It has become very apparent, both from his team-mates tweeting and his managers and captains comments since his 87th minute winning goal against Aston Villa in midweek, that Yossi Benayoun is a very popular figure at Arsenal.
Robin van Persie said that the Israeli has been on fire in training and bursting for his opportunity in the startin line-up, but equally it is obvious from his own respectful quotes that Yossi is patient and understands that he needs to wait on his chances.
Arsene Wenger was certainly fulsome in his praise after the win at Villa Park:
‘He is a very intelligent boy and tonight he did fantastically well when he came on.
The changes who came on did very well and stabilised our game I think – Yossi came on and won us three fantastic points.’
I have written in recent weeks that it should be Yossi or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or both, who benefit from Gervinho’s pre-longed absence in January and February, rather than Andrey Arshavin. The Villa cameo for both players reassured me that I was right. Benayoun positively influenced the match from the minute he stepped on the pitch, whilst Arshavin did very little, again.
I feel that both Yossi and Thomas Rosicky are issuing timely reminders to Wenger that they are fit, ready and can lend valuable experience to a team that is tiring in some departments.
I feelAaron Ramsey certainly needs a recharge over Christmas. However, what Yossi adds, over perhaps Rosicky and certainly Arshavin, is boundless energy and an inspiring work ethic. We as fans demand 100% commitment from our players and Benayoun will never be found wanting in this department.
Looking back over the Israeli captain’s career he has been very unfortunate with injury, but in seasons when he has been mostly fit his statistics are hugely impressive.