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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has acclaimed Cesc Fabregas' dedication and maturity, while revealing the three ingredients he considers integral when identifying stars of the future.
The French tactician has earned a reputation for discovering and blooding young talent since taking over The Gunners in 1996.
In July 2003, Wenger brought Fabregas - who was just 16 at the time - to North London from Barcelona.
The Arsenal manager's acquisition proved a fruitful one, with Fabregas flourishing into one of the best midfielders in the world.
And Wenger has heaped praise on the Spain international, expressing his belief that Fabregas optimises the ideal attitude of an aspiring footballer - hungry for success.
"This boy is very young. But at a very young age he has to make big decisions," Wenger said at Nike Live's The Cesc Fabregas Show.
"It is what you make of your talent. At some stage you need to have the intelligence to realise what you have to do.
"At 16-years-old he had to decide to leave his parents and sign for Arsenal football club. What got him to do that is the tremendous desire to become a great football player.
"What you can learn from someone successful is how much he is ready to give to be good.
"When you get up in the morning we are always torn in the comfort zone and being the best. It is about saying to yourself 'I want to be the best'."
This year, the Football Association has outlined its plans to address an apparent dearth of English talent.
And Wenger, who has often brought in youngsters from abroad, has revealed the qualities he and his coaching staff look for when identifying a gifted footballer.
"I have been in touch with many great players, and it is always about a combination of talent, intelligence and motivation," said Wenger.
"If one of the three is missing then there is no great career. We say that god doesn't give you everything, but in some he gives more."
The Frenchman went on to draw on his analogy of a player's development mirroring the foundations and building of a house.
"You build a player like you build a house," he explained. "The basis or foundation is the technique, which you get between seven and 14 years of age.
"With no technical skill at 14, you can forget it; you will never be a football player.
"The second part - first floor - is the physical aspect. This is decided between 14 and 17. Will they be quick enough or strong enough?
"The third part - second floor - is the tactical aspect. Does he understand the game? How can I relate to you if you have the ball, do I know where to go?
"The final part is decided at 18 or 19 years of age. How much do I want to be successful? That is the final floor - the roof. With no roof it rains in and the house collapses."
Join the Sky Sports debate on Wenger's approach, the identification of talent and the state of the English game via the form below.
i think that arsene is by far the best manager the only competition is alex ferguson but arsene is smarter with money. bentley was never gona make it at arsenal thats why hes gone to our reserve team (tottenham). wilshire, walcott, ramsey, gibbs all these players have the quality to play in the prem but its how they deal with playing in the premiership. arsene decides on players and the personality and some players have good ambitious personality and some have ego's instead of personalitys and if arsene doesnt like it, then dont expect to play for arsenal. oh and cesc is god!
Posted 21:52 12th August 2008
To be frank, Arsenal really needs to strengthen the squad with two more experienced players. Both a midfielder and a defender are needed to be able to compete with the likes of man united,chelsea and liverpool. Every other teams that really wants to win silverware have been busy in the transfer window this summer but Arsenal. Ramsey and Nasri are not the messiah we need to win the league or champions league. We need some experience that can rise up to the challenge when it becomes so tight. Man united was able to withstand the pressure on them to win the title just because the team was up to the task and arsenal lost out due to lack of experience and a small squad. It is high time arsenal brought in good and experience players so that we can be back on board. Apart from all these, Arsene Wenger is the best coach in the whole world. Everyone knows that.
Posted 18:01 12th August 2008
re Mark Thomas; wake up and smell the coffee!!!! all this talk of Arsene not giving English kids a break is rubbish,James harper(reading) Jamie o'hara(tottenham) steve sidwell (villa) Stuart Taylor (just about eveywhere) are just a few of the academy players that were given a chance but didnt make the grade.with all due respect look where they are,not exactly blazing a trail,flying the flag and thumbing theyre noses at arsene from the top tier are they!! admittedly Bentley may be the 1 that got away,but id say that was more to do with wengers dislike 4 egos than anything else.If your good enough and show the right attitude i believe he'll give you a chance,Wilshere is a prime example.Although frustrating at times wengers transfer policy and wage structure only have to be admired,dont get me wrong i'd love a foreign investor with big money and a few big name/big price players to bolster our squad,but at what cost,what will it lead to,chelseas manager merry go round,man u's debt,liverpools instability. A break here and there and a trophy and Wenger will be a genius again,I'm prepared to wait. thanks for listening!!! discuss
Posted 15:32 12th August 2008
Yes I understand we have been trophyless for 3 years but its simply due to the spendingpower of the Chelsea's and the United's which to be honest we will never rival, well atleast untill after all the stadium botheration has finished. What shocked me last season was how we finished mightily close to the top 2 and for that Wenger must be praised.The man is simply the best at bringing up raw talent, he's been doing it ever since he came here n its worked 9 times out of 10. The majority of our players have been one of Wengers hidden gem finds from around the world, that which practicaly built the great 03/04 team. But afterall this is Arsenal and since 97/98 we have been major competitors for the title, I don't know if that status has gone to Chelsea and if we have just become a top 4 team, but we will always want titles and this season will be key.
