What has Yossi Benayoun done wrong?
It seems as though Arsene Wenger has become obsessed with keeping faith in Andrey Arshavin and giving him a second chance so much that it has come at the expense of playing a hungrier, more efficient player.
When Yossi Benayoun was signed as part of the five-man transfer frenzy which followed the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford he was probably the least anticipated name on the list.
And perhaps rightly so.
Due to his injury-prone record at Chelsea and the fact that he was a rival’s ‘reject’, the Israel international arrived as a bit-part player.
Wenger himself has limited the 31-year-old’s role to a bench warmer, but Andrey Arshavin has been misfiring for months while Gervinho has needed a breather.
Benayoun is yet to make a Premier League start but on every occasion he has pulled on the Arsenal shirt since his loan move, he has shown not only flashes of his quality but traits of a true proffesional.
Even in the frustration of being deprived of playing time, the former West Ham midfielder has echoed Szczesny’s fan-like passion for the club, always revelling in every Arsenal win or goal and even stating that it is a “dream” to be at a club like Arsenal and that he would be over the moon should his loan spell be extended.
That is the opposite of his compatriot Andrey Arshavin whose football enthusiasm is scarce – threatening to quit the game after Russia’s World Cup qualifying failure and prior to his Arsenal move, declared he was Barcelona through and through (even posing with a Barca shirt).
Add to that the fact that Benayoun has bagged two goals in his cameos – including a terrific strike and performance at Olympiakos recently – and it is clear the former Liverpool favourite has enough quality to merit a starting spot if not to challenge Walcott and/or Gervinho for a place at least.
So upon all this, when Arsenal were in need of an energitic and commited attacking player to replace Walcott at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Wenger chose Andrey Arshavin whose sheer laziness makes even Berbatov and Adebayor look like hard-working butcher dogs.
And even after seeing his commitment wasted at the expense of the ‘ever-reliable’ Arshavin, Benayoun managed to post the following proffesional note on his twitter account.
“Very disappointing result today and also not to play at all but I’m sure better days will come soon,” tweeted Benayoun.
How is this fair?