Arsene Wenger to put faith in Arsenal youth in Carling Cup

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger will field a youthful line-up alongside some older heads as Arsenal aim to avoid an unthinkable shock in the Carling Cup third round against Shrewsbury tomorrow night.

The League Two side could hardly have picked a better time to play the Gunners, who are shipping goals at an alarming rate.

Wenger has confirmed he will give a debut to Korean striker Park Chu-Young, while Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi and fellow 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can also expect to make their first starts.

Wenger said: "I will be faithful to our policy but I will try to find a good mixture between youth and experience.

"You will see the likes of Ryo and Oxlade-Chamberlain. You should be excited about Oxlade-Chamberlain because he is a great talent.

"My target is to develop him so he confirms the expectation I have for him."

The players with greater experience likely to feature at the Emirates include Andre Santos and Marouane Chamakh, while Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson and Francis Coquelin may also play.

Meanwhile captain Robin van Persie admits Arsenal still have time to turn their season around despite the club's worst league start for 58 years, which was underlined by losing 4-3 at Blackburn on Saturday despite being 2-1 up and apparently in control.

Van Persie told the club's website: "There is lots of time, but at some point you need to pick yourself up and prove what you are capable of.

"We are not doing that at the moment and are not consistent enough. It just frustrates me, and it is happening too often.

"Every time we start positively we just keep making the same mistakes and that is surprising.

"Even before the game on Saturday I said to the boys, 'Today is a big, big day'. We have to get back-to-back wins, and we just cannot do that at the moment.

"That is our aim for the next couple of games, we have to win them after each other.

"We just need a couple of good weeks in the Premier League where we get a lot of points, and hopefully we can start next week against Bolton."

There was one brighter note for Arsenal fans, and Wenger, today when England midfielder Jack Wilshere reported good progress on the ankle injury that was expected to keep him out of action until November.

Wilshere said on Twitter: "Good day at football today! In the gym again! Ankle feeling a lot better hope to be back playing soon!"

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