Arsene Wenger praised the increasing level of the Championship following Arsenal’s shock League Cup exit to Sheffield Wednesday.
Goals to Ross Wallace, Lucas Joao and Sam Hutchinson saw second-tier outfit Wednesday upstage Arsenal 3-0 on Tuesday.
Wednesday, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2000, are just ninth in the Championship after 10 rounds this season.
Wenger defended his squad selection but took nothing away from the quality of the Championship.
“Ideally I would have loved to have won tonight,” Wenger said. “I will not use that as an excuse but I’m sure as a squad now we can focus on other competitions.
“And I must say, like I said before the game, because of many foreign players playing in the Premier League you have more and more good players playing going down to the Championship and to play with young players against Championship players becomes difficult.
“The level of the Championship has gone up and you see that once you have not enough of experience to deal with these types of games, you have no chance to win it.”