Wenger optimistic about Arsenal silverware
The French coach is delighted to see his young players hit form after their stylish 2-0 victory over Newcastle.sports Updated: Sep 26, 2007 13:36 IST
Arsene Wenger could barely disguise his delight after seeing his youthful second string Arsenal team knock Premier League high-fliers Newcastle out of the League Cup.
The French coach claimed that any player in his team could now be counted upon to help his team win domestic and European silverware after his team's stylish 2-0 victory at Emirates on Tuesday sent his team into the fourth round.
"We have a chance to beat anyone with this team. We have wave after wave of generations of young players and when they have come in, they show top quality," he said.
"All of them can play on a regular basis in the first team. There is a continuity there and we have all kinds of good players in every position," he added.
When asked if he could win the Premier League or even the Champions League with the young players, the former Monaco coach was bullish.
"I feel I have the strength in depth. We have good togetherness, good camaraderie and everybody is on the same wavelength," Wenger said.
The Gunners boss rubbed salt into Chelsea's wounds when asked about the performance of Lassan Diarra. The former Blues midfielder produced exactly the type of robust performance which the south London team has being crying out for of late.
"We are glad we got him. I might add the fee was a lot less than was reported in the newspapers at the time," Wenger said.
The Gunners completed the Frenchman's signing ten minutes before the close of the summer transfer window for an estimated fee of five million pounds.
However, when pushed to disclose the actual amount, Wenger stated that Arsenal had paid just 2 million pounds.
A further cause for optimism was this week's revelation that the Gunners were now the second richest club in the world and had over 70 million pounds in the transfer fund.
Wenger refused to be drawn on potential targets claiming that accounts could be "juggled" to give an unfair reflection of the club's finances.
Arsenal had to wait until the 83rd minute before breaking the deadlock through Niklas Bendtner.
In a carbon copy of a chance he missed in the first half, the Dane was first to an outswinging cross from the left-wing by Armand Traore before burying his header into the roof of the goal.
The game was wrapped up for the home team with a superb strike from Brazilian midfielder Denilson in injury time.
Traore laid the ball back to the youngster who rifled an unstoppable effort into the top-corner from 25-yards. Magpies boss Sam Allardyce revealed that England striker Michael Owen is due to see a hernia specialist on Thursday.
"Michael has a three centimeter tear in his abductor muscle. We can't decide if he needs an operation until he sees the specialist," he said.
The former Bolton boss explained that a separate groin injury would already rule Owen out for three games, meaning he would miss England's two upcoming European qualifying games.
Allardyce had unreserved criticism for the authorities, claiming the decision to play the game on Tuesday, had left his players tired.
"More disappointing than the result is that we were forced to play today. We had a fatigued set of players who couldn't play anymore as they ran out of legs.
"I do not know why we could not play on Wednesday night the same as Tottenham. I believe the police said we couldn't, but it happens in the north-west, and they have more police down here, don't they?"
First Published: Sep 26, 2007 12:48 IST