The REAL reason why Nick Bendtner didn't start on Saturday

By Avenell Dave

When you're in such a hot run of form, it must be frustrating to be relegated to the bench, as Nick bendtner found on Saturday, especially against a team who have delusions of taking our place in the top four.

For such an important match, the fact Citeh 'parked the bus' and showed as little attacking adventure as I can imagine, says a lot for their strategy of pinning all hopes on beating T*tt*nh*m when the sides face each other.

Sol Campbell deserves all the credit for another impressive performance and even Mikael Silvestre and Lukasz Fabianksi didn't have a huge amount to do.

But it was while reading the official Arsenal magazine - not the programme - that I realised why we have struggled at times this season and why Bendtner was rested for the majority of Saturday's game.

A list of appearances for the season put Thomas Vermaelen top, followed by Manuel Almunia, Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna and Andrey Arshavin.

See the trend there?

With the exception of Almunia and to a certain extent Sagna (who has been rested and withdrawn on many occasions) the rest of them are what you could argue are the spine of our side (adding RvP to the mix) and all of them have suffered with injuries this season.

How many of us feared how we would cope if Vermaelen or Gallas got injured?

The fact is, football has changed.

You can't just expect a squad of 14-16 get you through all competitions, let alone win any of them, and so the squad becomes even more important.

And what has hampered Arsene Wenger has been the lack of real quality replacements to come in and do a job and give players a rest.

We all know that a player never wants to be rested - who would? But what a player wants and what is good for him are two very different things.

I don't buy it that Bendtner was rested because he can't play with RvP because the only way their understanding will improve is if they play together more.

It's got to be because Wenger didn't want to over-play Nick as he has had to do in the absence of alternatives in recent weeks.

That's perhaps why the Ch*vs, with their huge squad, and M*nure with their mix of veterans, experience and talented youngsters, have gone that step further than us this season.

The fact that Carlos Vela didn't get introduced suggests that Wenger has stopped trusting him, because the Mexican rarely features nowadays.

Similarly, Eduardo is fit but not worthy of being introduced despite a stalemate and his regular appearances for Croatia.

We expect more of squad players such as Vela and Eduardo and I suspect one or both of them will leave in the summer.

Back to Saturday and it was turgid but we could have won it if the linesman's flag hadn't incorrectly denied Samir Nasri a goalscoring opportunity.

Everyone around me was positive about the result, not because of Citeh's stellar team, but because we worked hard and we were disciplined.

Yes, there was too much sideways football, a lack of cutting edge - but what do you expect after the rotten run we have been on of late and without our two most creative outlets, Cesc and Arshavin?

One more point secures third and we'll get it I'm sure.

This summer is going to be a bit different, Addicts.

Keep believing.