Arsene Wenger is committed to give his fringe players a run against Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup despite his strategy backfiring against Dinamo Zagreb. The manager made six changes to the squad that started in the Premier League against Stoke City but the players failed to put in a solid performance, exacerbated by Olivier Giroud's sending off in the first half, and went down 1-2 to the Croatian side.
The Mirror reports that Wenger will allow David Ospina to marshal the sticks in the cup and European games, with Petr Cech firmly established in the Premier League. The Czech Republic international has kept three clean sheets already this season but his first major test will come against his former club Chelsea, whom Arsenal face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Ospina was the first choice at Arsenal in the second half of the last season, with Wojciech Szczesny dropped to the bench following his performance against Southampton on new year's day and some off-the-pitch activities that riled the manager. The Pole has been sent on loan to Roma but Ospina has been convinced to stay, with assurances of first-team football.
Arsenal have a barrage of tough fixtures coming up in the league and other competitions, for which Wenger is determined to change his squad around, irrespective of whatever happened against Zagreb. Their game against Chelsea is followed by a trip next weekend to Leicester City, who are currently second in the table, built on the back of some brilliant results in the league.
The Gunners then have a must-win game against Olympiacos in the Champions League before hosting Manchester United at the Emirates right before the international break. Wenger will be hoping that his fringe players can take the step forward, especially with Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck all ruled out due to long-term injuries.