A new interview for you all today and I’m honoured and privileged to bring you a bona fide blogging legend as my guest. I’ve been reading Michaels ‘EverArsenal’ blog now for a couple of years and found him to be one of the most intelligent and prolific writers out there, and he’s a fellow Irishman to boot. His feature rich blog has pre and post game analysis, special features, polls and the excellent Premier League Predictions, which is invaluable if you're into Fantasy Football or if you fancy a punt on the weekend games. Anyway ‘tis the hot seat for you now Mick, so take it away….
My father is a Blackpool fan and he always wanted me to support them. Luckily for me I listened to his best friend who told me Arsenal were a far better team, and I decided to go with him. That was way back in 1970 and things picked up very quickly for Arsenal after that.
Earliest Arsenal memory?
I can remember getting an Arsenal jersey for my fifth birthday, and my mother sewed an Arsenal crest on to it. My dad and uncle went to London a lot in those days and got programmes for me, but the first real match memory is probably the 1973 FA Cup semi final defeat to Sunderland. It’s not exactly a great game to have as my first memory, but there’s not a lot I can do about it.
The first time I saw Arsenal play live was in a pre season tour to Ireland in the early George Graham days when they played Shamrock Rovers. If I remember correctly Rovers won, but Arsenal came back a year or so later and beat them to get their revenge.
Favourite player (all time)?
That’s a really tough question because there are so many contenders, but I think it has to be Denis Bergkamp. Too many of the others left Arsenal for what they considered to be better opportunities, but the Iceman stayed with us until he retired. It was also an absolute dream to watch him play at times, and I wish he could spend some time with some of our current squad to teach them a thing or two.
Favourite player (current)?
I suppose it has to be Robin van Persie, but that will change quickly if he doesn’t sign a new contract or he leaves. I loved Cesc and it hurt when he left which probably means I won’t attach myself quite so closely to any player in the future.
Nothing can ever compare to the night of May 26th 1989 at Anfield. The sheer drama of the game, the prize on offer to both teams, and how it ended is something I don’t think I will ever see again.
There have been a few, but I suppose the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona was a real low. When we went down to 10 men I thought it was all over, but I really thought we could do it as we kept our lead coming in to the last 15 minutes. I still believe we would have won if Henry had taken the great chance to put Arsenal 2-0 up.
Sign any 3 players?
It’s not easy to pick realistic targets, but if money were no object I would of course choose Messi. I’d love to see Cesc come back but I know that’s not realistic either, and despite all his diving who would say no Cristiano Ronaldo plying his trade on the wing for Arsenal.
Sack any 3 players?
I don’t like to say sack players, but I would certainly be happy to see the back of Almunia, Squillaci and Denilson too.
Highbury or the Emirates?
I loved Highbury, but as an Irish fan it’s a lot easier to get tickets for the Emirates. The pitch is a lot bigger too, and I would love to see how the Invincibles would have fared on it. The memories of Highbury will be with me forever, but I can only choose the only place I can watch Arsenal play.
You can follow Michael on Twitter @JamrockRover.