Wenger dreams of fit Van Persie

The consistency of Van Persie has been the one beacon of hope in a

disappointing end to Arsenal’s campaign. The Dutchman has set a new

league recordwith goals in eight consecutive away matches, taking

his overall tally to 21, but injury problems disrupted the first

half of his season. “Robin has been fantastic – he has been a goal

machine,” said Wenger, who takes his side to Fulham on Sunday for

the final Premier League game of the season. “He is not only a

goal-getter, he is a football player as well, who is (involved in)

the combinations and in the defensive work. He has done extremely

well. “However, it adds a bit to the frustration because he made 18

Premier League starts, and so you could imagine that if he had

played over 30 games, the number of goals he would have scored. “I

think he is putting his injury problems behind him. Let’s hope that

next season he can deliver 30 games.” Wenger added: “It is not a

coincidence that Robin and Cesc Fabregas, who were both in the

final of the World Cup (last summer) played less games than we

expected. “Both of them have had problems physically to adjust to

the season.” Arsenal head to Craven Cottage on Sunday having seen a

run of just two wins from the last 10 league games kill off any

title hopes and allowed FA Cup winners Manchester City to climb

back into third place. Should the Gunners finish fourth, as looks

most likely, they would face a two-leg play-off to qualify for the

Champions League again. Wenger, however, rejected suggestions his

players’ minds would already be on their summer holidays following

another campaign which promised so much but ultimately failed to

deliver. “What motivates me is the desire to win what I do, to be

strong and successful in what I do. That is what has motivated me

my whole life,” the Arsenal manager said. “A man and a player who

can take care of the future is a responsible man. For us to take

care of the future is to give the absolute maximum to be in the top

three. “There is no way, at this moment of the season, we can say

‘okay, the season is over’. “It is not over and we have to fight

until the last minute of the season to show that we are good enough

to wear the shirt of this club.” Wenger has already suggested he

will be busy in the transfer market this summerbut the Frenchman

insists that no amount of signings will guarantee an end to what

will be a seven-year wait for silverware by 2012. “I promise

Arsenal fans that we will give our best to win trophies,” he said.

“But who can guarantee that they will deliver trophies? We will

give our best to do it, that is our main target. “What is a trophy

for you? Is finishing 10th and winning the Carling Cup a trophy?

No. “What I want to achieve is to keep the consistency in our

quality, in our table and deliver what I call trophies, the Premier

League and the Champions League. “You can say you will give

absolutely the maximum to do it, but you cannot guarantee that –

only if you are crazy.”