By Rob Kelly
Arsène Wenger admits that Arsenal need Robin van Persie to help them secure third place in the Premier League.
The Dutch striker scored his 28th league goal of the campaign in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke, just days after he was crowned PFA and Football Writers' Association Player of the Year.
And Wenger says the 28-year-old will need to be at his best in his side's final two games of the season.
"He has to push us over the line," he said. "There are two games to go. We have been a bit over-reliant on him, I concede that. But it is difficult to change that before the end of the season."
While Wenger was frustrated not to secure the three points at the Britannia Stadium, he insisted it could prove to be a valuable result.
"We’ll see how important this point is at the end of the season," he said. "I knew that Newcastle were losing, so in the last 20 minutes I thought it was important not to lose the game.
"We had a good game defensively. We had some great fluency in the first half. In the second half we did not create enough anymore.
"I don’t know if it was because Stoke defended better or we were tired. It was a valuable point because we showed battling qualities we have not always shown here."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Apr 2012