You’ll most probably know self-confessed “AFC footy chick” Jules Wheeler from her delicious video blogs, I know her only, unfortunately, from those and her pearls of wisdom on my Twitter timeline. She’s a very busy girl, and luckily for me, she was nice enough to take a few moments of her time to wade through the questions that winged her way.
I hope you enjoy the interview:
1. With Arsenal securing third place, and with the addition of Podolski already secured; what do you hope the summer months are to bring for Arsenal in preparation for 2012/2013?
I hope we dispose of the services of players that are not good enough for Arsenal. We are paying out so much money in wages. That extra money could be used towards quality players. I also think that we will buy some more players. This season has been the worst for some time, with Na$ri/Fabregas’ late departures, injuries etc. But thankfully, it all worked out satisfactory in the end. It is not acceptable for Arsenal though. We need to be challenging for trophies. The new players were always going to take some time to settle and integrate into the team. I hope the board have learned their lesson.We have already shown some intent by signing Podolski early. I hope that was not to pacify supporters and RVP. I fully expect to see big changes at Arsenal in the summer.
2. During the West Brom game, I think I went through every emotion possible, ranging from nausea to unbridled relief. That said, I can think of a couple of occasions I’ve encountered a stronger range of feelings watching the Arse. Over the years, what would you say the game that made you the most emotional was?
For me personally, there is only ever going to be one answer to this question…Liverpool v Arsenal, 26th May 1989. Even to this day, I can’t talk about it without having tears in my eyes. It was a truly special occasion in football that I doubt will ever be replicated. The pressure on us was unbelievable. We had to go to Anfield and win by 2 clear goals. At that period in time, that just didn’t happen! Liverpool were dominant. At half-time, it was 0-0. Alan Smith scored early into the 2nd half. That gave us hope. We just didn’t give up. I remember Steve McMahon telling everyone that there was 1 minute to go and the commentators praising Liverpool as if they had already won it. Then it happened…Lukic-Dixon-Smith-Thomas who was running through the midfield…and the rest is history! It was the most amazing game for me. It was so emotional, especially when Mickey Thomas had a chance earlier on in the game to score but just put the ball wide of Grobbelaar. After we had scored, the remaining time seemed to last forever until the ref blew the whistle! I was on edge for that whole game. It provided every possible emotion imaginable but all ended on the best one…unbelievable joy!
3. Pat Rice has retired, undoubtedly a fantastic servant to Arsenal. Steve Bould has taken up the duties of assistant manager. Do you see this as a shrewd move by Wenger, or would you have preferred to see a No2 that would actively seek to challenge Arsene in some way?
Pat was fantastic and as a fan, I’ll miss him. I think Bouldy’s appointment can be viewed as potentially a good move. He knows the club, staff, players and the Arsenal way of doing things. He’s one of us. It means that there will not be any real upheaval on that side and it should provide a certain amount of stability. If a new assistant was brought in, he would have new ideas, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but will also take time to get to know the players, club etc. It may cause more problems than it’s worth at the moment. I’m not sure how much longer Arsene will be with us on a managerial level, so this may have been the simple and easiest option. When the time comes for a new manager, I’m sure that he will probably bring his own preferred managerial team with him.
4. Robin van Persie will rightly win the vast majority of fans’ awards for best player. If you were to pick an unsung hero of the campaign, who would that be and why?
I have two. The first is Arteta. When he got injured towards the end of this season, it really highlighted just how important he was to the midfield. That was so obvious. The 2nd is Benayoun. He worked really hard and kept a low profile. He just got on with his job and also scored a couple of really vital goals for us in the last 2 games which helped us to secure the points to finish 3rd.
5. The universe has decreed that Arsenal will secure Champions League glory, but only if you agree to go on a date with Almunia. It all seems fine at first, however, he’s expecting the two of you to reach uncharted heights of bliss, intertwined in the throes of sexual ecstasy. He’s brought a guitar, he plans to serenade you with an old Spanish folk song as a means of seduction. Would you allow the evening to pan out as he desires to ensure Arsenal lift the trophy? Or would you run screaming for the hills?
Why Almunia??? Why????? Haha. You are making this extremely difficult for me! Well after a long think about this question…and if Manuel promises to play a Bon Jovi song on his guitar instead of a Spanish folk song, I’d have to, wouldn’t I? I suppose that everyone has to ‘take one for the team’ sometimes. OK…I was joking! Im a Gooner through and through but I’m sorry, I couldn’t do it.
Thanks for reading today, folks, and a big ‘thank you’ to Jules for agreeing to do this. I’ll finish up today by pointing you in the direction of my Twitter account @_ArmchairGooner. If you’re not already one of Jules’ Twittery minions, you can keep up with her extensive work on the club @The RealGunner.