Friday Fanzone Q&A – Ahead of FA Cup Final we have ‘Geoff Arsenal’

Geoff Arsenal

Geoff Arsenal - Credit: Archant

Our Friday Fanzone Q&A returns ahead of the FA Cup Final. This week we have huge old school fan and loyal Gooner ‘Geoff Arsenal’. Read on for his views...

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Born in the sixties in London where I have proudly lived all my life, Former professional footballer now in corporate hospitality. Some people might recognise the name from Twitter where i have consistently defended our great football club unconditionally.

How did you become an Arsenal fan?

I didn’t have a choice of what football team I supported. My old mum used to live in Twyford House in Elwood Street which is literally 300 metres from the famous North Bank at Highbury. My old man and seven uncles were Arsenal fans and i will forever be grateful they steered me down the right path to The Arsenal.

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Years supporting the club?

I have been supporting The Arsenal for as long as I can remember, but my first match I can vaguely remember going to at Highbury was in 1971. I was a regular from 1972 and have been lucky enough to have season tickets since 1985.

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Arsene Wenger. Discuss:

There have been many opinions on this subject over the past three years. I am a staunch ‘Wenger In”. It has been a disappointing season on the whole but there has been situations internally that have definitely affected the boys performance on the pitch – but we have won seven out of our last eight games and have an FA Cup Final to look forward to, so if we can win that it will feel a lot better.

Arsene has done a tremendous job since taking over at the club. He has given me some unforgettable memories and is the most successful Arsenal manager in the history of the club. People are complaining and want a change of manager because we have failed to win the Premier League for a while but I’m not sure changing the manager will have any real difference on our league position. We need real investment in top quality players, we need to be able to compete with the big boys and pay the £250k per week to the best players in the world otherwise nothing will change.

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

Arsenal social media is something else. Constantly making stupid people famous. I’ll leave it there.

One thing you’d change about the club?

One thing i would change about the club right now is the business model. We have tried to play fair whilst everybody else was financially doping, Financial Fair Play is broken so I’m afraid if you can’t beat them, join them. Stan Kroenke needs to put up the money or sell up to enable us to compete with these clubs for top players.

What makes you proud to be a Gooner?

I’m just proud to be a Gooner full stop, We have a fanatically loyal fanbase, we have great traditions, and we are a fantastic football club who make me proud.

Next statue?

Arsene Wenger.

First Game.

Honestly can’t remember and the old fella had passed away before i could ask him. Coventry or one the Midlands teams I think.

Best moments watching The Arsenal?

I have been blessed to see every Cup Final since 1972. Manchester United in ‘79 was unreal – joy, to tears, to tears of joy, when Alan Sunderland knocked in the late winner – but my favourite Arsenal moment will always be Mickey Thomas at Anfield ‘89. Incredible ending to a season. It was so Arsenal.

Worst moments?

I have also witnessed many disappointments while following The Arsenal, The Champions League Final in Paris v Barcelona is the most disappointing. If we kept 11 players on the pitch I’m convinced we would have won that. I have never been able to watch it back, to this day.

Favourite ever player?

Geordie Armstrong. The best player not to win an international cap. My best player is Dennis Bergkamp. I don’t need to explain why.

Worst ever player?

Phew, There are a few that could get in. John Matthews tops it. Sorry John.

Pre-match routine?

I don’t really have a pre match routine to be honest. My stomach does though. Butterflies before every game.

Best thing about Highbury?

The best thing about Highbury is the memories I had with my old Dad. It was a wonderful stadium that I will never ever forget. I still go there every now and then and look around, the memories come flooding back.

Best thing about The Emirates?

It’s a very modern football stadium with first class facilities. What we need is to win a Premier League there and then we can all embrace it properly. Some fans haven’t yet but they would if we won a proper competition there.

Biggest scrape as a fan?

No comment.

FA Cup or fourth place?

The FA Cup. Always.

Favourite win over Spurs?

Spurs 0-5 Arsenal, 1978. Chippy Brady – what a goal that was. It was in the days when we had all of the Park Lane, It was brilliant.

Your prediction for the cup final?

I honestly think we are going to turn Chelsea over. We are the underdogs, But we have done well as underdogs in the past. Lets do it.

Best 11?

Phew, that is tough. Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Campbell, Cole, Armstrong, Vieira, Gilberto, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry – Up The Gunners!

Follow Geoff on Twitter @GeoffArsenal.

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