Wenger believes youth policy will pay off

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The Independent Online

Arsenal's manager, Arsène Wenger, yesterday bemoaned the fact that he had to blood youngsters early in the season which may have cost his side a chance to win the Premiership - but believes the club will benefit in the long haul.

Wenger, speaking before the trip by the League leaders, Manchester United, to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, said: "It's a big frustration because we dropped points at the beginning of the season through lack of experience and lack of form. I still feel we carried a bit from the World Cup, a bit of indigestion.

"When you play a young player at the start of the season you know you'll pay for his education with points. That's what happened to us a little bit.

"There's not more pressure on United, in a big game you're all under pressure. To win a big game means a lot. To lose a big game means a lot as well.

"It's a good opportunity for us to close the gap a little bit," Wenger observed. "They've had the advantage of having stability and players in form at the right moment, but it's still not over. Don't forget United go to Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Portsmouth. They have a difficult schedule."