Jermaine Pennant has admitted that one driving force behind his career has been Pat Rice doubting him while he was at Arsenal.
Pennant, who now plays for non-league Billericay Town, has revealed that Pat Rice’s lack of faith in his ability while he was at Arsenal spurred him on in his career, especially once he’d signed for Liverpool in 2006.
“I definitely used it,” he told the Guardian. “He told my agent: ‘He’s not going to make it.’ I don’t know if he had it in for me or if my personality was a bit rich. He’s old school, Pat, but I always believed I’d make it. At Liverpool I said to my agent after scoring against Chelsea and playing in the Champions League final: ‘I wonder if Pat watched the game tonight?’
“I saw Pat again when I played for Stoke against Arsenal a few times. It was kinda frosty between us at the Britannia. We won 3-1 and I scored and ran past the Arsenal fans to rub it in. That was a good moment. For Pat to say: ‘You’re not going to make it’ and then I play the Champions League final and score against his team was pretty sweet.”
Pennant was a Gunner between 1999 – 2005 after rising through the ranks at Notts County.
The winger was only 15 when he first moved to north London, although still cost the Gunners £2m, and went on to only make 17 appearances across all competitions.
He was loaned out to Watford twice, as well as Leeds, where he made 36 appearances, and then Birmingham City, who he signed for permanently in 2005.
Pennant went on to play for Liverpool, Stoke and Wigan. Although while he was capped 24 times for England’s u21s, he never got a senior call-up.
Now, at the age of 34, he’s had a career that’s lasted for decades and netted a total of… 20 goals.
While Pennant is hardly a world beater and scoring for Liverpool against Chelsea was probably the best it got, using another person’s lack of belief in your ability is most likely a pretty effective tool if you want to be as successful as you’re capable of.