Olivier Giroud admits it felt 'strange' to be on the Arsenal bench, but accepts rotation policy

Striker admits he was frustrated to not be included in the starting XI against Hull in midweek

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud accepts he will need a rest from time to time this season - even if he is not very good at watching from the bench.

The France international returned to lead the Arsenal attack in the 1-1 draw against Everton on Sunday, having been rested for the midweek win over Hull, when Nicklas Bendtner scored his first goal for the club since March 2011.

Giroud - who could have snatched all three points for the Barclays Premier League against the Toffees when his 25-yard drive struck the woodwork in stoppage time - understands Arsenal will need all of their squad when called upon if they are to maintain their challenge for honours into 2014, which continues away to Napoli in the final of their Champions League group matches on Wednesday night.

"It did feel strange (to be on the bench against Hull) and I was a bit frustrated because I really want to play every game," Giroud said.

"But the boss said he had reason to leave me on the bench because it is better to have a rest sometimes, but I am obviously just really happy that the team won the game."

Giroud added in the Arsenal matchday programme: "We need everyone playing well to achieve our objectives this season and it is a really good thing for Nicklas and for his confidence.

"When we manage to play our game, it is always very difficult for the opponents because they have to defend deep and be compact."

Arsenal will certainly need to be at their best to return from Stadio San Paolo with a positive result against Rafael Benitez's men, who need victory to maintain their own hopes of qualification.

Nevertheless, the Gunners head to Italy three points clear at the top of Group F and so a draw would be good enough to secure first place and with it seeding for the knockout stage.

Even defeat could also see Arsenal progress, depending on the final scoreline and also Borussia Dortmund's result in Marseille.

Wenger does not want his team to dwell on the frustrations of failing to hold out for victory over Everton, which would have extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.

"We should not be disappointed too much because this team has great spirit and fights in every single game," he said on Arsenal Player.

The Gunners boss, though, insists focus must not be on anything other than the next challenge, which will see his side play six matches in some 21 days.

Arsenal head to tackle Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime and then into a showdown with Chelsea on December 23 as the festive fixtures get into full swing - with the small matter of a north-London derby against Tottenham in the FA Cup third round on January 4 also on the horizon.

However, Wenger stressed: "We have so many games coming up, that (Tottenham tie) does not concern me at the moment.

"We will of course try to play well in the FA Cup and it is always a difficult game against Tottenham.

"But at the moment, let's just prepare for the Champions League."

Bacary Sagna continues to recover from a hamstring problem, so Carl Jenkinson looks set to deputise at right-back again in Naples.

England forward Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is pressing for a place in the starting line-up having been used as an impact player from the bench after his return from minor abdominal surgery.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman, Peter Capaldi and Nick Frost star in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, Last Christmas
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran