The Interlull: Big Brother Style

Day 2 in the Interlull house, and WOA has been thinking about the season… It’s been a difficult couple of weeks and our squad has been tested to the maximum. There’s been some healthy discussions and some not so healthy discussions, especially on twitter and on yesterday’s comments.

But right now, I’m going to interview Kunal Torres, as you know Torres has moved to Chelski, so, he’s renamed himself Kunal Spidey Suarez… (PS, he’s a Liverpool supporter) We last interviewed him back in July 2010, here’s a glimpse of the previous transcript with regular writer JAT.

[Dev] So Kunal, welcome back to WOA and thank you for coming onto the blog. I know not many fans speak on other clubs blogs, so your time is very much welcome.

[Kunal] Thanks Dev, it’s a pleasure… as you all know, I’m a die hard Liverpool supporter, but I do read this blog quite regularly and it’s amazing to read some of the background around your season.

[Dev] So, Arsenal and Liverpool have had contrasting seasons, but now the season’s coming to an end, how do you think you’ve faired?

[Kunal] Well, at the beginning of the season, I spoke about how both Arsenal and Liverpool would fair, I thought Arsenal would challenge and I thought we would struggle initially, but consolidate to a top 6 position. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be such a stuttering and difficult season. No team has really impressed me, and Chelsea seem to have had a lot of problems – without any real need for them. I’m not convinced that their manager has the players focused as you would still consider them the strongest squad. Man United have done well (it hurts me to say)… without really excelling. They seem to hitting their gear now, and their Mexican striker, Hernandez has been inspirational in the second half of this season – despite them having their weakest premiership squad… ever?

[Dev] Did you see Torres ever leaving? And how do you feel about his transfer?

[Kunal] Reluctantly I did think he would leave, as he had been playing outside the Champions League for a while. When Kenny came in, I thought he’d stay until the summer at least, but the manner in which he left (the day before the end of the transfer window) and going to another Premiership club was hurtful, something he said he would / could never see himself doing. However, I’m not one to dwell on the past (hence the name change) and actually think we’ve got now more options up front in Andy Carroll and of course, the the silky skills of Suarez. Fernando Torres – we hate you so much, because we loved you so much. Now you mean nothing to us.

[Dev] Liverpool are only 4 points behind Sp*rs now and 8 behind Man City, where do you think you will finish at the end of the season?

[Kunal] Well, we’ve played one more than than Sp*rs, but our form is quite decent at the moment, our recent away win at Sunderland was testimony to that. With Sp*rs distracted a little at the moment, we could creep up on them. Man City, 8 points? With 8 games to go… it would be amazing if we caught them…  especially considering they don’t have any European distractions. I’ll be rooting for them in the semis of the FA Cup of course. I am naturally a huge fan of King Kenny as manager, and the players seem to be buzzing off his return. It will be interesting to see if we could push for 5th or even 4th. Never give up hope until it’s mathematically impossible.

[Dev] What are your thoughts on Arsenal’s season so far….?

[Kunal] I think they’ve been incredibly unlucky with their season but then again, you make your own luck. When they played reserve teams in the Champions League group stages, then you kind of feel that they let finishing top for granted – and then finished second. So, in a way, they could have avoided Barcelona, and hey, they may not have got them until the final, which could have turned out like it did at the Emirates. In regards to their unluckiness, that sending off for Van Persie was probably one of the worst decisions I’ve seen – at that point it could’ve gone either way even though over the two legs Barca deserved the victory. Injuries have plagued their season and it would be interesting how far they would go if they had their first XI fit for a long period of time. Unfortunately for Arsenal, the pressure seems to have gotten the better of them yet again. I’m hoping that you guys can still win the league but with the recent results it’s looking like the title’s going to be handed to utd on a silver platter. I think there are also quite a few fringe players who aren’t good enough for your squad – Almunia, Squillaci and Denilson always seem to get into the headlines for the wrong reasons.

[Dev] And finally, who do you think Arsenal could do with out of the Liverpool squad…

[Kunal] Our best player on form this season has been Pepe Reina and that’s probably the weakest area of the Arsenal squad. With the young boy apart, Sczcnesy, the other three look very average, if not below average. A world class keeper like Reina could be the missing piece in your squad… he’ll cost you £20m though (which is still a bargain!)… and he wants to leave, unfortunately for us!

[Dev] Well, thanks again for some interesting insight… we’ll see you again in a couple of months!

  • Berth

    Good stuff from your guest blogger. Dev; Wenger made a comment that no one gave us a chance this season to finish in the top four so why the sudden burst by fans; well I tell him one thing; no one ever thought a team who went unbeaten a whole season would go on not to win a trophy for six years; who is talking sense now Dev?

  • Arsefan101

    @ Berth:
    Well, if you sell on the entire unbeaten team, then how would you then expect to win anything!

    But at the beginning of the season with the addition of Chamakh and Wilshere being promoted – the change in defence (Koscielny, Squillaci in for Campbell, Silvestre, Gallas)… I think everyone definitely thought Arsenal would be in the top four!

    Our early season form was pretty good – we won a lot of games early on, which increased expectations.

