Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his decision to start Yaya Sanogo in place of Olivier Giroud in last night’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich was “based on performance”.
Giroud was also left out of Sunday’s FA Cup win over Liverpool, but Wenger says he is merely giving the France international a break.
Wenger said, “It was just a decision based on performance,”
He added: “When I play Giroud in every game, people reproach me from playing him in every game. When I rest him, people reproach me for rested him. Tonight I rested him so you should be happy.
“It was not punishment, it was just a decision tonight. Giroud is a strong character, and what happened doesn’t influence his behaviour on the pitch.
“I just decided to give him a breather for one or two games, and to give him a chance to come back refreshed.”
Wenger also praised his replacement, Sanogo, who made only the second start of his Arsenal career.
“As well I wanted to give an opportunity to Sanogo, and I think he did very well,” he said.