By Richard Clarke
It was memories of Manchester United that prompted Arsène Wenger to leave out Robin van Persie on Saturday against Derby.
The Dutchman was in fine form last January when he broke a metatarsal in his foot scoring the equaliser against Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger had actually left him on the bench that day to give him a rest however, with Arsenal trailing 1-0, he was required to come on. His strike hauled the home team back into the game but the injury he sustained in scoring would sideline the Dutchman for the remainder of the season. Wenger has often talked about the idea that tired players are much more likely to get injured and that was a factor at the weekend.
"I was scared because we lost Robin for a long time [last season]," said the Frenchman post match.

"He has been in every minute of every game so I wanted to give him a breather today. Also I had in mind that the last time I bought him on against Manchester United he got injured so I thought I don't want to gamble on that."

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Richard Clarke 24 Sep 2007