On the Block 5 Gooner Interview today I speak with to the legendary Blogger – Goonerholic!
Goonerholic, or David to you and I, is as well as being a regular guest on the Bergkamp Wonderland podcast is one of those Arsenal supporters that have simply seen it all. If you were to look up the word ‘gentlemen’ in a dictionary you’d be sure to find a description that aptly portrays this fine fellow.
David, thank you for taking time to chat with me. So to start with roughly long have you supported the Arsenal?
The short answer is all of my life. Mum made the infant me Dad’s responsibility on Saturdays. He went to the Arsenal and so did I. Although he didn’t remember my first Arsenal match he did take me to my first England match against Russia at Wembley in October 1958. I was 18 months old, so I expect 1958/9 was my debut season.
Can you remember watching your first Arsenal match?
Sadly no, I was far too young. My first memory of watching the Arsenal is an Inter Cities Fairs Cup match against Royal Liege in 1963. It was Bob Wilson’s fifth game for the club. We drew 1-1 with a second-half goal from Terry Anderson.
When you started to attend regularly which end did you stand at Highbury?
Clockend or East Stand as a child. Dad stood with some of his old friends in the same spot to the left of the clock most games and I had a stool on the big step at the back. Once old enough I alternated between the North Bank and Clock End.
Who currently is your favourite player at the Arsenal?
I’m not sure I have a single favourite. At a push I would plump for Laurent Koscielny who has improved so much in his time at the club.
I’m loving both our central defenders, both Rocks.
Who would you say is your favourite all-time Arsenal player?
There are so many contenders but in the end it has to be Dennis Bergkamp, or God as most would acknowledge him today. We were so lucky to enjoy him in his prime years.
So Dave do you have a most memorable Arsenal match?
I could not separate three. The night I watched us win a trophy for the first time against Anderlecht in the Fairs Cup Final in 1970, winning the league at White Hart Lane a year later, or beating a very strong Parma side in the Cup Winners Cup Final of 1994. All joyously celebrated among like-minded souls.
Our defence in the Cup Winners Cup final immense! Shutting out a brilliant Parma team.
Do you have a most memorable Arsenal goal?
No brainer for me. Liam Brady at the Lane, Christmas 1978. His celebration in front of the Shelf just added to the brilliance of the strike, so that just Pip’s Thierry’s remarkable solo effort and subsequent celebration against the same opponents at Highbury.
What about a favourite Arsenal chant of yours?
We are the Arsenal and we are the best… It is sung too seldom these days, but it is as true today as ever it was.
Tell us David, do you have any pre-match superstitions?
Not these days. I used to consider my original 1970s Umbro home shirt lucky, and wore it in Copenhagen against Parma. I still have it, but it seems to have shrunk!
What’s your favourite away ground that you’ve been to?
Craven Cottage for me. Good pubs and that walk alongside the river through the park, then into a proper old football stadium. I loved going there all my life and I hope they get back to the Premier League one day.
Another one of Archibald Leitch’s Stadiums.
Which fixture or teams do you fear and or hate playing the most?
Tottenham away these days. Before all-ticket matches came in we would take thousands to the Lane. They weren’t as disagreeable when the numbers were even. Nowadays they terrorise soft targets there. Cowards, all.
Are there any team you have a soft spot for?
Stirling Albion. My Mum was from there and when the Supporters Trust took the club over I bought in. When Rangers were relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish football I bet against them in all four league encounters. Thankfully the Binos won one and drew two so I made a small fortune. “Can we play you every week”
Have you got an Arsenal humorous moment?
Finding the team hotel in Leipzig when it was still in East Germany. Terry Neill invited us to join the post-match craic. We had to sing for our supper. I did ‘maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’ which resulted in Liam Brady and Sammy Nelson ripping the piss out of me, bless ‘em.
Ha-ha! I’d have love to have seen that!
What’s your expectation for Arsenal this year?
Premier and Champions League! Ok, maybe just one, possibly the former. We have improved the last couple of seasons and the squad is getting close to where we need to be, and we have some attacking options rather than just burning Giroud out every season.
We do seem to be improving each year.
What’s your Favourite Podcast?
A Bergkamp Wonderland and the Arsecast for obvious reasons. I wish the Tuesday Club would get it back together.
and your favourite Blog?
Another no brainer. Arseblog. A great friend and good counsel when I don’t know what on earth I’m doing.
Who’s your must have Twitter follow?
@WestStandTone especially at North London derby time. He’s a top man.
Can you recommend another Twitter user who you would be interested in being Interviewed?
I hope @RajPatel (but I haven’t asked him!)
Time for some quick fire questions:
- Red or Yellow? Red
- Clockend or Northbank? North Bank
- Sitting or Standing? Standing
- Best ever AFC Goalkeeper? Seaman
- Best ever AFC Defender? Adams (sorry Peter Storey)
- Best ever AFC Midfielder? Bergkamp
- Best ever AFC Striker? Henry
- Best all time Captain? Mclintock
It’s been an absolute joy for me to talk with you David and once again thank you your time.
If you enjoyed this edition of ‘The Interview’ checkout the other ones below on The Block 5 Gooner Blog website.
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