Wenger hands Euro debut to Meade but won’t rule out January buys

07:45 05 December 2012


Arsenal's Jernande Meade (left), on his Champions League debut, tackles Olympiakos' Paulo Machado. Photo credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

Arsene Wenger was pleased with the Champions League debut of 20-year-old defender Jernade Meade in last night’s 2-1 defeat to Olympiakos but hinted he could yet look for reinforcements when the transfer window opens.

With qualification already secure ahead of the last Group B tie, the Arsenal boss had elected to leave several first-team regulars behind, including Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere, packing the bench with youngsters Zak Ansah, Swiss defenders Sead Hajrovic and Martin Angha, Elton Monteiro and 17-year-old English striker Chuba Akpom.

Meade started and played 80 minutes before he was replaced by 18-year-old Angha, and Wenger feels it would have been a good experience for the duo, as he believes competitive action is a good yardstick for the development of his starlets.

“I feel the young players, you discover them in these kind of competitions we had tonight. They have the quality,” he said.

“If everybody is fit we have a strong squad, but in certain areas we are a bit short because we cannot rotate.

“We will see where we stand on January 1 and see what we do.”

Tomas Rosicky, who made his return from a long injury lay-off in Saturday’s Premier League defeat to Swansea, scored the opener in Athens last night but was replaced at half time by Andrey Arshavin.

Wenger revealed the substitution was pre-planned, saying: “Tomas has not played for six months and we were cautious with him.

“We decided before the game to play for 45 minutes and see how he got on. He is a bit tight, muscular, but no [new] injury.

“We will see how we recovers now for Saturday.”

The Gunners will host fifth-placed West Brom at the weekend and Wenger challenged his team to produce a response after two consecutive defeats.

He said: “It is a good opportunity for us to keep focussed, to show strength and unity, that is what you want to do in the next game.”

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 13:10
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game against Manchester United

What we predicted

Christian Eriksen (centre) scored both of Tottenham's goals against Swansea on Sunday

Christian Eriksen admits he feels like “the old one” in Tottenham’s midfield alongside Eric Dier and Dele Alli, and that it gave him an added sense of responsibility as he scored both of the visitors’ goals in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Swansea.

Yesterday, 07:00
Arsenal's Hector Bellerin and Manchester United's Ashley Young battle for the ball (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Hector Bellerin after the full-back’s excellent performance in the win over Manchester United.

Yesterday, 06:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline (John Walton/PA Wire)

Arsene Wenger was pleased to see his Arsenal side put their midweek disappointment behind them with a 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Shop till you drop!

Here’s your chance to treat yourself to a new wardrobe and a whole lot more with this MyOffers competition to win an incredible £2,500 to spend at Primark on whatever you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder