Premier League - Arteta: Strength in depth vital to Arsenal success

Arsenal will need every member of their squad to perform when called upon if they are to last the distance in the Barclays Premier League title race, according to midfielder Mikel Arteta.

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, standing in for rested leading frontman Olivier Giroud, scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011 when he headed the Gunners in front after just 90 seconds against Hull at the Emirates Stadium on the way to a 2-0 win.

The result keeps Arsenal four points clear of nearest challengers Chelsea at the top of the table, and was achieved despite manager Arsene Wenger making several changes to the starting XI. The likes of England trio Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were on the bench, along with club captain Thomas Vermaelen and vice-skipper Arteta.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who came on as a late substitute for Aaron Ramsey, feels strength in depth will be vital.

"We want players who are in the squad that can contribute and help the team to be successful. Every member of the squad is important and Nicklas is no different," said Arteta.

"He is an Arsenal player and while he is here, he will give 100 per cent. He will not be thinking or doing anything different. I think he likes playing here.

"He has been working so hard since he joined us in pre-season, he got his chance against Hull and scored a very good goal."

There is little respite ahead for Arsenal who host fifth-placed Everton on Sunday, then face a difficult away assignment against Napoli for their final Champions League group match before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

Arteta, though, insists the Gunners squad are brimming with confidence as they chase down a first trophy since 2005.

"The difference to previous years is we are top of the league when by now we would be 10 or 12 points behind whoever was first before, that is a big difference," he said.

"The confidence and atmosphere is different and we want to maintain that.

"Does it matter we don't have the experience of winning the title before? No - as long as you have the quality, the ambition and togetherness that we have, I think we are in a good position to do it.

"That is where we are and I think the Christmas period is going to be massively important."

German forward Lukas Podolski is set to join in with the first-team squad again as he steps up recovery from a hamstring injury, while Walcott could come into contention to start this weekend after being ill in the build-up to the Hull match.

Midfielder Mathieu Flamini, meanwhile, is reported to have tweaked his groin on Wednesday night, and so will be assessed.