Hello Gooners. We are back with the second edition of Indian Gooners Speak Out.
Today I will be speaking to @vivekafcvivek, @gunneratheart and @ambinerd. These Gooners come from various backgrounds and parts of the country, but of course, united by one passion, and that is Arsenal. All of them have some interesting thoughts about the club to share.
@vivekafcvivek is from Bangalore, doing his final year degree and is an ardent Arsenal fan for the past decade. He is an active part of Bangalore Gunners, which has grown to become one of the biggest Arsenal fan clubs in the country. (@BangalorGunners) They organize screenings constantly throughout the season and converge Gooners all over Bangalore under one roof.
@gunneratheart is 22 years old and graduated in Biotechnology Engineering from BIT. He is a passionate gooner (ask the people around him, they will testify to that!)!
@ambinerd is a huge huge Arsenal fan. Fifa fanatic. He creates iPhone/iPad apps to pay the bills.
So, here we go.
1) When did you start supporting Arsenal? Which year was it?
@vivekafcvivek - Started supporting Arsenal in the 2002-2003 season.
@gunneratheart - To the best of my memory, I started following football itself properly around 2000/01, and started supporting Arsenal from the 2001 season (was initially introduced to them through a friend, but the style of play soon captured my interest).
@ambinerd - Started supporting Arsenal and Real Madrid back in 2001. Was a huge zizou and Henry fan. Once zizou retired, stopped supporting Madrid. Its only the red & white now.
2) How old were you when you started supporting Arsenal?
@vivekafcvivek - I was 12 years old when i started supporting Arsenal.
@gunneratheart - I was 11 years old.
@ambinerd - around 14
3) Did you start off by supporting one of the more popular clubs like Manchester United? Be honest.
@vivekafcvivek - No way. It was always Arsenal for me , United were the champions when is started supporting Arsenal and i have a thing for ‘second’ favorites. Besides when i saw the beautiful football on display it was a no brainer.
@gunneratheart - No, It was always Arsenal for me.
@ambinerd - Not United but was a Madrid fan. As of now don’t give a shit about them.
4) What most do you like about Arsenal and why. And you can name only one thing.
@vivekafcvivek - It’s a club for the purists.
@gunneratheart - The philosophy and brand of football that Arsene Wenger brought to the club transforming us from a defensive ’1-0 to the Arsenal’ unit to an brilliant attacking one!
@ambinerd - Arsene Wenger
5) Thierry Henry or Dennis Berkgkamp? And why?
@vivekafcvivek - Well i gotta say it’s Thierry Henry for me. Bergkamp was poetry in motion but Thierry leaves me at a loss for words. Extravagance at his best and he used to make defenders life a nightmare. Epl has and will never see a better striker. he’s a ‘genius’.
@gunneratheart - Has always been Henry for me. Both players were equally classy. But Henry and Arsenal were a marriage made in heaven while it lasted. One of the most lethal strikers in world football. I had tears of joy when he scored on his return against Leeds.
@ambinerd - Very Close, but considering the current situation, i would say Dennis cos he dint quit on us. During the 2005 season he had said, he would retire if Arsenal dint give him a new contract. On the last day, he produced some brilliance and the crowd “forced” the club into giving him a one year extension. Legend indeed.
6) Your most joyous moment as a Gunner?
@vivekafcvivek - Too many instances to choose from but i’m gonna have to say the 2-1 win at home to Barca.
@gunneratheart - Undoubtedly INVINCIBLES.
@ambinerd - Arsenal 2 1 Barca
7) Your most disappointing moment as a Gunner?
@vivekafcvivek - Again too many instances to choose from But i’m gonna have to go with 8-2 at OT.
@gunneratheart - The 2011 season when we seemed in it all one week and out of everything the next. Starting with the defeat to Birmingham in the league cup final. Thoroughly undeserving to lose. The heart ached seeing the likes of Wilshere cry inconsolably.
@ambinerd - Carling cup final. After the game, had a sneaky feeling that we could Fuck up everything.
8) Is Arsene Wenger still the man for the job at Arsenal? And why?
@vivekafcvivek - Arsene Wenger is the best man for the job. He has revolutionized club management and changed the landscape of the premier league. Considering the financial constraints present at the club there is no man on this earth who can do a better job than Wenger. He has the club’s best interests at heart. What more can one ask for.
@gunneratheart - Yes, he is. He has always been loyal to the club and believed in his players throughout. He has come close to success regularly in the last 7 years, falling short mostly in unlucky circumstances. Besides, the lack of trophies does not mean something bad. Every club goes through transitions. The fact that he has kept us competitive in this transition is testament to his ability as a manager.
@ambinerd - Yes. The Board does not want to spend money. Name me one manager who will spend so less and still keep the team competitive. David Moyes has tried but look where they are. I dont blame wenger for the current plight, blame the “LOYAL” players.
9) If no, then who would you like to see at the helm and why?
@gunneratheart - I really dont have anyone in mind as a replacement.
10) What would you opt for if you were the CEO of the club? The self sustainable model, which is at place, with moderate spending and sparse silverware, or the ‘Petrocash’, which is being used by Chelsea and Manchester City to win trophies at will?
@vivekafcvivek - Self sustainable model (but spend a bit more , just that 10 or 15 million extra)
@gunneratheart - Self-sustainable model.
