I played too many se­nior play­ers in cup de­feat - Wenger

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Arse­nal Man­ager Arsene Wenger has ad­mit­ted us­ing “too many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers” af­ter Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain and Theo Wal­cott were in­jured in Arse­nal’s 3-0 League Cup loss at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

Wal­cott re­placed OxladeCham­ber­lain but left the field on 18 min­utes and both will have scans on mus­cu­lar in­juries.

The Gun­ners boss said the in­juries to both for­wards were a “big blow”.

“We are short now with the in­juries,” added the 66-year-old French­man, who has six other first-team play­ers out.

“I have to man­age the work­load of the play­ers and at the end of the day I still think I maybe brought too many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers here.”

The FA Cup hold­ers barely threat­ened as goals from Ross Wal­lace, Lu­cas Joao and Sam Hutchin­son sent the Cham­pi­onship side into the quar­ter-fi­nals.

Wenger said he would have “loved” to have won the tie but, re­fer­ring to his grow­ing in­jury list, he added: “With the squad we have got now, we can­not keep in all the com­pe­ti­tions.”

Wenger made nine changes for the 3-0 de­feat but still in­cluded Olivier Giroud, Per Merte­sacker, Mathieu Flamini, Petr Cech, Mathieu De­buchy, Kieran Gibbs and Calum Cham­bers.

But Wenger said the level was “too high” for the younger play­ers he se­lected.

Mid­fielder Glen Ka­mara and for­ward Alex Iwobi - both 19 - made full de­buts in the last-16 tie, while 17-year-olds Is­mael Ben­nacer and Kris­tian Bielik came off the bench.

“They are not ready to play at this level,” said Wenger. “We lost two play­ers and af­ter that I had Gabriel and Na­cho Mon­real on the bench but I couldn’t bring them on be­cause I couldn’t af­ford to lose any more play­ers.”

Yaya Toure, left, eclipsed Marouane Fel­laini dur­ing the Bar­clays English Pre­mier League match at week­end.

Arsene Wenger

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