    Then, when Arsene starts talking about the title, it goes into the fans head and when it explodes for the wrong reasons – IE bad reserves being played – then fans get upset.

    If Arsene played down the title then the fans wouldn’t be so upset.

    And another thing – at a team like Arsenal – regardless of how much anyone one says anything – we as fans always feel like we will be challenging for the title!

  • yemi

    @ Arsefan101:
    Agree with you all the way. How can there be an arsenal fan not hoping to win a trophy ? we always wish we do until it becomes mathematically impossible….

    I remember at the end of last season and early this season, people were actually tipping arsenal to be the team to drop out of the top 4 !!!!
    Not a bad season theoretically but we need and deserve more than what we are getting…
    Even if it is to keep a little bit of pride and keep some opposing fans a shut up !

    Nice post though dev, its always nice to get some outside opinion..

  • Berth

    I was only expressing how stupid a statement that was at the time.

  • edison

    we have had a great season in terms of where we are in the League, and we certainly haven’t lost any ground on last season – there is no doubt we have improved.

    But the really worrying thing is, when will we get such a good opportunity again to get our hands on silverware ? The Carling Cup should be in our trophy cabinet, and the League title is begging to be won.

    Next season is going to be a lot tougher and not such an easy ride for us. I hope Wenger keeps doing a great job, bringing up new players in our squad and continues to work on a strengthening mentality.

    Its good times for arsenal football club !

  • Arsefan101

    @ Berth:
    Fair point Berth!!

  • himesn

    Boys why are you lot so scared of change? Its rubbish not to say wenger is finished, out of his depth and the every season the season is finished months ahead – a standard occurrence unfortunately. So if a new manager is hired it would take him months to adapt and we would finish inside the top four just like chelsea. Arsenal as a team is in permanent transition, always looking to the future rather than addressing the present. So I can safely say wenger is driven by monetary gain and the opportunity cost is not winning anything past(last 6yrs) and in the future. Therefore boys and girls this squabbling about wenger not having a kitty is a lies a clear big fat one basically wenger does not win and faulty AL reiterate practically his believe and has made arsenal a regular ridicule on the MOD. Its not funny or liked but its there for all to see. What I and you lot see is the slow demise of wenger driven by his hapless, brittle bones. Simply repulsive as Montiller said( crazy he is but truth is told). The truth hurts more will be in stock. We heard a new defender is coming in and a striker on loan with an open optionbut wenger??

  • yemi

    Djourou out for minimum of four weeks !

  • Berth

    Sometimes I just wish Usmanov could take over to enable us get rid of this big-club-small-club mentality. The club is loosing its mojo and so does the credibility of Mr Wenger; its a difficult decision to consider replacement but see anyone is replaceable. If we could have done without George Graham who won during the Liverpool dominating years and if Wenger could stop the dominance of Fergie temporarily despite coming from Japan, what makes it difficult to say we cannot get a credible coach as good as he is or far better than him.

    We should also remember of all the man’s success, he never won the premiership back-to- back; that is something to think about.

  • edison

    why is everyone directing the blame and Wenger again?

    He cant do much more for the club! its not in his nature to buy ourselves the title or trophies, and no one should believe that way of doing things either.

    Our team is so very very close at being unstoppable, and built from the ground up – no big signings to buy us wins. Wenger could be the manager who wins us the premier league this season, and although it may not feel like it, we have improved on our performance last season – i think to judge him otherwise until things start going wrong is bad taste.

  • tm17


  • Berth

    @ Edison: As premature as it may sound to call for Wenger to leave, it is important as fans that we try and judge things dispassionately. For the past three seasons we have looked like being close only to fall out at the last periods. And looking closely at this season, we have never been closer hence the panic by me and fans alike.

    What am scared the most about is the thought of loosing key players at key moments; its not a coincidence that they happen towards the end, its got more to do with Wenger’s lack of player management skills.

    My reasoning stems from:

    Too much competition for not just the league but FA,CL,CC and so on; they tend to let Wenger down because he can’t handle them; I mean this term he tried to manage the squad, going far as lying to protect V.P from not playing against Sunderland, hence that is why he looks fit; not playing Fab for two weeks now and of course trying to anticipate ahead of time for Verminator but unfortunately it was not to be. Am really impressed by those, but then if you try to look outside the club you see teams like united doing better, not necessarily with good players.

    Again he does not trust players enough; Wenger does not trust Denilson, Squid, B25,Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue and to a lesser extent Chamack; and if you don’t trust them why keep them.

    Finally: His judgement of situations isn’t sound enough for a coach of his Calibre.I mean he is the gaffer but to me my gaffer has to adopt to times quick and rapidly and at most be in total control of his players which is clearly lacking in the Arsenal camp.

  • Berth

    Any Arsenal fan should watch the video posted by TM17. I can only say one thing. Despite the stick on Wenger and the team we should KEEP THE FAITH.

  • ashok

    In 15 seasons with Wenger as Arsenal manager 10 of those seasons have been TROPHYLESS.So why is every one getting worked up.Under George Graham in 8 seasons we won trophies in 5 of those seasons.Wenger is a serial LOSER.We should all know that by now.And he wounldnt get away with it at any other top European club

  • Berth

    Wow Ashok. That is an interesting stat.