On the performance...
"I believe that the team played football the way we want to play. We showed a good mixture of individual talent, maturity and collective spirirt. The team remained focused on the kind of football we wanted to play and respected that, it was very pleasing.

"I believe every one in his position has done very well. From goalkeeper [Lukasz] Fabianski up to [Nicklas] Bendtner and Carlos Vela of course up front they were great. You know already Bendtner and you discovered maybe a bit more about Vela. He is a clinical finisher. I am pleased as well with our midfield, and our defence was serious and stayed strong - we looked like the complete team and I’m very happy and proud of that.

"I’m not as surprised as you because I see them every day but you never know how they’ll respond on the big stage. They just went out there are played with the belief we want them to have and with the spirit we want them to have."

On Jack Wilshere...
"He was 15 [when he first impressed] he’s 16 and last year a few times I integrated him in our [first team]  training sessions. He didn’t look at all out of place. Straight away football was natural for him.

"He is a quiet boy, very determined, very focused. The talent is there you have seen that again tonight. It is always difficult when you are the manager of a boy with talent like that, you are always a little bit cautious to put too much prssure on him and too high a level of expectation. I believe it is all in there and that I have the responsiibilties to nurture him and to get him at the right moment and the right development in the next two or three years. The ages of 16 to 19 are very important for the development of a football palyer. At the moment he has skipped a few classes.

"People tell me he is a little bit like Liam Brady because he has good balance and change of direction. I dont know Liam well enough.

"I believe later [in his career] he will be a central midfielder or behind the strikers."

On his Carling Cup policy...
"We want to win the trophy with this team. [I won’t change the team] Tottenham or not Tottenham or anybody else. I believe the only pressure you have is when you go through the rounds and get to the semi-final. Suddenly everybody is starting to say OK, and now you have to change all the players.

"You let them play how they played tonight and suddenly you say 'sorry you don’t play anymore'. For me that is not serious, no matter how far we go we have to stick to our policy."

"We can of course go all the way and we can win it as well. why not? These players do not play like kids, they play like people with intelligence, with talent and with spirirt so I don’t know."

On Carlos Vela...

"I think he’s a player who has everything in his locker of a good striker. He's agile, good first touch, very calm in front of goal, clinical and quick finisher and I just think he’s top class."

On the result reflecting the gulf between the Premier League and the Championship...
"I don’t know, it’s a one-off. it's very difficult to judge but this team we played tonight can beat many teams.

"I wouldn’t be scared to play any individual of this 11 in the Premier League, altogether I don’t know, but all the individual players who played tonight have the talent, for example Kieran Gibbs. He is a very young left-back. He played left midfield [in the past] but also Mark Randalll did well, [Aaron] Ramsey did well, they all did well. It’s difficult to say that any of these players cant play in the Premier League."

On having his best ever crop of kids...

"Yes [these are the best crop of kids] Yes. Because there is not one - Henri Lansbury didn’t start the game because he’s been injured - but there's not one player who has not the real quality of the Premier League in any position."

On the biggest challenge the club faces with so much talent in the ranks...

"The biggest challenge is for the club to keep them all together and slowly integrate them into the first team. Many of them already play there;  Djourou,  Song,  Bendtner, Fabianski play already, Carlos Vela too.

"I think that’s why when you're under immense pressure to buy in every transfer window when you know you have these players behind already, [it] nearly kills you, the work we have done."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
23 Sep 2008