Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
Vital Arsenal editor has kindly - despite great personal problems (it was Christmas day and he was drunk!) - done us an interview ahead of tomorrows clash of the titans!
1) So, the top four not so secure these days, do you fear you might fall out of it or are Arsenal 'safe'?
Thanks to Liverpool I reckon we're safe ..... ish. I penned an article on Vital Arsenal the other day commenting on the extreme tightness of this seasons PL campaign, it seems as though anyone can beat anyone, nothing is set in stone, and I must say it's very exciting. I do think that we'll be ok though, the fact that we've suffered such massive injuries and yet come Christmas we're the only team other than Chelsea who still has the power to win the PL in their own hands. Not only do I believe we're safe, but with a couple of shrewd signings I think we can still win it.
2) What do you see Arsenal achieving this season and if you don't win the league, is it good enough for the club, the manager and fans?
That's a toughie, as said previously, I truly believe that we could possibly win the league. As for the cup competitions, who ever can tell? You need so much luck on your side to win a knockout competition, so we could be deserving to win and lose, and vice versa. There's no reason why we couldn't win one though. If we don't win anything it's not a big deal, I'm not a greedy fan, in my lifetime I've experienced more joy and trophies than most clubs have experienced in their entire history.
3) Arsene Wenger seems to be hinting that he might run down his contract, would it be time for him to move on the summer after next (correct me if I'm wrong contract length wise) or should Arsenal move heaven and earth to extend his deal?
They should move the universe. Wenger is the only manager in the world who can manage our club right now. History tells us that moving to a new stadium (that the club has paid for) is bad for the short term (and in a lot of cases long term) on field success, yet Wenger has managed to move us into the best stadium in the country, while still challenging for trophies. Ok so we haven't won one, but we've reached the Champions League semi finals and final, made a fist of it in the league, and played some of the best football I've ever seen. I'm not sure there are any managers qualified enough to have achieved all of that.
4) What is your opinion of Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill?
I love Martin O'Neil. He tells it as he sees it and is a passionate man. He's also turn Villa into a footballing team who can challenge for honours. Villa have quickly become the Arsenal of the teams challenging for the top four. As with the Gunners, they're up against teams who have spent massive amounts of money on supposedly world class players, but M O'N, like Wenger, looks for the player who suits his team rather than the big name. I love that, and hope that Villa make the Champions League spot this season. Of course, not at our expense, but it would be good to see a different team in there for once.
5) Can Villa finish in the top four and if so, at whose expense?
Why not? You made massive strides towards it last season, and that experience can only make you stronger. It's got to be Liverpool who missies out, they're so far off the pace that it will take and astronomical balls up, not just from Villa but from Man City and Spurs too, and I just can't see that happening. Of course if you're a couple of points behind Spurs on the last day of the season you need not worry about it, they'll only soil themselves at the mere thought of CL football.
6) If you could have a couple of our players, who would they be and why?
Anybody thanks. Our team is so riddled with injuries that any extra players would be a bonus for us right now.
7) Who do you fear in Villa's team?
Brad Friedel - That guy has been a constant thorn in our side since he joined the Premier League. I'd go as far as to say he is one of the, if not the best, goalkeepers ever to playing in the PL. I'll guarantee that he makes at least two world class saves in our game. I remember we played Blackburn in the league back at Highbury, we had something like 25 shots on goal to Blackburn's 1 .... and they beat us 2-1 .... how does that even happen?
8) OK, lets be having you, what is your prediction for the game?
Ah god knows. With a full compliment of players, at home, in a different season I'd be reasonably confident of a victory, but the way things are and the way the whole season is panning out, absolutely anything could happen. I'll park my arse on the fence and say 1-1
With thanks to Paul from www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk My interview with them: My interview on Vital Arsenal: Click Here
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
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