By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger believes Andrey Arshavin will be back to his best soon.
The Arsenal midfielder has been going through an indifferent spell in recent weeks and was guilty of a major miss in the FA Cup Third-Round tie against Leeds on Saturday.
In the opening minutes, Tomas Rosicky’s penetrative pass put Arshavin clear but he failed to gain full control of the ball and Kasper Schmeichel blocked his shot.
Arsenal spurned further opportunities after that and would be punished by a Robert Snodgrass penalty early in the second half. Only a last-minute spot-kick from Cesc Fabregas saved Arsenal’s blushes.
Afterwards, Wenger remembered that Arshavin miss but said the 29-year-old was suffering a temporary blip.
“He took one touch too many and the keeper did well with another,” said the manager.
"It's not through a lack of desire with Arshavin. He wants to do well.
"Every player during a season has strong and weaker periods and he's had a weaker period. Plus he’s had two or three weeks on the bench. I've no worries that he will come back into the team. But his confidence suffers a little bit from that.”
Nicklas Bendtner was also guilty of missing opportunities on the day. Wenger argued that, for a frontman, missing chances can put you into a self-defeating cycle.
"They can explain better to you,” said the Frenchman. “The longer it doesn't go for them, the more the confidence [issue] kicks in but, even when you're a regular, it affects you as a striker.
"We try to analyse our games in an objective way and I'm lucky because our players are self critical. They analyse themselves and they want to do well.”Copyright 2013 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 10 Jan 2011