Frank on the PSV factor
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).
When Frank Arnesen bought his PSV Eindhoven side to the Lane for a friendly the pre-season before last, one player in particular caught the eye and tormented our defence on the day. Now we prepare for the possibility of more of the same.
The player in question, of course, is Arjen Robben who caused mayhem down PSV's left flank in what ended up a 2-0 victory to the Dutch outfit. Now with Chelsea, he is more than fulfilling the promise he displayed since breaking into the PSV side and is credited with adding a thrilling dimension to Jose Mourinho's table-toppers.
Frank secured his signature for PSV in the face of fierce competition from rivals Ajax but claims no credit for the discovery of the now 21-year-old.
"He is a special talent, we knew him from when he was very young and saw him progress," recalled Frank. "Two big teams - Ajax and PSV - went in to take him and we must have made a good impression because he chose PSV and started off with us one year later.
"He was 16 years old and you could see what a big talent he was - so it was not a big thing to discover him. He took to us and you can see how he has done. After one year he was an important part of the PSV team.
"For me it was not a surprise that big clubs in England came in for him so soon after his second year. Finally he chose Chelsea and you can see it has been a very good choice for him.
"There were clubs from Italy and Spain in for him too, but he had it in his mind that he wanted to play in England. He loves the way English teams play and he took the decision to go to Chelsea."
While Robben has been praised to the hilt for his blistering pace, skill and finishing ability since entering the Chelsea side following a pre-season injury, it is his mental strength and maturity that impresses Frank.
"I think the mentality of a player is getting more and more important. To be steady and calm in times when you might be a little bit down.
"It must have been very frustrating for him not to be playing in the beginning, but he was focused on coming back and it has been no problem. The same things apply when you are doing well, the expectations of him are sky high and, up to now, you can see he is coping well as a big, big talent should do.
"The mental part is taking him from a very good player to an excellent one."
Another to feature for PSV at the Lane on that pre-season afternoon was Meteja Kezman, the now Chelsea striker who Frank reports out-scored the best in Holland.
"If you see the list of the strikers we had, beginning with Romario, through to Ronaldo and van Nistelrooy - all top players. Then he came, stayed four years with PSV and scored more goals than any of the three before.
"He did a fantastic job before also making the choice to go to Chelsea knowing it would be difficult with the great competition.
"He scored at the weekend and I am happy about that - I still keep an eye out for my old players! He is not playing so often, but he is a very good striker."