Wenger: More training vital for young players

Arsene Wenger believes young players' development would be helped by more time training and fewer competitive matches.

The Arsenal boss has criticised the amount of games youth teams have to play and would rather see up-and-coming players learning on the pitch.

The Football Association is set to announce a series of recommendations to improve grassroots football in England on Thursday, with the possibility of introducing B teams into the league pyramid being mooted. 

However, Wenger feels youngsters would improve their skills if they were given time to work on them in a more relaxed environment.

"You have to balance the training and the competition - for me the competition has too much importance and the training too little," the Frenchman said.

"The time the kids spend on the pitch from the age of eight to 17 in training is too short. The time they spend in competition is too big, so to add more competition does not make sense.

"I have seen too many kids come to the age of 17 or 18 and they cannot head the ball or they have no left foot because they have not practised enough.

"My big fight is to get better education, more training time from eight to 17. For me that is a deficit in the English game at the moment."

Wenger also believes the influx of foreign players into the Premier League benefits prospective future stars. 

"At every single club, despite the big foreign players, the young players come through when they have the quality," he added. "That is what you have to target for. It is not to fight for mediocrity, it is to fight for quality.

"The bigger the players are that we have in England, the more the young players will develop because they develop in contact with those players.

"To get rid of big players would be a massive mistake for the education and quality of the youngsters."