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Friday, September 16, 2011
Kean looks to Wenger for inspiration

Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has revealed his admiration for fellow under-fire chief Arsene Wenger and his philosophy at Arsenal, with the Scot insisting that managers need to be given time to build teams.

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Rovers are currently bottom of the Premier League having claimed just one point from their opening four games this season and the club's supporters have grown increasingly disillusioned.

A protest is planned at Ewood Park ahead of Saturday's visit of the Gunners, whose fans also have threatened to turn against their manager following the North Londoners' own difficult start to the season.

But Kean believes Wenger should be praised for all he has achieved at Arsenal, rather than lambasted by a minority because of a disappointing set of recent results.

"It is very premature to be talking about the demise of Arsene Wenger, very premature," Kean told ESPNsoccernet. "It might be the desire of the fans to see the club at the top end of the game and that is only natural and they are making themselves heard.

"But only some want to move away from Arsene's policy which has proved so successful in the past. He is now in the process of building a new team and the way he is going about it he will succeed and he will once again put Arsenal in a very strong position.

"You have to put each season Arsenal have not won anything into context it's not an easy thing to pick up the top prizes but he has come pretty close. You also need to look more closely at that philosophy where he is looking to the longer term and building a club with so much more stability and progress than most others.

"He has bought cheaper and sold for bigger prices but once all the stadium debt is paid the club will be so powerful with all the extra stadium income they will be able to buy at the top end."

Kean is such a fan of Wenger's philosophy that he has tried to recreate it at Ewood Park and the Scot insists he is proud of his record at bringing through young players.

"Like Arsenal we are developing young players. I think we are trying to buy and play younger players and develop their talents," Kean said. "Phil Jones, for example, did not have a squad number when I arrived and now he is worth 20 million.

"Then there's also Junior Hoilett, Martin Olsson, Grant Hanley. Look at Jason Lowe who will play tomorrow. I have a 16 year old who is like Steven Gerrard at his age. The thing we have to do is get in the top half of the table this year and invest in 24-28 year olds that hold the young group together."

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