Monday, December 17, 2007

Wenger Sticks With Youngsters For Blackburn Clash

Arsene Wenger will continue to blood his youngsters in the Carling Cup, even against the tough opposition of Blackburn. The Arsenal coach feels that playing a young squad will not only increase the experience of Arsenal's fringe players, but also allow the Gunners' senior squad a chance to rest during period congested with fixtures.

"The Carling Cup is more of a squad game, because we decided as a squad to go for every single trophy. Many players that didn't play against Chelsea will play at Blackburn on Tuesday night," the coach told

"My expectation is to qualify and go into the semi-finals, because we want to come back as well as we did last year and as well it is a good opportunity for my squad to show how strong the players who didn't play against Chelsea are.

"I believe in them, and it is good (for the fringe players) to show me 'we knock at the door and we want to play in the first team'.

"We use the competition for our players to grow up - but not only to grow up. It is also to show they are good enough to play in the Champions League and the Premier League.

"I believe as well what is fantastic is to see these players respond under the pressure of Premier League teams, and you can detect who is ready and who is not ready."

Wenger has named the following squad for Tuesday's clash:

Lukasz Fabianksi, Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos, Alex Song, Armand Traore, Abou Diaby, Gilberto, Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner, Eduardo, Vito Mannone, Gavin Hoyte, Lassana Diarra, Neves Denilson, Henri Lansbury, Fran Merida, Nacer Barazite, William Gallas