@ambinerd - I would definitely spend some money to get the first trophy. Since we have some very talented youth players coming through, that area is covered. But just to break the trend of players maturing and leaving, i would spend some money, TRY to win trophies(spending money doesn’t guarantee squat) and then slowly bring in the youngsters.
11) A one line message for Robin van Persie, who looks set to leave. And this could also be a message for Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Adebayor etc.
@vivekafcvivek - You guys are a disgrace, forgot who made you what you are.
@gunneratheart - No player will ever been bigger than the club.
@ambinerd - to RVP- It doesn’t hurt that you want to leave, it hurts cos of the heartless way in which you want to leave.
12) Who would you like to see as Arsenal’s captain next season? And why?
@vivekafcvivek - Vermalen should be handed the captain’s armband. He is the easy choice , plays with his heart on the sleeve and is a talker , plays with pride and a fan favorite. Commands respect and having him on the pitch , his meager presence instills confidence and calmness.
@gunneratheart - In the recent past, captaincy has kind of become a prelude to leaving the club in the future. But, I’d love to see a defender as captain (something like a Tony Adams of the current era). The likes of Vermaelen, who is quite vocal, or Koscielny would be ideal though I guess obviously TV5 is the frontrunner if Van persie leaves.
@ambinerd - Verminator. Enough said.
13) Any specific signings you would like to see at the club?
@vivekafcvivek - M’Vila and Dempsey
@gunneratheart - I would have loved to see Edinson Cavani at the club. Whatever I have seen of him, he seems a proper poacher. And I think Arsenal missed a trick where Eden Hazard was concerned also since he is a cousin/nephew (not sure) of Vermaelen.
@ambinerd - One kick ass CAM, unless Arshavin stays and promises not to be lazy.
14) Realistically, what are your aspirations for next season?
@vivekafcvivek - Actually feel we have enough in the squad to win the league next season. No reason why we can’t.
@gunneratheart - Realistically, a fight for an automatic Champions League spot and a good cup run(all the cups) hoping the draw is kind to us(almost never is!!). Ideally, I sincerely hope the team is well-prepared enough to fight for the League title.
@ambinerd - Winning Trophies. Anything less is a lack of ambition.
15) One thing that you would like to change at Arsenal?
@vivekafcvivek - Be a bit more cut throat, don’t be too nice too players.
@gunneratheart - Cant really think of anything. Even with respect to transfers, I dont really believe splashing the cash is the solution. Wenger knows. Or atleast, we could do with keeping faith in him as gooners.
@ambinerd - Trying to cultivate a sense of togetherness and loyalty. Also selling all the dead weight.
16) Your favorite player at the club right now? And why?
@vivekafcvivek - Has to be Sagna. The unsung hero and easily the most consistent player at the club in the last 5+ years.
@gunneratheart - I really took to Wilshere last season, a brilliant midfield engine. Mikel Arteta for me this year. Unsung hero, silently worked to maintain the shape of the team and even score some vital goals. (Van persie would be an automatic choice with his accomplishments).
@ambinerd - Footballing terms – RVP, overall – Bacary Sagna.
17) One player, past or present, you think you would have done better than?
@vivekafcvivek - Diaby. Abundance of talent but perma crocked unfortunately.
@gunneratheart - Haha, thats a toughie. All of them being professionals I surely wouldnt do better than any of them at the club. But if I have to name one, then it would be Junichi Inamoto. I myself play mid and I guess I would somehow get myself to play atleast one game at the club :p
@ambinerd - Nickas bendtners first touch at the Camp Nou will haunt me forever. So maybe him.
18) Your favorite Arsenal goal?
@vivekafcvivek - Henry’s goal against Liverpool , 2-0 down after being knocked out of the Cl and the F.A cup in a space of a week. Season was in jeopardy up steps the Frenchman and beats 4 liverpool players to score one of the best goals in the league that season (he also scored a hatrick in that game)
@gunneratheart - Henry long ranger against united, Bergkamp against newcastle, Pires curler against I dont remember, Van persie against Charlton athletic, Fabregas solo goal against our noisy neighbours.
@ambinerd - Fabregas vs Slavia Prague 2007-08 CL. The one where we counter from a corner and score.
19) Arrange in order of hate..Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Tottenham, Stoke City? Any other, please mention.
@vivekafcvivek - Manchester United, Barcelona, Stoke City, Spurs, Chelsea , City , Liverpool.
@gunneratheart - (6) Barcelona (surely can’t hate them for much other than the Fabregas scoop), (5) Stoke City, (4) Liverpool, (3) Chelsea, (2) Manchester City (annoying player tap-ups every goddamn year), (1) Manchester United==Tottenham (Cant put a degree between the two, equally hate both the clubs).
@ambinerd - Barca, united, tottenham, stoke, chelsea, city pool.
20) Arsenal to win the Champions League before you die or a one night stand with the girl of your fantasy? Be honest!
@vivekafcvivek - Arsenal to win the CL before i die. There will be plenty of other chances to get laid lol.
@gunneratheart - Arsenal to win the Champions League. Honestly. Truthfully. Sincerely.
@ambinerd - Arsenal to win CL.
If you missed the first edition of the “Indian Gooners Speak Out” series, follow this link.
I hope you enjoyed reading! Will be back with more parts soon! Hang around!
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