Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s squad depth was essential in securing victory over Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla were among those who started from the bench as Arsène Wenger’s side battled to a hard-fought win at Emirates Stadium.

Arteta made his return to the team after almost a month out injured and feels rotation made a difference at the weekend.

Arteta reaction
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 “You have to do that [rotate],” he told Arsenal Player. “I think Santi’s played a lot of games, as I did before I got injured. The last thing you want is [him injured] for a few weeks, [especially] now important games are coming up.

“He [Wenger] decided to leave him on the bench. He came on to help us win the game and that shows that the players can be changed, that we can rotate the team, and that we have a powerful squad.

“I was desperate to get back. I tried to [come back] a bit earlier than today, but it was impossible. I wasn’t sure if I was playing today. The boss thought that I had to, and I was very pleased to be out there, as captain as well. I’m very proud of it.

“You know you have to be patient in those games. Sometimes when you have to rush the game, you make mistakes and get hit on the counter attack.

“We knew that the chances would come, they have come and it took a bit of luck to win the game, but it was enough to earn the three points and we’re delighted.”

Copyright 2014 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 Nik Brumsack 4 Feb 2013