Posted 13:08 12th August 2008
I agree with Many of teh comments below. Children in England today have to much options available and are to some extent spoiled with the PS3's, Xbox's and pretty much whatever they want. As someone stated in othe rcountries children have to make the most of what they have and in this case it's football. Everyone can see that the desire and hunger from most of the foreign players in the top flight superseeds that of many english players. Why? we all know the answer. Arses Wenger is a fantastic manager and as someone ightly stated, beofre he came to Arsenal our financila status was extremely poor. Due to his expertise in blooding young talent, nurchering potential & flailing talent and producing some of the best footballers in the wiorld (Henry, Veiera, fabregas etc) he has turned Rseal football Club around. If we still had the likes of George Graham or God Forbid Bruce Rioch, I highly doubt that we'd be playing such fantastic football in such a fantastic stadium today. ARsene is a truly intellectual and amazing man and he deserves every piece of recognition and respect he gets.
Posted 10:43 12th August 2008
Arsene Wenger is one of the most respected manager in this business, on and off the pitch. Chelsea and Man Utd have a big squad probably similar to arsenal but the have spend millions of pounds compare to arsenal. Although arsenal have not won anything for a while but this season will be arsenal season, it will be tight on the top but am sure arsenal will be victorious. I do not see chelsea as a threat this season at all. Scolari should just walk away before humiliation of getting sack comes at the end of the season. I also believe this season will be a good season for Theo Walcott, can not wait any longer for Sat 16 Aug.Let the party begin.
Posted 09:40 12th August 2008
All I ever hear about is the death of the British teen footballer-Balls-Walcott, Ramsey, Bale, Dyer, Cork, Sinclair, (West Ham striker-scored in debut last season)-16 year old poached by Tottenham from Crystal Palace, Young and Agbonlahor, Fraizer Campbell, Hoyte, Wilshere, Woods-its balls-serious amounts of balls and those are the ones we know about-The league is better now so of course younger players won't play as early as they would have done-but as long as they interact and train with the senior squad then they'll only get better. Rocking up to training an learning from world class players can hardly be detrimental to your progression. Think it's a load of crap, if it's due to anything it's the way they're trained from the outset not the way they can't break into the first team due to the amount of quality. And lest not forget we still have some of the best youngsters in the world-so we can hardly complain.
Posted 20:39 11th August 2008
arsene wenger has been developing talent since his days at monaco. he developed petit and who can forget, george weah. george weah,who from obscurity in liberia became the best player in the world. he publicaly thanked wenger in 1995 by calling him on the podium when he received his award. apart from weah, wenger has discovered more than a dozen players, making them house hold names. the fact that arsenal football club competes with chelsea and manutd, who regularly spend lavish and sometimes inflated amounts on playing staff every year, is in itself an acheivement. look at arsenals net spending compared to manutd and chelsea. whereas chelsea have spent a quarter of a BILLION dollars on players and wages, arsene has regularly turned profit at arsenal while keeping it competitive. on the other hand, manutd have, throughout the wenger-fergusen era, always had the upper hand in finances, always bought established players at 20-30 million quid every year, except this season so far. the point being that wenger is utterly and completely underrated as a manager. he does get SOME of the credit he deserves but no one realizes that before he came arsenal were financial and footballing underachievers who had no pedigree in europe, forget the rest of the world. today arsenal are the third richest club in the world. they have a superb state of the art training ground, which is also used by the national team. then there's ashburton grove. wenger knows whats he's doing and arsenal will come good this season. in arsene , arsenal hvae a manager sent from heaven and we should try to keep him as long as we can. cammon you gunners!
Posted 19:45 11th August 2008
To reply to mark thomas, why dont you setup a trial abroad. this is the difference between england and the rest of europe. Look at all the spanish, german and italians who have to leave their homes at a very young age to realise their dreams to become professionals. Even irish teenagers travel to england and scotland for their start. Sacrifices have to be made and if he is not willing to make these sacrifices then just get a nine to five job like the rest of us.
Posted 18:33 11th August 2008
i think AW's record speaks for itself and he is now as good as is word look at the young british/irish talent coming through now his academy and techniques he has talked a lot about not being present in many young Brits!! Indeed I even saw Fergie agreeing it was too easy to blame foreigners for lack of Brits. mark T good luck to your son maybe you ought to try other clubs? Most have very good scouting networks and are constantly picking up the good kids I see watching junior football!
Posted 17:51 11th August 2008
Arsene Wenger is a very intelligent man, he is not just a manager but a businessman aswell, he knows how to generate profits and also be succesful as a manager, for example, he bought Kolo Toure for a meezly 150K, his value now is most probably around 15million, and also the way he has tutoured him to be one of the best centre backs in the world, also with Gael Clichy, whch only cost Arsenal around 200K, he is easily one of the best left backs in the world. and ofcourse Cesc Fabregas who cost Arsenal nothing until Barcelona took Arsenal to court and got 500K off them, but he is now one of the best Midfielders in the world and his value is easily around 50million. Although Arsene has not been succesful with winning trophies for the past seasons its only a matter of time that Arsenal will, last season there was a great improvement from our previous year along with semi finals in the champions league, the future is Arsenal.
Posted 17:18 11th August 2008
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