Wenger appeals for sense in Van Persie row
Published 05/11/2010 | 14:32
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains common sense must prevail over Robin van Persie' club-versus-country row.
The Holland striker today returned to training for the first time since being sidelined by an ankle problem at the end of August.
However, that has not stopped Dutch boss Bert van Marwijk including the forward in his provisional squad for the friendly against Turkey on November 17 - and declared he would have "no hesitation" in selecting the Gunners striker.
Russia boss Dick Advocaat, meanwhile, has every intention of selecting Andrey Arshavin for their game with Belgium despite opting to rest others, claiming Wenger was "always moaning about something," although the Belgians will not consider centre-half Thomas Vermaelen who is closing in on a return from an Achilles problem.
Wenger has often seen his players come back injured from international duty - with Theo Walcott now only just fit again while van Persie missed the best part of last season following ankle ligament damage suffered while away for Holland.
The Arsenal manager, however, insisted people should be able to accept his viewpoint.
"At the moment, Robin van Persie is coming back from injury, we are concerned to use him at our club and you can understand we are bit less concerned that he automatically plays in a friendly," Wenger said.
"Everyone of you has common sense and can completely agree with that. It does not look to me surreal that we wish him to play for us."
Wenger continued: "Holland is not my problem at the moment, my problem is to play the game against Newcastle on Sunday. All the rest is down to the rules that are in place in the international game.
"What can I do about that? Not a lot.
"I am not a big influence on that and I believe the most important thing is that we prepare well for our game on Sunday, try to win the game and let everybody else talk."
With fixtures in both domestic and European competition continuing thick and fast, Wenger does believes the scheduling of the latest round of internationals is not very productive.
"If you consider we play in the Carling Cup, the Champions League, the championship, and you look at the friendly, you could say it is not ideally situated for us," he said.
"It may be the worst moment, but not only for Arsenal, for many clubs.
"However, we are not all in front of the same problems, for example, there is England v France, which is the worst game for Arsenal because now we have many players from England and from France, so we might have a big call-up there."
Arsenal will have captain Cesc Fabregas available again after the Spain midfielder did not travel to Shakhtar Donetsk because of a slight hamstring strain, while Andrey Arshavin (virus) and Alex Song (calf) also return.
Wenger is expecting a response from the midweek defeat, which had started so well following Theo Walcott's early goal.
"It is a big lesson for us - our urgency was not good enough, from up front to the back, defensively we were not good enough. That is the thing we have to correct."
Newcastle head into Sunday's showdown on the back of a morale-boosting 5-1 victory over arch-rivals Sunderland.
While Arsenal may have romped to a 4-0 Carling Cup victory at St James Park a fortnight ago, Wenger knows Sunday will be a different ball game.
"We have been warned Newcastle are capable to be very strong and to score goals, for us it was a good warning," he said.
The Gunners boss has been "highly impressed" by the development of Magpies frontman Andy Carroll.
"He has presence, charisma and confidence," said Wenger.
"Carroll is intelligent on the ball. For me he is a player I had doubts about one year ago, but in the last year he has improved tremendously."