Robin van Persie has equalled Ian Wright’s record of scoring against 17 different teams in the Premier League in one season. The only two teams our captain has failed to score against are apparently Manchester City and Fulham.
Ian Wright failed to score against Manchester United and Sunderland in the 1996/97 season. We have, however, already played both City and Fulham twice this season so Wright’s record is equalled but not bettered.
Alan Shearer and Andy Cole both also scored against 17 different teams in the same season, but back when the Premier League had 22 teams.
Speaking after the game, Arsène Wenger was full of praise for the Dutchman:
“It is important for a striker, even like Robin van Persie who was not used to not scoring in the season, to find the net.
“He equalled the record of Ian Wright who scored against 17 different teams out of 19 in the Premier League.
“When you only have 19 teams, and your striker has scored against 17 teams, that is something sensational.
“He could have beaten the record if he had scored against Manchester City at the weekend.”
In other news, Yossi Benayoun is out to prove that he deserves a 1-year contract at Arsenal. It’s unfortunate that Yossi hasn’t been given enough games this season, but a well-taken goal against Wolves shows that he can still be a useful player to have in the Arsenal squad.
Arsène Wenger is obviously giving Benayoun a chance to prove his worth in the last few games of the season, and the 31 year old has not failed to deliver. He played well against City and was strong once again at Molineux; he adds a lot of experience to the team and Chelsea may consider letting him go for free.
If I were Wenger I would rest Theo Walcott against Wigan on Monday (we play Chelsea 5 days later) and player Benayoun and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings. Both players deserve some game-time and offer something different to the team.
The Israel captain has recently expressed frustration about playing a bit-part this season, but refused to say whether he wants to stay at Arsenal beyond the end of his season-long loan. However, it all depends on who leaves and who we sign in the Summer.
“It’s better to concentrate on the last five weeks of the season and do my best. I am fully committed to Arsenal and after, we will see. After 30 June, I am going back to Chelsea and then the club decides and I need to decide, also. Each one has to think about what is best for them.
“It has been up and down this season for me. I try to be focused and concentrated but it’s not easy. I was waiting all the time for my chance. A few times, I got my chance and then I didn’t get another for a long time. But in big clubs, you have to be patient. Of course, it’s hard to find rhythm. For every player, it’s not easy. You want to play a run of games but, like I said, it is a big club.
“I will not lie – I love Chelsea but I am committed to Arsenal 100 per cent and I don’t think about Chelsea or another team.”