By Chris Harris
 
Arsène Wenger has rejected the notion that the team he sent out to face Stoke in the FA Cup lacked experience.
 
Arsenal were beaten 3-1 in the Fourth Round of the competition on Sunday and their manager was roundly criticised for resting a number of key players and fielding seven starters aged 21 or under.
 
But although Wenger admits that the next four Premier League fixtures - against Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool - were on his mind when he picked his starting XI, he insists that Arsenal lined up with plenty of big-match experience.
 
"'I do not feel I was as cautious as many people said on Sunday," said Wenger.
 
"Many people reproached me for example for putting in an inexperienced team. Francis Coquelin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were not experienced, but the rest had plenty of experience.
 
"They were just two players in a team of 11 which had Sol Campbell, Mikael Silvestre, Armand Traore and Lukasz Fabianski, who have played many games.
 
"Cesc Fabregas, Carlos Vela and Theo Walcott too - that is not a team that is inexperienced.

"But of course I still had these four [Premier League] games in my mind.''

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 26 Jan 2010