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Wenger reaffirms youth plan
25 Feb 2007 - 11:57:08
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has vowed to class several members of the youthful line-up that has taken the Gunners to the Carling Cup final as first-team regulars should they triumph over Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium.
Wenger insists his way of nurturing young talent over a period of time is the correct way of building towards future success and has launched a thinly-veiled attack on Chelsea's policy of spending heavily in the transfer market.
Speaking about his youthful Carling Cup final side, he said: "Several of the young players have come on much quicker than I thought they would and on Sunday they have another big step to take.
"What is important is that if they do that we can never consider them as just young players any more.
"They will be ready to fight for regular positions in the team and that will give me a nice headache."
Wenger has vowed to stick with the younger players who secured the Gunners' passage into the final - even if it means leaving out the likes of skipper Thierry Henry and William Gallas.
"You must understand that this team is the work of four or five years. To destroy it now I think would be crazy," he claimed.
"It wouldn't make sense to suddenly put four or five big names in front of young players whom we have developed for three, four or five years.
"I would say to the guy who wanted to give me £100million to keep it and invest it in something else.
"I am told Chelsea want to develop their own youth players but I think it would be a conflict of policies for them to do that.
"It takes four or five years to get to the level we have with our young players and I think that would be very hard for Chelsea.
"Once you have a lot of money, and spend it, you are always under pressure to buy."