By Joe Brewin

Confidence is key to the success of Andrey Arshavin, according to Arsène Wenger.

Arshavin has found himself in and out of the Arsenal first team this season as his manager rotates his strike force.

The Russian hit the winner in the Gunners’ Premier League victory over Swansea two weeks ago and Wenger has backed the diminutive forward to continue in the same vein.

“I think he’s had a good start to the season,” said Wenger. “Gervinho was a little bit in front and he did very well, and he [Arshavin] is a bit in and out. Maybe you will see him tomorrow.

“I rotate more the strikers than anybody else and Andrey, you cannot fault.”

Wenger believes the Russia captain has an unfair reputation in certain quarters and remains adamant his No 23 is a model professional.

“There is a difference between the image that Andrey has and who he is really is,” said the boss. “He is a very conscientious hard-worker in training.

“Sometimes he has an image a little bit of a non-caring person and that is not at all [the case]. He is 100 per cent a professional player.

“I think what he needs more is confidence. He had a difficult end of season last year and I believe since a few weeks now, he is in very good form.”

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27 Sep 2011