Who are you? We’re Arsenal – but expect Sunderland to finish 6th

From Halifax (and Hull and Hell), the Good Lord has delivered Pat McLaughlin* into the arms of Arsenal. Pat runs the Just Arsenal website and, while most of France dreams of playing for the Gunners, dreams of living (not for the first time in his life) in France. He’s our second Gooner – with a third still to come – to preview Saturday’s big game, Sunderland v Arsenal, and thinks we’ll do rather well this season. According to my mental arithmetic, he has us finishing sixth. Was that a pig-like creature we just saw flying by? …


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(Slightly modified version of posting that appeared earlier today. The third and final Arsenal “Who are You?” feature, in which Darren Wright from the Wrighty7 fansite answers similar questions, will be published on Friday morning)

Salut! Sunderland Everyone raves about how exciting the Gunners are to watch. What do you remember of the days when it was “boring, boring Arsenal”?

LOL i used to agree with the monicker. George Graham used to bore me too. But i started going to Highbury when it was Johnny Radfords day, and they were never boring! It used to cost me ten bob to go in the “pit” (kids section)

So, Arsenal are being seen as by some as “dark horses” for the title.That makes you sound almost mortal after so long in the top four. An insult, or a welcome way of taking the pressure off you?

Arsenal are NO WAY dark horses. People seem to forget that we have a game in hand PLUS we play Chelsea at the Emirates next week (without Drogba, Lampard et all). We win both those games and we are top. Assuming we beat Sunderland of course!

Tell me what you really think about Tottenham.

You REALLY don’t want to know the answer to that one!

Overlooking his selective myopia, I am a great admirer of Arsene Wenger. What has the Wenger era meant to you?

The Prof is a genius. I don’t understand why people complain coz we havent won any trophies. We are DEFINITELY the most exciting team to watch, whether we win or lose. I would rather lose 4-3 than win 1-0 every week. I live for the moment not for a piece of silver at the end. But it would be nice for a change…………..

Were you surprised at how badly we did last season, and by Keane’s walkout, especially after we had reasonable results against you?

Keane is a Championship manager. He had the money but squandered it on quantity rather than quality. He likes big hard men with heart and guts, but that doesn’t work in the “Big League”, you need a good amount of skill too.

What will be this season’s top four in order?

Chelsea, Arsenal, United, Aston Villa

And who will go down?

The usual, Birmingham, Hull, Wolves, with Bolton Blackburn and West ham fighting for the other place. Avram Grant will save Portsmouth.

If Sunderland and Man City appeared in neither list, where will we and they finish?

I marked down Sunderland as this year’s surprise team when i saw the players Steve Bruce was going for in the summer, and have been very surprised by some of your silly defeats. (In fact you have cost me money on occasion, but I have won more on you!). Man City have big problems keeping the stars happy, but I think they will finish just above you in fifth. Tottenham will be relegated!

What memories do you have of previous Arsenal v Sunderland games home of away?

Just easy wins normally!!

Who for you are the Arsenal greats?

Henry obviously, but I have affection for the oldies like Radford and Liam Brady. Arsenal through and through.

The Eduardo (Ngog?) question: you need a win to clinch the title. Last game last second, Eduardo goes down in the box. Everyone but the ref sees it as a dive. The penalty wins you the game and the title. You gtake it gladly, you take it guiltily or you’re so ashamed you almost wish you’d only drawn?

I think that a big mistake was made with the Eduardo scenario. It happens every week and you can’t punish everyone. We need to accept its just part of the game, and if you get one over on the ref then fair dos. But I am a great believer in the referee’s decision is final. Once the moments gone forget it.

Club vs country. Who wins for you and why?

How can you even ask that after Van Persie’s injury!

Will you be at the game? If not how will you keep tabs and what will be the score?

I can’t go to games any more. I live in Halifax with a 16 month old baby. The Facebook profile of JustArsenal is an Arsenal Armchair. That’s what i am now. An armchair fan.

* Pat McLaughlinon Pat McLaughlin:

Well I am unemployed for the first time in my life, so I run my website to keep me busy. I spent my whole life trying to escape from London and England. I went to France for the first time when I was 20 (30 years ago!). I have lived in France for a year, Spain for five years, Malta for a year, Thailand for six months, and visited many more places in between. I cant wait to get away again. I am fluent in French and reasonably good at Spanish, so i see my retirement in one of those countries. But Thailand is my ideal place. (Not all of it, just the island of Koh Phangan)

** See also: Fatima al Shamsi’s entertaining and football-savvy view of SAFC v Arsenal from New York City

Colin Randall

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