Wenger sympathy for Arshavin

Frenchman feels it is tough to step straight back into side

Andrey Arshavin: Arsenal midfielder has earned sympathy from manager Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he has sympathy with Andrey Arshavin having to try and slot back into first-team action.

The Russia international was restored to the side for the Gunners' weekend draw with Fulham, his first start since their defeat at Blackburn over two months ago.

And Wenger admits it is tough for any player to bounce straight back into the swing of things after being out for so long.

"I believe it is difficult for a player when he doesn't play regularly to be absolutely exceptional," Wenger told the club's official website.

"I don't think he had a bad game but I think he suffered a little bit from the fact we were not as sharp as we might have been.

"Your confidence is not at the top as well when you don't play for one month. You need to play regularly.

"He will come back. He works hard in training and has a good attitude so we just have to keep him tight."