International Talk: Q & A With Arsenal France
If you didn’t know already, Gooner Talk have several partnerships with Arsenal associations from around the world. One of those is in France, not too far away, after our recent interview with Setanta Sports journalist Philippe Auclair, we’ve managed to catch up with Vince from ASCFR (Arsenal Supporters Club France), and asked him a few questions about his Supporters Club as well as the current crop of Gunners stars.
Hi Vince, thanks for agreeing to take part in the interview, first of all, tell us how you came to start supporting the Arsenal.
In France, The 98 World Cup Victory was a big shock in our country – and French Football too. A lot of kids like me started being football fanatics since the historic date of July 12th 1998. Then there was the Euro 2000, and the France squad was brilliant with players like Henry, Pires, Wiltord, Vieira… all Gooners! But I already followed Arsenal, I loved the English back four, I used to watch highlights of their games on French TV. I remember as well of my first game in a stadium, France – England in 2000 (1-1) and I was just behind David Seaman, a great keeper, and Manu Petit scored for France. Anyway, it’s tough to say why I became an Arsenal fan, but those reasons come some way to explaining why.
What drew you in straight away to Premier League football?
A lot of things. First of all the English games, with a lot of commitment, a lot of spirit. They use to give everything no matter what’s the score, that’s why there are always crazy games, until the last minutes the teams try to come back.
I love the British atmosphere too, with a lot of chants, the fans are always behind the team, it’s definitely the country of football. And Premier League is now the best league in the world, with the best players in the world, some of the best teams in the world.
What was the most significant game you ever saw Arsenal?
I remember the game against Middlesbrough when in the unbeaten season. We were losing 1-3 at Highbury and everybody thought it was over. Then they came back, with brilliant goals. But I think defeats are also very important, I remember the game against Galatasaray (1999) in UEFA Cup final, also the game against Man Utd (2004) which we didn’t deserve to lose, and the final of the 2006 Champion’s League final against Barcelona. But every season, there are great games (last season the game against Liverpool at Anfield was amazing), that’s also why it’s great to be an Arsenal fan.
Have you experienced the Emirates atmosphere, if so, what do you make of it?
Yes, I went two times. It’s an amazing stadium, very beautiful. I went for a big game (against Spurs last season) and for a normal game (against Everton this season). And the atmosphere is very different in the big games like today (against Man Utd), the fans give everything, it’s a great atmosphere. Against the other teams, it’s a bit quiet, but it will improve with time.
Arsenal’s young Guns have been on an inconsistent run of form recently but with Saturday’s terrific win over Man United, do you believe we could still win the league?
I think we’re as strong as Chelsea, Man Utd, and Liverpool. We shouldn’t underestimate our team, we’ve got a lot of talent, a great manager who has experienced winning this league many times, and he trust his young players. Yesterday he told us we’ll win today (against Man Utd), and that’s what happened, so if he says we’re good enough to win the Premier League (and the Champion’s League) I think we can trust him. Anyway, football is unpredictable, I think we’re good enough, but we need the luck to be on our side.
As for ASCFR, how many members do you actually have?
We’ve got today almost 200 members, it’s a lot because we’re not the only association now. But we kept the same number of members, and we’ve got the maximum of members to each games at the Grove. I think we’re doing well with my mates this season, we improved the association. There’s now some new shirts, new partnerships (like the one with GoonerTalk), a very famous honorary member (Darren Tulett – journalist on French TV who present the only program about English football). And we still gather the French gooners to watch the Arsenal games in the pub The Lions, in Paris.
Finally, for our French readers of the blog, could you tell them how they can join ASCFR and the advantages of subscribing to your association?
It’s easy, you just have to send us the subscription and 8€, then you’re an Ascfr (Arsenal Supporter Club France) member. You can order tickets for every home games (we’ve got 10 tickets for each games). You can also buy The ASCFR T-shirts designed by Arseshirts. There’s a forum which attracts a lot of gooners. And if you live near Paris, you can join us at The Lions Bar to watch Arsenal games.
Thanks a lot Vince, and good luck with ASCFR in the future.
Thank you Chris it’s always a pleasure to visit your blog. Come on you Gunners!
If you are interested in subscribing with ASCFR, or just want to check out the site and chat in the forum, visit the link here.