Another class for Arsenal youngster
Chris Lakey Kieran Gibbs has a long way to go yet on football's learning curve, but says his teacher is “unbelievable”. The Arsenal teenager, on loan to Norwich until the end of the season, is a student in the class of the Professor, Arsene Wenger, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and William Gallas every day in training.
Kieran Gibbs has a long way to go yet on football's learning curve, but says his teacher is “unbelievable”.
The Arsenal teenager, on loan to Norwich until the end of the season, is a student in the class of the Professor, Arsene Wenger, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and William Gallas every day in training.
Now he's mixing in a different class, with one of Wenger's biggest admirers, Canaries manager Glenn Roeder, charged with guiding the 18-year-old on his next step to the top.
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“It is a great experience for me, someone this age to finally get what I have been looking for, so hopefully if I can work hard enough the manager will give me a chance,” he said.
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“It doesn't change really,” he said. “Every day just gets better and better there. The first team training is just different class,
especially under such a great manager as well. All the players like to play a different style of football to a lot of other teams so it's interesting.”
“I have only played under him a few times, but the few times that I have been there he's unbelievable. Hopefully if I do well here I go back there stronger.”
It won't be out of sight out of mind, with Wenger monitoring the teenager's every move.
“If it is not him it will be one of the scouts coming to see a match and see how I'm doing up here and every month it will get reviewed how I'm doing and it goes from there.
“I am looking forward to it a lot. I have never been used to such intense games every week - our reserve league is a little bit different, so I think it will be interesting.”
Gibbs has clearly learned something of the Arsenal philosophy, garnered from a full outing in the Carling Cup win at Sheffield United in October and a substitute's appearance in the next round at Blackburn just before Christmas.
“I have learned that no matter where you play it is all about the team effort,” he said. “If everyone is together then everyone will come through stronger and it will show in the performance. In the changing rooms at the start of the match it was all getting psyched up for the match against Sheffield United, a strong team who don't really like to play football, but our football came through in the end.”
Gibbs is one of the chosen few, the young players that Arsenal have that knack of uncovering and turning into gems. Wenger has been criticised for his reliance on overseas players, but Gibbs is Lambeth born - and believes if the English lads stick together it eases the rites of passage.
“There is always a pressure,” he said. “There aren't many English people get through to the Arsenal first team, but there are quite a few good players coming through so if there are quite a few of us it takes the pressure off one when there is a lot of us. We can stick together and try and do our best to get in there.”