By Richard Clarke

In busy periods like this, the bench can play a vital role according to Arsène Wenger.

Arsenal fans had a perfect example on Sunday at Upton Park. When Emmanuel Adebayor came on with 23 minutes to go the game was in the balance. By the end he had registered an assist and a goal as the visitors went home with a hard-fought three points.

Wenger had rotated his squad for that game and has promised to do the same when Tottenham visit Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. However, the Frenchman knows the eventual matchwinner may not be in the starting line-up.

“We will rotate a bit because we play many, many games at the moment,” said the Arsenal manager. “It is a period where rotation and the quality of your bench are important.

“We saw that against West Ham when Diaby and Adebayor came on.”

That win was heartening because, as Theo Walcott told Arsenal TV Online afterwards, the side had showed they could do the dirty jobs as well as play flowing football. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Wenger said that sort of psyche is crucial right now.

“We are in a period now where the squad mentality is vital,” he remarked.

“But I am very confident because we have a very strong united spirit in the dressing room and we want to do well.

“We have shown that in recent games. We won at Fenerbahce, we won at West Ham, we also beat Everton in a convincing way.

“Now we want to keep that going against Tottenham.”

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28 Oct 2008