Arsene Wenger feels his decision to start Robin van Persie on the bench on Sunday was one that paid off.
Questions were raised once the Frenchman rested his skipper against Stoke City and those criticisms grew wild after it took the Dutchman to come on and rescue the game with two goals in the 3-1 victory.
But Wenger has rightly defended his decision to utilize Van Persie as a super-sub, considering the fact that the Dutchman does have a record of falling to freak injuries in career.
Back in the 2009/10 season, the former Feyenord man had a similarly impressive start to the campaign – netting seven goals by October and winning a ‘Premier League Player of the month’ award – before an ankle injury robbed him of nearly the rest of the season.
Thus, Wenger is determined to avoid history from repeating itself, and Sunday’s move to give Van Persie a break was rewarded with an in-form and fit striker for his reviving team.
“He had muscular tightness and I took 19 players [in training] yesterday because I was not sure whether to involve him on the teamsheet. He made a check this morning and he was medically alright to be on the bench. Before you leave him out you always think 15 times ‘should I really do it or not?’ but if you look at the number of games he plays and the history he has, you are a bit cautious.” Wenger said
And with a visit to Chelsea to come next week, Van Persie’s fitness will be key.
“He was not injured, he was just tight muscularly. He will be fit (for Chelsea).” Wenger said