By Nick Ames

Arsenal’s core of senior players have been crucial to the team’s recovery this season, according to Arsène Wenger.

The likes of Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta have shown their worth both on and off the pitch in recent months and Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to their attitude and leadership qualities.

“Personally I never question the attitude of this team, which I may have done in some previous years,” Wenger told this month’s Official Arsenal Magazine.

“But this season, never. I’ve always returned home thinking this team will never give up, they are always ready for a fight.

“I must say Robin van Persie has done an outstanding job of leading the team, as have many players – people like Vermaelen, Arteta, Song, Sagna – I don’t want to leave people out but the senior players have played a big part in setting the tone in the squad.”

Van Persie’s goal tally - 33 in all competitions so far - is a good example of a senior player leading by example through his performances. Wenger believes his captain’s ability to find the net at any time has had a big effect on morale.

“It keeps the spirit high,” he explained. “When you are suffering, you are ready to suffer a little bit more knowing that you just have to find one chance and there is a guy there who can win us the game.”

Read Wenger's full interview in the latest edition of the Official Arsenal Magazine. Click here to subscribe or call 0845 301 7626

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5 Apr 2012