I agree with you Si, I'm not convinced by Moyes' statement at all. The only reason why youth has been given a chance is because we have such a small squad (we struggle to add numbers) and some very injury prone players. Even when we had 10 first team players out injured, Moyes preferred to play the likes of Cahill out of position on the left wing instead of using Baxter or someone else and it was only when the injury situation was further aggravated that Moyes realised he had absolutely no other choice but to start fielding the likes of Coleman and Duffy.
The only young player I know in recent times who has actually started ahead of a senior player is Rodwell when Castillo (a regular Ecuador international) was on the bench.
The game against AZ 2 years ago was just as meaningless as the BATE game, however, I only remember Moyes giving Vidarsson and Rodwell their debuts and even then they only came off the bench, although I suppose back then we did have a spell where we had no senior players injured. The BATE game was simply a game Moyes wanted to use to rest players, rather than show the world how great the youngsters are and experiment again with Hibbert at CB and give Osman a run out and Yakubu some extra minutes (even though Yakubu did nothing).
People were calling for Coleman to come on the pitch on Sunday, however, Moyes seems to prefer having 4 regular first team players in defence and the only reason he fielded Coleman against Spurs was because one of the defenders picked up an injury and there was no other experienced player on the bench who could play a defensive role.