Wenger backs Arshavin

Gunners admit they are lucky to still be in FA Cup

Arshavin: Sub-par performance

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has backed Andrey Arshavin to recapture his best form for the Gunners.

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The Russian international was a starter for the first time in three games in the FA Cup on Saturday as Championship side Leeds earned a battling draw.

Arshavin, along with Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, was jeered by sections of the Emirates crowd at times during the game.

However the Arsenal boss insists that the midfielder will find top form on a regular basis this season.

"The fans were frustrated. That comes from when you don't win," the Arsenal manager said.

"The fans are demanding. We were not consistent technically and so they picked on our inconsistencies.

"I have no worries that Arshavin will come back into the team, but their confidence does suffer a little bit from that.

"It is not through a lack of desire with Arshavin. He wants to do well.

"He took one touch too many with his first chance and the keeper did well to save another shot he had.

"Every player during a season has strong and weaker periods and he has had a weaker period, then two or three weeks on the bench."

Cup romance

Wenger admitted that, despite a difficult afternoon at the Emirates, the result was evidence of the romance still involved in the FA Cup.

A late spot-kick from Cesc Fabregas salvaged a draw and a replay and denied Leeds a famous victory.

"Leeds played a good cup game and that is the tradition of the English game," added Wenger.

"They came here, they gave everything and credit to Leeds because they did well."