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The ability to analyse
performances objectively
and a remorseless inner drive
are the key characteristics of
an elite footballer, according
to Arsène Wenger.
The Arsenal manager
attended a Q&A in the
Diamond Club at Emirates
Stadium earlier this month
and, having managed
hundreds of professionals
during his career, Wenger
was asked what makes
certain players so special.
“I believe that any person in
top sport must win 7-1 like
we did [against Blackburn],
go home and think ‘what did
I do wrong today?’ That is
also the same when you lose
3-0,” he replied.
“I feel that the common
denominator of people who
are successful at the top
level is that they have a fair,
objective assessment of their
“They can be more personal,
detached, angry or happy but
if they are at the top they
analyse what they do well.
Top-level sportsmen are
even over-critical of
While Wenger admires the
dedication these elite
performers demonstrate, he
acknowledges that in certain
cases it can be problematic.
“Without motivation you go
nowhere,” he said. “There
are some very interesting
statistics that exist in top
“Every two years there is a
study made by psychologists
in Belgium. They ask top-
level athletes anonymously,
‘If we gave you a pill that
makes you win the next
Olympic Games or World
Championship, but five years
later you die, would you take
“At the top professional
level, there is a consistent
percentage of more than half
that say they would take it.
At amateur level it is two per
“That just shows you that at
that level it can be a
question of life or death. To
be a star, or be the best in
the world, some are ready to
give their lives. That is the
kind of motivation you face.”
Wenger believes that elite
performers also have a
tendency to show their
quality when it truly matters
“Sir Steve Redgrave was
interviewed and he said that
the last gold medal he got [in
2000], with three minutes to
go he was absolutely dead,”
he said.
“His legs were gone, his
lungs were burning and he
thought he would never get
there. But he got there by
telling himself, ‘In three
minutes, the pain will go but
the gold medal will last
forever’. That got him over
the line.
“Sometimes you just have to
find certain resources at a
moment where you have to
push. The champions find


Posted February 28, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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