Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Squad depth can win Arsenal the title: Arteta

Mikel Arteta has sustained a thigh injury
Mikel Arteta is hopeful Arsenal have enough quality in the squad to win the league

Arsenal will need every member of their squad to perform when called upon if they are to last the distance in the Barclays Premier League title race, according to midfielder Mikel Arteta.

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, standing in for rested leading frontman Olivier Giroud, scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011 when he headed the Gunners in front after just 90 seconds against Hull at the Emirates Stadium on the way to a 2-0 win.

The result keeps Arsenal four points clear of nearest challengers Chelsea at the top of the table, and was achieved despite manager Arsene Wenger making several changes to the starting XI.

The likes of England trio Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were on the bench, along with club captain Thomas Vermaelen and also vice-skipper Arteta.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who came on as a late substitute for Aaron Ramsey, feels strength in depth will be vital.

"We want players who are in the squad that can contribute and help the team to be successful. Every member of the squad is important and Nicklas is no different," said Arteta.

"He is an Arsenal player and while he is here, he will give 100 per cent like everyone. He will not be thinking or doing anything different. I think he likes playing here.

"He has been working so hard since he joined us in pre-season, he got his chance against Hull and scored a very good goal."

There is little respite ahead for Arsenal, who host fifth-placed Everton on Sunday, then face a difficult away assignment against Napoli for their final Champions League group match before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

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