Exclusive: Interview with Kunal Torres & JAT

For those of you who are in the know, then you’ll know the name Kunal Torres. If you don’t, you will very soon. For those of you who don’t know JAT – he is a writer down here at the World of Arsenal HQ – and a massive Gooner. Kunal Torres, as you may have guessed is a Liverpool supporter and proclaims to be one of the biggest in the land – and in a bit of a twist, I’ve got them both in front of me and primed for a WOA exclusive interview.

We’ll start with the easy ones…

Who do you think will get relegated this season and why?

KT: Blackpool, simply because they won’t be strong enough to survive… West Brom because again, they just don’t have the strength and my random tip is Fulham – with their star manager now at my very own Liverpool, and without being able to attract a decent manager after the failed attempt of getting Jol in, I can just see doom and gloom for them.

JAT: Blackpool and West Brom for definite – the other teams that we down there at the end of the season have strengthened, the likes of West Ham and Sunderland have recruited well. One team I feel is running out of steam is Wigan – Martinez was on the end of some difficult losses, some crushing defeats and there hasn’t been much quality in.

Who do you think will win the Premiership and why? (You can’t choose your own team)

KT: I think it’s going to be the most open season yet – it’s hard to tell. Arsenal, United and Chelsea will always be up there – the latter two have been dominant in the last few years. As a Liverpool supporter, it pains me not to consider ourselves in the title race, but it’ll take a year or two to get back into the groove of things. Man City do look good and have some decent signings, but for me, with Essien back in the squad, my tip has to be Chelsea.

JAT: Okay, so I can’t choose Arsenal right? Definitely? Okay, then for me, it’s between United and Chelsea – United haven’t done much to strengthen and Scholes and Giggs will not be the players they have been recently. Smalling looks very shakey, as did Evans, Brown and O’Shea last season, and there is too much emphasis on Rooney to score – something you can carry for one season, but not for season after season. Chelsea meanwhile have strengthened where they needed too and with Drogba back and fit, Essien desperate to get back into the game and the little spark of  Benayoun and their strength in depth will set them on their way.

How do you [honestly] think Liverpool will do?

KT: I think we’ll surprise everyone and finish in the top four. With a combo of Joe Cole, Gerrard and Torres as an attacking axis – all with different styles and skills, we’ll definitely get a good number of goals. Our other signing Jovanovic is a very good striker too and should have an impact on the season.

JAT: I think top four is pushing it – especially with such a disheartened squad. I’m glad we dodged the Joe Cole bullet, as for me, we have enough small, skillful, injury prone players. They haven’t improved on last season and may even get weaker if Mascherano leaves – but top six is achievable and with Hodgson at the helm, very realistic.

How do you [honestly] think Arsenal will do?

KT: For Arsenal, it all comes down to whether their star players can stay injury free. If Van Persie can remain fit and get back to form, they’ll be challenging. Maroune Chamakh looks like an interesting signing – at one point, I thought he may coming to Anfield – but it will take time for him to settle in. If Arsenal don’t sign a keeper then they will struggle to top the table, but we’ll see how it pans out – I’d definitely say Arsenal were in a much better position than Liverpool.

JAT: At the moment, without the signings I wanted at the beginning of the season, it’s hard to say I am confident that we will win the title. I think we’ll fair similar to last season, a top three finish – I can’t see how we’ve strengthened out team over last season – Eduardo out, Chamakh in – the whole heap of defenders out and only Koscielny in. Like KT said, we’ve been notorious for big injuries to key players and if that is something we can avoid, then we will have a chance. If we can strengthen in defence and GK, then I’ll feel more confident.

Which player will you be watching out for this season? (You can’t choose your own team)

KT: I’ll be interested to see how David Silva fairs this season up at Man City – he’s been a very good and consistent performer in La Liga, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fairs.

JAT: I would have chosen Chamakh, as I think he’s got something about him – obviously watching Cesc at his brilliant best is awesome – but if I can’t choose an Arsenal player, then it will have to be Hernandez, the new Mexican player just signed for Man United – he looked good in the World Cup and I think he will prove a good foil for Rooney.

Finally, a random, but interesting one – if you could sign a former player of your team, who would be your pick?

KT: I’d bring Xabi Alonso back in a flash – we all saw the effect he had when he wasn’t playing for us last season; he was one of the most under-rated Liverpool players under Benetiz’s reign. He’d definitely be the one I’d bring back.

JAT: It’s a difficult one, we’ve had a few decent players who are still playing – like Flamini, Diarra etc, but I’ve struggled with this one. The likes of Henry and Pires are obviously past their prime now. The more I think about it, it has to Flamini. He had an excellent partnership with Cesc and also had some trickery about him too.

