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?
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year