Home Germany Euro 2020: Veganism, balance and spatial awareness has been the making of Germany’s Serge Gnabry #englishheadline #Euro #Veganism #balance #spatial #awareness #making #Germanys #Serge #Gnabry

Euro 2020: Veganism, balance and spatial awareness has been the making of Germany’s Serge Gnabry #englishheadline #Euro #Veganism #balance #spatial #awareness #making #Germanys #Serge #Gnabry

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When it comes to Serge Gnabry, his talent has never been in doubt.

‘He’s creative, he can score goals, right-footed, left-footed, good power, good penetration, very, very clever with the timing of his runs’, ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said last year about the forward he signed as a 15-year-old from Stuttgart.

‘He can be a number nine, a number 10…he’s a very intelligent player. I knew he would have a great career.’ The only thing that delayed that was the 25 year-old Germany and Bayern Munich star getting his body right so his ability could shine through.

Germany’s Serge Gnabry has matured into a fine player and England should be wary of him

He was described by then-West Brom boss Tony Pulis as not at the 'required level' while on loan

He was described by then-West Brom boss Tony Pulis as not at the ‘required level’ while on loan

Gnabry’s career transformation from barely getting a kick during his West Brom loan to becoming a serial trophy winner and record-breaking Germany international is well-documented and regularly used as a stick to beat then-Baggies boss Tony Pulis.

Pulis did not help himself by dismissively claiming Gnabry was not at the ‘required level’; his later explanation that Gnabry’s fitness issues were at the root of his Hawthorns struggles was perhaps a fairer reflection.

Wenger always knew what he had found in Gnabry, admitting he was ‘very sad’ when he opted against signing a new Arsenal contract to return to Germany in 2016 in search of more first-team opportunities. It is testament to Gnabry that the whole world has now been able to see what Wenger did.

‘It is always the decision of a player at one point if they decide they want to have a special career,’ former Werder Bremen manager Alexander Nouri told Sportsmail.

‘Some players don’t put the effort into living the lifestyle of a professional athlete. Serge’s decision at that time was ‘Hey, I want to make a special, extraordinary career’ and he put a lot of effort on that.’

Arsenal then sold him to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and after a successful year he moved to Bayern, before a loan spell at Hoffenheim under now-Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann (right)

Arsenal then sold him to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and after a successful year he moved to Bayern, before a loan spell at Hoffenheim under now-Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann (right)

Bremen, where he worked under Nouri, was Gnabry’s first stop after leaving Arsenal. He arrived in August 2016 with renewed confidence after helping Germany win Olympic silver and finishing as joint top scorer.

His belief was further boosted by Bayern’s faith in him and that a move to Germany’s biggest club had been mapped out. Nouri remembers the Gnabry goals, especially in the first half of the season, which helped steady Bremen in difficult times, but also his considerable efforts off the pitch.

‘Most important for him was to stay healthy,’ Nouri said. Gnabry suffered some disruptive injuries in the second half of the campaign though that was not a reflection of his effort or application.

Alongside regular training with the team, Gnabry worked on himself physically and also with what Nouri described as a neuro-athletic coach on brain, spatial perception and awareness exercises.

‘I saw him preparing for a game, covering one eye and standing on one leg doing some exercises,’ Nouri said. ‘You notice all that, you talk to him and you get this picture ‘Hey, this guy, he really wants to reach something,’ Nouri said.

Gnabry has said how good it was learning from Arjen Robben (left) and Franck Ribery (right)

Gnabry has said how good it was learning from Arjen Robben (left) and Franck Ribery (right)

After a season at Bremen, Gnabry won the Under-21 Euros under Stefan Kuntz – scorer of Germany’s Euro 96 semi-final equaliser against England – and then joined Bayern.

They loaned him to Hoffenheim where he flourished under Julian Nagelsmann, a man also known for his attention to details and openness to innovation, who will be Gnabry’s manager again next season at Bayern.

In 2018 Gnabry returned to Bayern, hit the ground running and was also shining for Germany, his improved form and fitness coinciding with another off-field change, a switch to a vegan diet. Gnabry has managed at least 38 appearances in each of his three seasons with Bayern.

And watching his development from a distance, Nouri could see Gnabry – the quickest player in German history to reach ten goals, doing so in his first 11 caps – has now built himself up into a player capable of handling the demands required to perform every three days for an elite-level club like Bayern.

The 25-year-old, who has won three Bundesliga titles at the German giants, is likely to face England in the European Championship last 16 match at Wembley on Tuesday afternoon

The 25-year-old, who has won three Bundesliga titles at the German giants, is likely to face England in the European Championship last 16 match at Wembley on Tuesday afternoon

‘But it didn’t surprise me because I knew he was putting a lot of work in on that,’ Nouri said. ‘And it started at Werder Bremen.’ Nouri met Gnabry again at Hamburg hotel when Germany were playing in the city almost two years ago.

Nouri said: ‘He told me ‘Alex, I learned a lot from [Franck] Ribery and [Arjen] Robben. These guys they took each training session with such dedication and they always wanted to win. 

‘Their will to win each training session, each game, their working attitude and ethic was unbelievable.’ He learned a lot from those guys, about what it means to be a real competitor at that level and become a great player.’

Gnabry has now succeeded Ribery as Bayern’s No.7 and become a key part of the Germany squad hoping to knock England out of Euro 2020 at Wembley on Tuesday.

The last two occasions Gnabry has played in London he has scored four times at Tottenham and twice at Chelsea.

Confirmation, if needed, that the Gnabry who returns to England now is a very different proposition to the one who left five years ago.



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#Euro #Veganism #balance #spatial #awareness #making #Germanys #Serge #Gnabry

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