A few words with Andrew at Arseblog: Books, bad moments, Gervinho and zombies.

An interview with Arseblog

Morning, folks.

When I initially had the idea do to a few interviews, I decided not to ask Andrew at Arseblog. My reasoning? I figured someone who ran a site that popular wouldn’t have the time to help out me and my little corner of blathering. I took a shot last week and E-mailed him, and he was kind enough to prove me wrong. Below are the questions posed by me, answered by Andrew.

I hope you enjoy.

1. Arseblog is pretty much the benchmark for Gooner bloggery. For those who haven’t read  ‘So Paddy Got Up’, what compelled you to start writing about The Arsenal? 

I was trying to re-invent myself as a web designer not long after I moved to Spain. I figured I needed a site which I could update regularly etc, and give myself lots of practice. The only thing I could think of that would provide as much content as that would take was Arsenal, so I decided to start a blog. And what else would you call a blog about Arsenal apart from Arseblog. As it turned out I’m a better writer than I am a designer and it kind of took off from there.

Of course the full story is available in the book *cough*

2. Undoubtedly my worst moment as a Gooner was the Nayim goal. I can remember that particular incident with absolute clarity. Mercifully, the good moments have far exceeded the bad over the years. What is your lowest memory as a fan?

I think West Ham FA Cup final in 1980 (followed not too long afterwards by the Cup Winner’s Cup Final defeat to Valencia) sticks in my mind quite vividly. The first game I really remember was the 79 Cup Final, and that was something special, so as a young kid of 9 or 10 I struggled to get my head around the defeat – especially to a 2nd division team, then my hero Liam Brady missing a penalty against Valencia.

In a way it was good though because it teaches you very early that winning and losing are part and parcel of being a fan, and we’re lucky in the sense that we’re a club that has won things and does win things (even if not as often as we would like over the last few years). Many fans follow a team throughout a lifetime and never see them lift a trophy or anything like it.

Of course there are others which still hurt, cup final defeats etc, but if I had to pick one from recent memory it’s the Champions League quarter-final and that goal by Wayne Bridge. I’m sure we’d have won the competition that year if we’d gone through, and not only did that goal knock us out it provided the world with Mourinho. Urgh.

3. Some folks consider the answer to Arsenal’s failing simply to be blowing a fortune on new acquisitions. Does our transfer strategy need a re-think, or do you still have faith in Wenger’s philosophy of “making superstars, not buying them”? 

 I think we’ve seen that the strategy has changed already. Although we spent big on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and took a punt on Jenkinson, the average age of the signings has increased a lot. Last summer saw Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Benayoun and Arteta come in, all 25-30 age bracket, so there has been re-think. And while I’m sure we’ve got our eye on young talent still (Eisfeld, for example), I think the summer will see a continuation of ‘ready made’ players being brought into the squad.

I can understand what we were trying to do by building a young team together, and when you put so much into a project you always want to give it that one last chance, but I do think we might not have been as trophyless if we’d just added a bit more experience down the years. Of course this is old ground but the fact we’re seeing the change now is a positive thing, in my opinion.

4. Gervinho has his detractors at present. Since his return from the ACON, his form has slumped drastically. Do you think he has the potential to be a essential cog in the Arsenal machine in future years, or is he unlikely to ever adapt to the rigours of Premiership football? 

It’s hard to look at him and be convinced he’s got what it takes. I thought he started reasonably well but clearly hasn’t produced/kicked on in the 2nd half of the season. I’m always a bit dubious about the effects the ACN supposedly has on players ?? I think it’s a convenient excuse at times ?? and I don’t think Gervinho has really done enough to suggest he’s going to become ‘essential’ for us. However, I think we’ve probably all learned down the years that a player that’s written off as not good enough can prove people wrong and I’d be more than happy if that were the case. It’d mean we have a player who is scoring and creating goals and that can only be a good thing.

And Finally…

5. Mankind’s worst nightmares have come to fruition. The Earth is an apocalyptic wasteland and zombies shamble about in their thousands.  You, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp are all that remain of the human race…. LOOK OUT! ZOMBIES! They’ve got you surrounded, and you’ve only enough time to save yourself and one other. Who would you pick and why? 

Well, if there was only myself, Dennis and Robert, that would suggest that the human race was pretty fucked regardless of who was saved due to our womb shortage. Therefore, I’d find a sports shop, get a few footballs and play ‘Heads and Volleys’ in which we try and knock the heads off zombies with volleys. Simple!

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Tomorrow I shall return, but until then I’d like to thank Andrew for answering my questions. You can follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner, and if you’re not already a regualr Arseblog reader, then you can keep up with all the latest news and live blogs @Arseblog

Lastly, if you get a chance to read ‘So Paddy Got Up’, do so. “It’s fuckin’ excellent”

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