  • jeffvip

    Arsene Wenger will act quickly after Sol Campbell’s surprise exit to Newcastle. We can reveal that Arsenal are actively seeking to sign German World Cup Star Mertesacker in a reported £10 million deal.

    Per Mertesacker has always been a possible target for Wenger but now it is simply essential that Wenger gets his man to plug the hole left by Campbell. If reports are to be believed then chief executive Ivan Gazidis is hoping to wrap up a deal in the next 48 hours. If by any chance the deal falls through then Arsenal will turn their attention to either Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen or Dynamo Kiev’s Senegalese defender Pape Diakhate.

  • vj

    heard that as well jeffvip, i would love mertsacker to join us he is tall aggresive, he is a quality CB, him and vermaelen will do well, with koscielny and djourou as back up, nordveit as well looks decent. 5 is enough with song as emergency cover. After him we might go for Marchetti, then we have a real chance, imagine this line up
    Marchetti
    Sagna Vermaelen Mertsacker Clichy
    Song Fabregas Nasri
    Chamakh/Walcott Van Persie Arshavin

    that gives us a shot at the title

  • vj

    not to mention the likes of wilshere ramsey eboue gibbs rosicky bendtner vela eastmond as back ups

  • jeffvip

    the ’48 hrs’ words excited me… will be lovely if we have got a really tall player in our current squad. Marceti or Akinfeev is definitely excellent.

  • AmriGooner

    @jeffvip
    I hope your news become real soon.
    Really, that get me excited mate.

  • sycicsid

    india need to get their act together in the cricket

  • Goonerman

    So sol only signs a 1 year deal with Newcastle! I thought the only reason he would of left was to get a longer contract, that definatley means his new wifey forced him into moving up north! at least we know we are guarnteed a new cb because I’m pretty sure even wenger ain’t mad enough to go into the new season with just 3 senior cb’s!!

  • Arsefan101

    @ Goonerman:
    I think he left because he is first choice at Newcastle – whereas he is 4th choice here – also, he was offered £20k per week at Arsenal and £40k per week at Newcastle.

  • sycicsid

    if we dont get a CB Wenger has completely lost the plot. Jorou is out again – man will this player bve able to last even 4 games im highly doubting. cmon wenger u need 2 players – bartender is out as well – whats new there. rosicky out as well but back for the emms. we should have sold him. He will not reach the potential he that we want

  • RVP

    rosicky is not injured wenger rested him as a precaution and djourous injury is minor he may be back at the weekend.

    per mertesacker could be an arsenal player in time for the emirates cup. however a goaly joining before then is unlikely.

  • Goonerman

    @sycicsyd
    Calm down mate I don’t think even wenger is mental enough to not strengthen, he said he wanted to strengthen even when he thought sol was going to stay so I’m sure he’s working hard to get someone on now he’s back from Austria!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I have been asking for Mertesacker for a few weeks now so I am hoping this deal will materialise.

    Looks more and more likey that we are replacing Almunia as well with him linked with a move back to Osasuna (spelling). I do not want Swartzer to be honest, although he is better than Almunia he is not world class!!

    Keepers we have been linked with recently:

    Swartzer
    Akinfeev
    Stekelenburg
    Marchetti

    Which one would you choose?

  • jeffvip

    @Gooner Get Ya
    Me too, i do prefer him over all those defender we r link on…

    For keeper wise, Akinfeev would be my 1st choice.. IMO, Stekelenburg and Marchetti isn’t as reliable as many think they are.

  • Kodjo

    Pls go easy on bendtner…he is being referred to as BARTENDER???? It’s funny but pls take it easy with the guy…overconfident yes…but i’d rather have an over confident player than one who has none at all…

  • Arsefan101

    Djourou is fit again!

  • devday

    @ sycicsid:
    “Djourou has a small hamstring problem but it is not bad,” said the manager. “He should be available for the weekend.

    “Rosicky had a small, small alert. He was supposed to play in the first half but he could have played.

    “I didn’t want to take the gamble, it is only a little problem on his groin and I decided to replace him.”

  • devday

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    My order would be:
    Akinfeev
    Stekelenburg
    Marchetti
    Swartzer

  • sycicsid

    Dev – are you arsene wenger? haha. My point is if these players are picking up these minor injuries in pre-season games then boy when the prem starts wenger better be prepared for a fresh batch of injuries.
    On the GK i would choose Stekelenburg

  • Flamez

    maybe im the only person who is crazy enough to think this but id pick one of the gd young english keepers in the champ up, like joe lewis or scott loach, i know joe lewis got relegated with his team, but he is a really gd keeper and peterbrough’s defence was non existant. there both available for 1/2-1 1/2 mil which suits wenger and i reckon both are better than flappy or mr i want to be english cause im not good enough to be spanish.