Talent will out, insists Wenger

Sam Wallace,Ian Herbert
Tuesday 11 November 2008 01:00

Arsène Wenger compared the rise of English players like Jack Wilshere through the youth ranks at Arsenal to that of Barack Obama's ascent to the presidency in America – "if you have the quality you will make it," the Arsenal manager said.

Wenger said that tonight in the Carling Cup against Wigan Athletic he will play "90 per cent" of the young Arsenal team that beat Sheffield United 6-0 in the same competition this season. Talking about the emergence of young English players he said: "It is just a consequence of the quality. I believe that the pride in sport is that if you have the quality you play.

"If it was my son and he wasn't good enough, he could never play at Arsenal," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "I have always fought for that. You have the example of Barack Obama in the States – that is one of the countries where if you have the quality you will make it."

Amid the travails of a season's start which has seen two of Sir Alex Ferguson's prime rivals overcome his side, the talent of full-back Rafael Da Silva has been something to cherish for the Manchester United manager. The Brazilian dazzled in the Champions League trip to Aalborg and is likely to play against QPR in the Carling Cup at Old Trafford tonight.

Ferguson credited Rafael with providing the lead that eventually resulted in United snatching a Champions League point off Celtic last week, before notching his first senior goal at Arsenal. "At Celtic, Rafael got a warning from the referee for the first tackle he made, when he brought down Shaun Maloney," Ferguson observed.

"The crowd reacted as though he'd chopped the boy in two. For 10 minutes the little lad was unsettled, understandable at 18. After that he was brilliant. He has character and talent – and great courage. He's got the Brazilian mentality. He wants to get on it all the time."

It will be a Brazilian theme if, as expected Rodrigo Possebon returns to United's midfield. Possebon is likely to be joined by Jonny Evans, Darron Gibson and striking pair Manucho and Danny Welbeck.

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