Saturday, October 08, 2011

"I’ve ended up devoting a large majority of my life following The Arsenal" - Matt Schwartzwalder

Interview with Mr. Matt Schwartzwalder
Mr. Schwartzwalder is from Dayton, Ohio, USA
Find him on Twitter: @Matt_USGooner

Q. We rarely find Americans talking about English football and here we have a man from Ohio who's a passionate Arsenal fan. How did this happen?
     “It’s actually a funny story how I became an Arsenal fan.  I’ve always played football (or soccer like it’s called over here) in school and with my friends.  I never really followed European football until the 2004 Euros.  I had a friend who was a huge Liverpool fan and really got me into the European game.  I was 15 at the time. I remember watching some of the Euros and remember sitting down to watch a game a France game with my friend.  That was the first time I witnessed the genius that is Thierry Henry.  He is a very aesthetically pleasing player and I grew attached to him straight away.  I started following his career at Arsenal and that’s where my love of Arsenal took root, much to the dismay of my Liverpool supporting friend. The sport of Football is endlessly fascinating to me, and I’ve ended up devoting a large majority of my life following THE Arsenal the last 7 years of my life.  I've been a student of the history of Arsenal Football Club since, and I'm striving to learn more about the beautiful game.  I plan on making it to London for a game this year, so if anybody has any tickets or any advice let me know.”

Q. Do you follow the MLS League as well? Any favourites there?
      “I haven’t really got into the MLS, but considering my affinity towards TH14, you can probably guess my favorite team.  I also live close to the Columbus Crew, so I’ve been to a few home games as well.  There's a bar near Columbus that has a lot of Arsenal fans that make it for the games.  I plan of getting there for a couple of games this season as well.”

Q. Do you think the current Arsenal squad is good enough to compete in the Champions League?
     “I truly believe that, when healthy, our squad is talented enough to make the top 3.  Alex Song is blossoming into a fabulous player at the heart of our midfield, and before his injury, Jack was possibly the brightest footballing up and coming talent on the planet.  Not only that, but we have a dynamic player that has the ability to score when he wants (RVP), and tricky wingers that can supplement him.  The general problem seems to be concentration, effort in some cases, and just general.”

Q. What do you think Arsene Wenger should do to bring back the days of The Invincibles?
      “That’s a tough question.  I think the biggest part of the Invincibles was the fact that we had a very close knit group of players that communicated well, understood their individual responsibilities and had great team chemistry.  I know that there has been a lot of criticism for the defense now a days, but once they are given time to gel and come together as a unit, I think they’ll be great.  We have a lot of very experienced players to help coach the younger players, and I think that we have the ability to recreate the success of the early 2000’s and late 1990’s.  Other than that bit of optimism, all I can say is Victoria Concordia Crescit.

1.            One player you wish signs for Arsenal in January.
               “Realistically:  Marvin Martin.”

2.            Your favourite player in the current Arsenal squad.
              “Alex Song/Wojciech Szczesny”

3.            Who is the greater Arsenal player ever?
              “Thierry Henry”

4.           Who do you think in the current Arsenal squad would make a good stand-up 
              “Andrey Arshavin”

5.            Almunia or Fabianski?

6.            Name one football player you would like to slap.
              “John Terry”

7.            Who looks younger, Pat Rice or Arsene Wenger?
              “Pat Rice for sure”

8.            If you could meet one Arsenal player, who would it be?
              “Robin van Persie”

9.            One match you'll never forget.
              “2006 Champions League Final”

10.          Who is the worst player in the current Arsenal squad?
              “Tough question, but Squillaci.”


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