Arsene Wenger has challenged some of his forwards on the fringe of the first team to show their worth when they do get their chances.
A definite first choice front three has emerged this season with Theo Walcott providing Robin van Persie with delicious assists, while Gervinho, despite being somewhat wonky in front of goal in his last two games, has been a positive addition to the side.
That means players like Marouane Chamakh and Andrei Arshavin have found their first team appearances limited with new signing Ju Young Park is still to feature in a Premier League game.
However, the boss insists that due to the amount of games we have to play, and the need to rotate the squad, these players will have their opportunity and it’s up to them to take it.
“We have cover for Robin because we have Chamakh and Park”, he said at his press conference earlier today, “who I think are quality but at the moment they are not getting the opportunities because Robin is in such fantastic form.
“It will be up to them to show they can take the relay when needed because the season is long and we play in many competitions, hopefully for a long time. Everybody will get a chance.”
And he played down suggestions that Andrei Arshavin was little. I mean little more than back-up.
“He’s not a back-up player but at the moment he doesn’t play. Maybe he will play on Saturday. I feel sorry for every player who doesn’t play but it is part of our job. Competition is part of our job and you must accept that in some periods of your career somebody can get in front of you.”
Arshavin’s last league start for the club was on that fateful, and frankly painful, day at Ewood Park back in September. Since then he has started twice in Europe and once in the Carling Cup, but clearly the boss isn’t comfortable picking him for domestic duty.
Let’s hope that these guys are ready to battle for a place in the side. The season is long and we will need to make full use of our squad. Competition for places is a good thing, generally speaking, but it’s how those on the sidelines respond that really give you a measure of your players.