Wenger: 'These players do not play like kids'

Last updated : 24 September 2008 By Chris Parry
"The team showed a good mixture of talent and a mature collective spirit to play football the way we want to play. The way the team remained focused and they looked a complete team. I am very proud of that.

"We looked strong in every individual position, and that takes a lot of hard work."

"We knew about Bendtner, but we discovered more about Vela. He is a clinical finisher. I integrated Wilshere into the first team sometimes last season when he was 15 and he did not look out of place and it is natural for him.

"I was not surprised because I see them every day, but you never know on a big stage how they play. They did that with the belief we want them to have and the spirit we want then to have. Now for us the biggest challenge is to keep them together and slowly integrate them into the first team. Some have done that already.

"When you are under immense pressure to buy in every transfer window, when you know that you have these players behind it would be killing the work we have done."

"We want to win the trophy this season, whether Tottenham or anybody else comes along in the later rounds. We can go all the way and win it. Why not?

"The only pressure you have is that when you go through the rounds towards the semi-finals, everybody says 'now you have to change all these players'. So what do you do? Let them play like they have tonight and then say, 'sorry, you do not play anymore'? For me, that is not serious. No matter how far we go, we have to stick to our policy.

"These players do not play like kids. They play with intelligence, talent and with spirit. They can beat many teams and I would not be scared to play any individual in the Premier League."