Wenger drops hints over Arsenal side to face Spurs
PUBLISHED: 15:18 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:26 21 September 2010
ARSENE Wenger has indicated that he will throw some of his teenage stars into north London derby action in tonight’s Carling Cup tie at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners head up the Seven Sisters Road in a third-round clash, the third time the north London neighbours have met in this competition in five seasons.
Arsenal prevailed in the semi-final in 2007, but were then thumped 6-2 on aggregate a year later and that is the result that will be uppermost in the mind of Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who will play tonight on the ground where he endured a nightmare 90 minutes in the 5-1 second leg defeat two years ago.
“It [that defeat] was a massive disappointment for him but I believe he got other chances and he will get another one tomorrow,” said Wenger.
“I am personally convinced he is potentially a world-class goalkeeper and of course when you have that potential you want to transfer that into competitive games. I can only give him the opportunity to give him games to show what I believe about how good he is.
“At that level it’s competition, you don’t have to accept the decision but to fight against the decision and to change the mind of people who make the decision.
“I believe he has a very strong attitude, very strong response and he works very hard in training, so he has an opportunity to show his massive talent now. I have massive faith in him and I think I have shown this historically.
“I am convinced that he will come out to become a great goalkeeper. We live in a world where if you have an opportunity you have to take it. You will get a second one but you will not get 10. And that’s part of our job.”
Wenger is also set to hand starts to Thomas Cruise, Henri Lansbury and Gavin Hoyte, while Johan Djourou will get the chance to prove his fitness after a year on the sidelines with a knee problem.
“Johan is in the squad,” confirmed Wenger. “The competition is very hard for him. I have a lot of understanding for Johan because he was out for a year and you do not come straight back in a month.
“You need four centre backs for a season. I believe personally that we have four good centre backs, not only good but very good centre backs.”
And Carlos Vela, a scoring substitute twice already this season, will be given a start at White Hart Lane with Wenger asking him to take the responsibility up front.
“It’s about starting the game, carrying the responsibility to be the main striker and showing that you can deal with that. I believe that Carlos can – but then again you have to turn up at the right moment.
“It’s a massive opportunity for him, he has worked very hard from the beginning of the season. He is a different player to what he was last year when it wasn’t easy going sometimes. He has a more mature attitude now.”
Harry Redknapp has also said he will be blooding a couple of youngsters in defender Steven Caulker and midfielder Jake Livermore, but ex-Arsenal trainee David Bentley will spearhead a large contingent of experienced players, also likely to include Roman Pavlyuchenko, Sebastien Bassong, Wilson Palacios and Niko Kranjcar.
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