After Braga bashing, Wenger squad competition raises the stakes‏

By Avenell Dave

I pointed out to my fellow Addict last night that effectively Arsenal had four new signings on show for much of our demolition of Braga.

The two new centre backs got on with their jobs with minimal fuss; Jack Wilshere harried and hassled and carved out openings that others simply cannot see; and Maraoune Chamakh showed what a fine centre forward he is.

The best compliment I can pay Sebastien Squillaci is that I barely noticed him. Unruffled, focused and calm, he has brought a reassuring air to the defence and I just hope his injury problems don't cause us too many sleepless nights.

That's not to say that Laurent Koscielny didn't have a fine game too, and while the opposition may not have been top class, the more he plays, the better he will become.

Wilshere has reassured me that when we have to say Adios to Cesc Fabregas, the Spaniard's departure may not be quite as painful as we might fear.

Asked to play slightly deeper than he may wish to, Jack has the workrate, the vision and the skill to suggest he could become a superstar. I don't say that lightly.

He's an example to his rivals of how to work hard, be effective and take your chance. Safety first is all well and good, but the likes of Denilson can see that being positive and making an impact is required above and beyond simply making do.

The fact that Chamakh still has doubters surprises me immensely, but there are Addicts who are not yet convinced by his ability.

The Moroccan is not a goalscorer - he's more of an Alan Smith type player and yet he has already scored three goals. I can think of certain legendary Arsenal strikers who went much longer without scoring.

And yet his game is about so much more than goals. He brings others into play and creates space with his runs which pull opponents out of position.

All over the pitch, Arsenal suddenly have competition and that is only going to rule out complacency that perhaps we have suffered in the past.

With the exception of Manuel Almunia (who must still look over his shoulder after the club sought to replace him in the summer), everyone knows that a bad game could mean demotion from the next team.

Gael Clichy has Kieran Gibbs breathing down his neck; Bacary Sagna has Manu Eboue. If either centreback slips up, the Verminator can come back when fit and Johann Djourou knows what he needs to do to get back in the side.

Alex Song was replaced by Denilson, who must apply himself as the heir to the defensive midfield role and Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin have the returning Theo Walcott, Eboue and Tomas Rosicky waiting in the wings.

When Aaron Ramsey returns fully fit after Christmas, that will give us the option to rest Cesc or Jack while Abou Diaby also needs to step up.

Is RvP guaranteed a place back in the side when he's fit? I'm not so sure and Nick Bendtner is deluding himself if he thinks he's above Chamakh in the pecking order.

Sunderland will be a huge test and Cesc's Tweet last night that all thoughts must be on the Wearside visit underlines exactly how focused this squad seems to have become.

It's easy to get complacent when we trounce a side like we did last night but we've won nothing yet.

And let's remember that things won't always be this glorious so let's enjoy it while we can.