By Richard Clarke
Thierry Henry believes Arsenal's youngsters CAN beat Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final on Sunday.
The Club captain is highly likely to watch the game from the stands at the Millennium Stadium because Arsène Wenger has vowed only to use players who have featured in the previous rounds of this season's competition.
However the 29-year-old feels Arsenal's side - expected to be a mixture of first-teamers, squad players and youngsters - can compete with a full-strength Chelsea side.
"Arsenal in the Carling Cup have the capacity to beat anyone," he said. "Winning at Everton and at Anfield is never an easy task but they did it and did it in style.
"The team we put out at Stamford Bridge was also a young team and we got a draw. They had an amazing game against us but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. So anything can happen.
"It's a competition we don't win very often at Arsenal but I feel it is a great competition. When you look at the clubs who have won it you know that teams take it seriously even though Arsène sometimes plays the kids. And of course Chelsea-Arsenal is always exciting whoever is going to play."
Henry denied he was unhappy to miss out on a Final. He argued it would be unfair to parachute him into the side and, anyway, it is a competition in which he had rarely participated.
"Some people wrote that the boss is snubbing me," he said. "But if you look at how many games I have played in the Carling Cup that will tell you why I am not playing on Sunday. Since I'm at Arsenal, the boss has always rested players in the Carling Cup and even in the first rounds of the FA Cup.
"If you look at my stats, since I have been here I've never played in the Carling Cup. I played last season at home against Wigan only because all the strikers were injured and I think I played once at Middlesbrough in my first season because I was short of games.
"It would have been hard if the team was not playing well but when you win at Everton and Liverpool and knock out Tottenham in the Semi-Final then whoever played there should play.
"So I will be cheering the team on Sunday. I will be there in the dugout or something like that. And, as ever, the most important thing is to bring the trophy back for the fans."
Copyright 2014 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 22 Feb 2007