Bould keen on youthful Arsenal

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Arsenal assistant manager Steve Bould hopes Arsene Wenger continues with his philosophy of using the Carling Cup to integrate young players into the first-team squad when the competition begins again next season.

The Gunners reached the quarter-final stages last term before being knocked out by Manchester City, and Wenger's sides were dominated by academy products throughout the competition.

As the club's former under-18 manager, Bould has seen a number of young players progress into Wenger's senior set-up - something which he hopes to continue now he too has joined up with the first team.

“It is a measure that our manager still uses to look at our young kids and wants them to come through. It's a fabulous experience for them and long may that continue," Bould told Arsenal Player.

“I know there are calls to win the trophy and of course that is major at first-team level because it's what you are judged on. But I think for us that is the perfect competition to blood our kids.

"Lots go out on loan and for whatever reason don't play enough games, so I think it is the perfect grounding for them.”

Bould was confirmed as Wenger's new No.2 earlier this month following the retirement of Pat Rice, who had spent 44 years with the club in a variety of capacities.

Bould made 372 appearances during 11 seasons at Highbury, and was part of Wenger's Double winning side of 1997-98.

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