New Year’s Eve – two games in which Van Persie would be expected

to add to his tally. Wenger, however, has become acutely aware of

Arsenal’s reliance upon the Dutchman’s talents and is also

conscious of the fact that the injury troubles that have dogged the

striker over the last couple of years could return if the is forced

to play too many games. Losing Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh for up

to a month in January for the African Nations Cup will place an

even heavier burden on Van Persie and Wenger admitted he faces an

agonising call over whether to bench his star striker on Tuesday

despite him being on the verge of breaking Shearer’s record. “Can

he start three games in seven days? We will see. It will be a big

demand for him. I don’t know yet, we will assess the situation

after every game,” Wenger said. “You get his vibes, the medical

vibes and you know the history with him. Then you make a decision.

“I rested him it in the Champions League because I thought we had

enough security there and we could take a gamble.” Wenger admits

Van Persie is desperate to break Shearer’s record, but is confident

that the prospect of writing his name in to the record books will

not distract the former Feyenoord striker if he is selected against

Wolves and QPR. The Frenchman said: “I believe the great players

know what is important. And what is important is that he is the

leader of the team. He knows as well that what is important is to

win the games. What is important on the pitch is to make the right

decision for every situation you face. He does that very well. “You

do not have to make an obsession of it, just play naturally. “It is

strange because you score goals when you don’t think about it.”