Backpage Roundup: Henry’s Goal Count, Wenger’s Praise and More

Wenger Praises ‘Special’ Van Persie

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has lauded captain Robin van Persie for scoring 30 league goals this season and said that the Dutch striker’s achievement is ‘special.’

Van Persie has become only the seventh Arsenal player ever to reach the 30-goal mark in a single season and, according to Wenger, the striker’s historical accomplishment shows just how vital he is to the Gunners.

In an interview with Arsenal Player on Friday, Wenger said: “Robin has done tremendously well. Even on Sunday [against Norwich] he got us back to 2-2 and scored again to make it 3-2.

“Of course you don’t know what more to say about Robin’s season because, as the numbers tell you, only special players can achieve that. You want some more goals around Robin and for him to keep at these numbers. Of course you can beat the records.”


Henry’s Goal Record Decreased By One

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry’s club record goals tally has been decreased by one. The French maestro returned to Emirates Stadium for his second spell earlier this year and scored three goals for his beloved club. (

But the Dubious Goals Panel has cancelled one of his strikes as, according to them, the last goal in Arsenal’s 7-1 win over Blackburn Rovers was an own goal by Scott Dann and it was added to Henry’s tally by mistake.

Despite the chalked off goal, he still remains Arsenal’s record goal scorer by a long margin. His revised tally of 228 strikes enables him to top the list of Arsenal’s all-time scoring chart. He is followed by Ian Wright, whose record of 185 goals was broken by Henry in October 2005.


Wenger Compares WBA Game to Highbury Finale of 2006

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sees similarities in this Sunday’s season game against West Brom and the last one played at Highbury against Wigan Athletic in 2006.

Six years ago, Thierry Henry’s final day hat trick secured Arsenal’s Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur. They need another similar final-day result this time around in order to maintain their Champions League status and Wenger has noticed the common points.

He told Arsenal Player: “It will be a great achievement if we manage to do it. I believe it would be reward for a group which has exceptional strength. They have come through some difficult times, always recovered and always battled. Therefore I will be extremely delighted when we do it.

“[It reminds me of the final game at Highbury] a little bit because the qualifying was the same, with the Champions League at stake. There is even more uncertainty because fourth place is not this time necessarily in the Champions League.

“Let’s make sure we finish third and win our game – that is the only answer we can give. To do that of course you need a full, committed performance from everybody. On that front I am quite sure we will get that from our players and then we will have a very good chance to do it.”


Wenger Expects Summer Transfer Window to Be Quiet

Arsene Wenger has said that he won’t be signings too many players in this summer’s transfer window. The Gunners have already added German striker Lukas Podolski to their squad for next season and are being linked with several other players.

While Wenger admits that he would sign a couple of new players in the summer, he says that the economic and other squad limitations means that their main focus will be to get the best out of their existing players.

He told Arsenal Player: “We have already bought Podolski and we have bought five players during the season when it had already started. Our job will be focused on inside [matters] now we have Podolski. That means to get Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby back in a healthy situation and then I believe we have quite a big squad. It will be [our intention] to trim a little bit and if possible add one or two players.

“I believe that the summer will be quiet for many reasons,” he added. “First of all in England you have a 25-man limited squad number. Secondly the financial situation all over Europe is really bad and in some countries they have other worries than football. Therefore I expect it to be quiet. In our job, and this is like a football match, it is not completely predictable. But on the vibes I get even from the clubs who are big spenders, they all want to slow down.”

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