Wenger: Young Gunners can boost club

Arsene Wenger maintains giving youth a chance to shine in the Carling Cup will serve in the best interests of Arsenal’s future – whatever the outcome of tonight’s quarter-final at Manchester City.

Despite the disappointment of Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat by Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea – which left the Gunners 11 points off the pace, albeit with a game in hand – Wenger will stick to the policy of handing vital big-match experience to the younger members of his squad.

The Carling Cup has long been a breeding ground for Arsenal stars of the future, with Cesc Fabregas, now the Gunners’ captain, making his debut as a 16-year-old against Rotherham during October 2003.

Wenger sees no reason why the current crop of youthful talent, which includes reserve captain Kyle Bartley, pacy forward Sanchez Watt, versatile Craig Eastmond – who are all 18 – and 19-year-old Spaniard Fran Merida, who netted a spectacular strike against Liverpool in the last round, should not go on to become first-team regulars.

“Let’s keep the faith in our young players who keep waiting for this game and I want to give them a chance to play,” said the Arsenal manager.

“I believe any result should not influence too much your policy. We know what we want to do in the Carling Cup but we also want to win it.

“It is a cup game and I believe, in a cup game, anything is possible.”

More in this Section

'Tenacious player who gave his all': Tributes paid to former Roscommon footballer Conor Connelly who has died'Tenacious player who gave his all': Tributes paid to former Roscommon footballer Conor Connelly who has died

Tommy Fleetwood hopes Ryder Cup can be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’Tommy Fleetwood hopes Ryder Cup can be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Conor McGregor wants Defence Forces to help with lockdownConor McGregor wants Defence Forces to help with lockdown

Pedro reveals struggle as he is separated from his children during shutdownPedro reveals struggle as he is separated from his children during shutdown


Lifestyle

As the clocks go ahead, so does your style. Corina Gaffney picks your new wardrobe heroesFashion forward: Spring fashion as the clocks change

Des O'Sullivan gives an overview of the changed dates for much-anticipated salesAntiques & FIne Art: What events are put on hold for now?

Virtual auctions a welcome distraction, writes Des O’SullivanBuyers adapt with ease to bid online while grounded

I wish I could write us all back in time, when we could pop to the shops without fear, when grandparents did not have to wave through a window at their grandchildren.Michelle Darmody: Recipes with simple ingredients

More From The Irish Examiner