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A Gunners point of view

What made you support Arsenal mate?
One thing you should know about me is that not one single member of my family likes, watches or has even a vague interest in football, so when I was little I never got pushed in the direction of one team or the other (as is happening to my son). I started getting interested in football as an eight year old boy watching the 1986 world cup finals, the passion of it all really captured my young imagination. After that I stared watching as much football as I could. Two years later Luton faced Arsenal in the League Cup Final at Wembley, unfortunately for the Gunners they were defeated, but as it turned out, fortunate for me. Being young I felt sorry for Arsenal and the dejected players at the end of the game and began following them much more closely. Over the next few years (and some of the most remarkable mosts ever witnessed in football) my passion grew.

All I can say is thank **** Arsenal didn't win that day!!

Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
I'd be an idiot if I wasn't. Top of the league, an juicy semi-final against Tottenham coming up, the tie of the round vs AC Milan in the Champions League, sublime football.

No bad for a crumbling team who are about to be passed by Tottenham eh?!?

Arsene Wenger has done a phenomenal job with Arsenal over the years and he just keeps churning out the players. This season he has proved there is 'life after Henry' but how is the job he is doing this season being viewed at your end?

We're not half as surprised as everyone else is. The thing with Arsene Wenger is he looks at the bigger picture, if he sees a problems, he seeks to fix it, but not with the quickest and easiest method, with a method that will solve the problem for the long term, even if that means taking his time in dealing with the situation.

He spent a bit of money last summer, but not a lot by the other members of 'the big 4's' standards, but how do you rate the signings he did make?
New players always need time to bed in. Just look at Thierry Henry, he couldn't hit a cow arse with a banjo when he first arrived and he left as the clubs record scorer.

Eduardo will need the rest of the season before we see what he really can do, but I think he can be great. I seriously can't remember him taking a shot that he didn't score with.

Lassana Diarra looks really special, but he's fighting against some of the best young midfielders around for a place in the squad. If the quotes are to be believed, he wants out of the club due to lack of first team opportunities. Which would be quite a shame because I think he can be huge for us.

Bacary Sagna is probably the most extraordinary of Wenger summer signings. When Arsene bought him I couldn't see the point, we had Manu Eboue, Justin Hoyte and much more pressing issues within the squad. But now I see why we bought him. I reckon Sagna quickly became the best right back in the Premiership. He's solid.

Fabianski - He's one for the future.

Have I missed anybody?

Will he need more in January - and will he get them, or can the wealth of talent he has coming through step up?
I'd hope that Wenger signs a centre back. With Kolo Toure heading off to the ACN I think our title aspirations would be hanging in the balance if we have to rely on Philippe Senderos as first choice CB. I just don't think he's good enough. Other than that I think Wenger should only open his chequebook if he can get Kaka on the cheap.

Okay, they arguably all are but who is the main Arsenal danger man that Pompey should watch?
That depends on where Pompey weakest area is. Robin van Persie and Alex Hleb are going to be a hand full for you guys. Then there's Cesc Fabregas. Oh and Gael Clichy. And Adebayor.

Seriously, who do you choose?

How do you reckon Arsenal will go this season?
Honestly? I think we'll fall short of winning the league.

But we can certainly keep going right until the end, and we're still in with a shot of winning one, two, three or even four trophies (which is unlikely), but I think United will just pip us. But considering what everybody thought what was going to happen to us at the beginning of the season, it's not too shabby.

What about Pompey?
I love Pompey. They try and play football, which, when you realise that they are still a relatively new club to the Premiership, is refreshing. All too often smaller clubs trying to keep afloat in the PL resort to trying to stop other teams from playing football to earn points rather than playing football themselves, Portsmouth don't do that, they want to entertain.

Harry Redknapp is doing a fantastic job (I assume he has been forgiven for his venture to the dark side?) and I think you can get one of the UEFA cup spots (at the expense of Tottenham hopefully) which would be a massive step in the right direction for your club.

If you could take any Pompey player from our squad and put him in yours, who would it be and why?
Haven't all your players played for Arsenal at one point? I refer to Portsmouth as the Arsenal retirement village :)

I'll take Matty Taylor so he can stop scoring wonder goals against us.

Go on - who is going to win, Pompey or Arsenal?
I'd usually be diplomatic and call a draw, but what with you guys having a hard time scoring at home and us scoring in every game so far, I'll say 1-0 to the good guys!!

Questions answered by Paul Mustchin from Vital Arsenal


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 24 2007

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
cheers thanks for this mate another very good interview... i have alot of time for arsenal and im looking forward to what could be a very good game, which we will hopefully get something from, so long as we play well tho that will be a plus as we arent doing that at home this season on th whole are we...
Report Abuse
23/12/2007 23:25:00

I devolped a soft spot of Portsmouth when we beat you 5-0 at Fratton park, it takes something special for the reception the Pompey fans gave to Arsenal at the final whistle and the "we're gunna sign Henry" song was a classic. Looking forward to the game.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 10:35:00

hang on, hang on... lets get this right buster it was not 5-0 at all, it was 5-1 :-) you put on a hell of a show that day and we know how to appreciate when we see something special - i still love that image of henry in a pompey shirt, priceless...
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 10:41:00

Sorry, 5-1!!!!!! It's been a long night with little sleep and a teething child. And yes, that picture is quality!!
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 10:48:00

thats better :-) i have that picture on my wall with his autograph below it... if only he was a pompey player at that, or indeed this time...
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 10:55:00

Should be a decent test, you boys got a roof yet?
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 11:22:00

We have the roof & all the southern hospitality to go with it.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 13:19:00

Haha, got a fella i know who's a pompey ST said there's some skeleton of a seagull that popped it's clogs above a toilet or something - been there for years apparently. Also, how about more than 2 turnstiles to get out of the away end while i'm at it ;)
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 13:45:00

Pompey, just wanted to say you guys have been playing great football these 2 years. Good luck with the rest of the campaign (unless you get drawn against Arsenal in the FA Cup that is). I think you guys will aim a good shot at European football next year!
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:24:00

Hoping for a cracker, we've been starved since Reading at home
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:45:00

I've had a lot of time for Pompey, Redknapp makes sure there is some good football on offer, esp during that remarkable relegation battle (2005, was it?). What a turnaround since then, and thoroughly deserved. Looking forward to a good game, one that hopefully ends up in an Arsenal win.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 22:23:00

arsnal? who are they? never 'eard of 'em...oh, they are that team at the top of the table, no, i dont bother looking that high up... Great team Arsnal, Play good football, and WIN! Was at the lgame when you beat us this season, and when you drew with us down at Fratton - sadley not this time - but they are always good! now, do you think we could borrow a few of you players over january when ours go AWOL? i hear that "sesk Fabbriggass" or whatever he is called is ok, and "theow wallcott" is meant to be quick too...would be good replacements for muntari and utaka. Good Luck, not that you need it but i would rather you won the league than anyone else!
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 22:45:00

(other than pompey)
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24/12/2007 22:45:00


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