Wenger builds up young guns
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsene Wenger believes his starlets can compete with Chelsea's 'unlimited power'.Arsene Wenger has expressed his faith in his fledgling side, and emphasised the gulf in resources between Arsenal and their London rivals Chelsea.
The French tactician has had to call on the promising batch of youngsters currently plying their trade at Highbury, whilst The Blues have international stars such as Hernan Crespo and Juan Veron out on loan.
The Arsenal boss has declared that it would be foolish for the club to overstretch their financial budget in an attempt to keep pace with Roman Abramovich, and is confident that in future seasons Arsenal's active youth policy will come to fruition.
"It's a big challenge to compete with them but we need a bit more patience," said Wenger.
"While they can keep players at another club (on loan) until they peak, we have to take players early and be patient by educating them and getting them into the first team.
"But we need to keep faithful to what we can afford, you have to work with what you have available.
"For us to compete with Chelsea and ruin the club would be nonsense, there are a big number of players on earth and they cannot employ everybody."
With a move to the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium fast approaching, Arsenal may soon have the financial clout to challenge the top clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester Untied.
However Wenger is dedicated to continuing his mission of developing Europe's best talent at Highbury, a policy that has recently produced the precocious Spanish midfielder Francesc Fabregas.
"Manchester United have made some huge investments, we will get that as well," continued Wenger
"But we have also gone another way, which is to get good young players in, mature them, and not to sell them to Chelsea.
"These young players at Arsenal can win Championships as they have outstanding quality and belief."
Mathieu Flamini and Robin van Persie have also forced their way into contention this term, and, with major players such as Gilberto Silva injured for long spells, the youngsters have played a vital role in Arsenal's campaign to date.
The Gunners currently find themselves ten points behind Chelsea with 14 games to play, although the ex-Monaco boss has not given up hope of retaining The Premiership for the first time under his stewardship.
"What is important now is to regroup and fight hard as we can to come back on Chelsea.
"If we can come back now to Chelsea in the final part of the season, we will be even stronger next season as we'll have players like Fabregas and Flamini with a year's experience behind them."