THE INTERVIEW – WITH GEOFF ARSENAL

Back by popular demand on The Block 5 Gooner Blog returns the feature called –The Interview.
On a regular basis I will chat to a variety of people from different walks of life but with the main connection that they are all Gooners. This week The Interview chats with non-other than the Big G himself – Mr Geoff Arsenal! (@GeoffArsenal)

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Geoff. Let’s start, so how long have you supported Arsenal?
I have been a fan for as long as I can remember! My old man was a Gooner and I had 7 Uncle’s from the flats in Twyford House in Elwood Street, which is 100 yards from the entrance to the North Bank at Highbury. You could pay on the turnstile in those days. We then got season tickets in the East Upper from 1985 and held them since.

Can you remember watching your first Arsenal match?
My Dad & my Uncle’s said they took me over as a nipper but the first game I can vaguely remember was in 1971, I honestly cannot remember who the opposition were though.

Where did you regularly attend at Highbury Geoff?
North Bank. I will never forget the swell of the crowds when there were big games. I was in there when we beat Chelsea 2-1 in an FA Cup Replay (‘73 I think) when there were 63,000 in attendance. I think it was more like 70,000 including all the people who jibbed in or had the turnstile operators straight.

Who currently is your favourite player at the Arsenal?
My favourite current player is Santi Cazorla, So under rated.

and your favourite all time Arsenal player?
Favourite all time player is Dennis Bergkamp. No question about it. Genius!

What a player Bergkamp was!?
Geoff, what’s your most memorable Arsenal match
?
AlanSunderland1979I have many of what I call “Arsenal Moments”. I have been very fortunate to have seen every Cup Final at home and abroad since 1972. The ‘79 Cup Final was mad. 2-0 up v Man United then back to 2-2 with a few minutes to go. I thought we were dead, I was shattered. Then we went up the other end and a magical moment from Alan Sunderland brought me to tears. The best moment was without a doubt, the impossible task of going to Liverpool in ‘89. I don’t think I will experience anything like that “Arsenal Moment” ever again! I hope I’m wrong.

Anfield ’89 is without doubt a brilliant moment!
What’s your most memorable Arsenal goal?

I remember being in the Upper, Park Lane [White Hart Lane] when we smashed that mob 0-5 and Chippy Brady curled one in with the outside of the boot, but that is second behind…. Mickey Thomas. No words.

Double, Double, Double!
Double, Double, Double!

Never fails to bring a tingle for me watching that goal.
Do you have a favourite Chant?
“Double Double Double, Sol Campbell has won the Double!” Anything N17 related was always good fun. There were a few about Spurs Manager David Pleat back in the day that we tormented them with.

Tell us Geoff, do you have any pre-match superstitions you can entertain us with?
No superstitions for me. The old man did. We moved to the East End when I was 10 and I remember we used to drive and park in the same place, Petherton Road off Green Lanes, and do the same walk every week. It seemed like miles! He’d use the same programme seller at the bottom of Elwood Street regardless of the long queue.

Do you have a favourite away ground that you’ve been to?
Upton Park, West Ham. Terrific little ground, all my school pals were West Ham and some years I’d go to Arsenal one week and West Ham with my pals the next week. Great times.

That’s how my Dad ended up becoming a West Ham fan despite growing up & living off Liverpool Road. For that reason and others I’ve had a soft spot for West Ham. What about you, any other team?
No not really. I was lucky enough to play professionally at Birmingham City back in the 80’s for a while so I usually look to see how they got on. But it’s the Arsenal only for me I’m afraid.

What’s your expectations for Arsenal this year?
I don’t expect anything this season. I do however think we can win the Premier League with a bit of luck. We have kept all our best players and done well with the players we have added. If they settle in quick we could be on to something special.

The balance looks great this year doesn’t it.
What’s your most humorous Arsenal moment?

Taking the piss out of the N17 mob during the Police escort on the slow walk from Park Lane to Northumberland Park on the day we did the Double there. Unforgettable.

GeoffArsenalTweetDo you have an Arsenal claim to fame you could dine out on?
I’m not famous but I was the first one to break the Mesut Ozil to Arsenal story just before the Spurs game, a few days before he signed. I was on the way to the game on my scooter and I got a text that Arsene Wenger had literally just got off the phone to Mesut and he has agreed to sign. I nearly fell off the bike in excitement! I immediately tweeted something like “Arsenal are about to sign a German International for £40m” Twitter went mad.

I remember it well!
What’s your league and/or cup expectations for Arsenal this year?

I don’t expect anything this season, I do however think we can win the Premier League with a bit of luck. We have kept all our best players and done well with the players we have added, if they settle in quick we could be on to something special.

Okay, let’s learn a bit more about you Geoff. What’s your favourite Podcast?
I have been lucky enough to appear on some great podcasts. I have been a regular guest from the start on the ‘A Bergkamp Wonderland Podcast‘, great fun with a great bunch of lads. ‘Footballisticaly Arsenal‘ is another good one but my favourite listen is ‘The Tuesday Club‘ with Alan Davies, Ian Stone and DJ Tayo.

And you favourite Blog?
Favourite blog, Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) He’s brilliant.

Your must have Twitter follow?
Must have twitter follow? errr… @BlackburnGeorge . If you know, you know.

Can you recommend another Twitter user who you would be interested in being Interviewed?
@garythegooner56 and/or @goonerholic both have a wealth of experience at The Arsenal and perfect Gentlemen to boot.

Brilliant! Right some quick fire questions:

  • Red or Yellow? Always Red.
  • Clockend or Northbank? We’re The North Bank Highbury.
  • Sitting or Standing? Sitting now I’m afraid at my age.
  • (Naming one player only)
  • Best ever AFC Goalkeeper? Spunky [Seaman]
  • Best ever AFC Defender? Tony Adams
  • Best ever AFC Midfielder? Paddy Vieira
  • Best ever AFC Striker? Bergkamp
  • Best all time Captain? Tony Adams…..and ‘Best ever manager’Arsene Wenger! ;D

I didn’t ask you that one Geoff! Ha-ha

It has been a real pleasure speaking with you Geoff and thanks once again for taking the time to speak to us.

 

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