By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger's message was loud and clear at his pre-match press conference on Friday: don't panic.
The Frenchman and his team have come under fire since they crashed out of the Champions League in midweek. Manchester United's emphatic 4-1 aggregate win raised questions about Wenger's transfer policy and the quality and experience within his squad.
The Arsenal manager will listen to his critics but he is convinced that there are plenty of positives to take from this season's run in Europe. And he refuses to bin his youth policy when it is beginning to bear fruit.
"If you look at our team on Tuesday night, our oldest player in midfield was 22. They are in the best four in Europe, so why should we panic?" asked Wenger.
"I believe we have to take on the chin the critics, but at the end of the day, it is down to how strongly we believe in ourselves and how good I think the team is.
"You cannot imagine that we work as we did with young players and give them a chance, then let them go.
"We are criticised because we play young players, then we are supposed to let them go when they are in a position where they start to perform at the top level? That is not acceptable."Copyright 2013 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 8 May 2009