German legend Matthias Sammer believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s decision to field an inexperienced side in the Gunners’ midweek clash at Olympiakos showed a distinct lack of respect.
Wenger included no less than 10 teenagers in his starting line-up as Arsenal narrowly lost in Athens having already sealed their place in the Champions League knockout stages.
Reserve team players Kyle Bartley and Tom Cruise (pictured) were amongst those starlets given a taste of European football in a side which boasted an average age of just 21 – the youngest ever by a side in the history of the competition.
Wenger was delighted with his team’s display on the night but Sammer – European Footballer of the Year in 1996 – feels the Frenchman undermined the competition by experimenting with youth.
“I’m disappointed about what Arsene Wenger did,” Sammer told Sky.
“It’s the Champions League, one of the most important competitions worldwide, and he plays with a bunch of Kindergarten players.
“The UEFA rules allow him to do so but I can’t respect it.
“You have to pay a bit more respect to the Champions League.”comments