Arsene Wenger is facing one of the toughest calls of his managerial career over whether to rest Robin van Persie for today's game against Wolves -- a move which could wreck the Arsenal striker's bid to break Alan Shearer's record for most Premier League goals in a calendar year.
Robin van Persie and Arsene Wenger. PIC/Getty Images
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 today 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. "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."
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