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Friday Fanzone Q&A: David Faber – aka Goonerholic

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 28 April 2017

The wonderful Goonerholic - aka - David Faber

The wonderful Goonerholic - aka - David Faber

Archant

Time for another Friday fanzone Q&A. Today we have the wonderful David Faber – aka Goonerholic – who’s followed the club for more than six decades. Read what The Arsenal means to him.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I’ve been blogging as Goonerholic for more than a decade now. I was named one of Saga Magazine’s 50 top over 50 bloggers three years ago which tells you I am well past my playing days.

How did you become an Arsenal fan?

I have my father to thank for that. I was born in the Whittington Hospital and we lived in Canonbury before moving to Buckinghamshire. Dad was Arsenal mad and Mum made me his responsibility on the weekends, so I went to Arsenal every other week from when I could toddle.

Years supporting the club?

Sixty.

Arsene Wenger. Discuss.

Something I hate to do really. I owe him for some of the greatest moments of my life. The teams he inherited and built on in his first decade were packed with players with of wonderful talent and commitment. I would love to see him leave the club with some fresh silverware in the trophy cabinet and a solid foundation for our future. Sadly, that day should be close I feel.

Do you think social media has made the game better or worse for fans?

I think that is down to us as individuals. I have tried to keep those I follow to the generally agreeable souls. I have made some wonderful friends thanks to Twitter. I do see some of the less enjoyable stuff retweeted onto my timeline. All human life is there, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

One thing you would change about the club?

The one thing that will never change in the foreseeable future. Multiple ownership of the shares so the board can be held to account by the supporters.

What makes you proud to be a Gooner?

The history and traditions attached to our magical club, and of course few supporters of other clubs have been able to see so many trophies won. The Clock, the flower arrangements in the visiting team’s colours, the Arsenal Foundation, the gold Premier League trophy, and many other things say ‘this is a special club’.

Next statue outside would be?

I would imagine Arsene will follow Herbert Chapman from bust in the stadium to statue outside. He deserves it, for sure.

First game?

I will never know. Dad couldn’t remember when I wanted to know. The first one I remember was an Inter Cities Fairs Cup – the original UEFA Cup – tie against Royal Liege in 1963.

Favourite game and why?

Tough call. There have been so many, but I’ll plump for the European Cup Winners Cup victory against the holders, Parma, in 1994. They were an outstanding side, and we were ravaged by injuries and suspension. Smudger’s winner that night was the high point of a fabulous week in Copenhagen – a gorgeous city.

Worst game and why?

Paris 2006. Thirteen minutes from winning the one trophy I have never seen us win. Why didn’t you cover your near post, Manuel? Why didn’t you bury those chances, Thierry? I was supposed to go on local radio the following morning, but I couldn’t answer the phone. I was inconsolable. I’ve still not watched it again to this day.

Favourite player and why?

Since Pele didn’t play for Arsenal it has to be Dennis Bergkamp. Unbelievably skilled, he could finish with both feet and with his head, but he could create chances for others seemingly at will. Add to that a bit of grit and he was as complete a player as I have seen in an Arsenal shirt.

Worst player and why?

Horrible one to answer, and hard to select just one really. I’d plump for a combination of some of the players we signed to replace Frank Stapleton. So, Lee Chapman, John Hawley, Ray Hankin, and John Kosmina. I still have nightmares about those lads.

Pre-match routine?

Catching up with great people in the Tollington mostly, but on occasion the Gunners and The Pins too. If I have plenty of time a stroll down to Piebury Corner too. Try the Haggis scotch eggs. Delicious.

Best thing about Highbury?

Dad used to park in Highbury Fields and so that view from the top of Avenell Road as suddenly this beautiful football stadium appears in the most unlikely location. I spent a very long day there on the farewell day just soaking everything in. There were tears.

Best thing about the Emirates?

There isn’t a bad seat in the house. The sight lines are superb. It is so close to our spiritual home, for which the previous board deserves huge credit.

Biggest scrape as a fan?

I am Private Schulz. I know nothing, nothing.

Fourth Place trophy or FA Cup – can’t say both

I think we will struggle to make the top four anyway, but the FA Cup for me, even though I want to see Big Ears won and I am running out of years! We have a one hundred percent record against Chelsea in FA Cup Finals.

Favourite win over Spurs

A no-brainer, and if people haven’t read my account of our 1-0 win at the Lane in 1971 then do. How Dad and I ended up in the stadium was remarkable, but from the back of a crowded Shelf we saw Arsenal win the first championship of my lifetime at 14. We must have had well over half the ground that night.

Prediction for the rest of this season

FA Cup Winners and fifth or sixth. So sorry about the latter. We have had a great run.

All time Arsenal XI

Seaman; Storey, Adams, Mclintock, Winterburn; Armstrong, Vieira, Brady, Pires; Bergkamp, Henry.

I always have to explain I have to get Peter Storey in my team for the work he did in midfield, but I can’t place him in that four. Sorry Lee Dixon, he keeps you out of my eleven for his mastery of the dark arts, but he was a superb footballer also.

Anything you want to add?

I have so many memories. Being a nipper, walking from Highbury Fields to the ground via the newsagent to buy the Islington Gazette, into Mick’s ‘Restaurant’ at The Highbury Barn for liver and bacon followed by syrup pudding and custard. Catch up on what’s going on at the club.

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