‘Mertesacker is like a father figure to me’, says Eisfeld
Thomas Eisfeld is happy with life at Arsenal and is determined to force his way into the Gunners first team squad.
The 20-year-old, who scored his first goal for the club in the Capital One Cup against West Brom a fortnight ago, told German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung what his career highlight is so far and and revealed the two things he misses most about his homeland since leaving last year.
Here is the full translated interview:
On his first goal for Arsenal in the Capital One Cup..
“I received the ball from Nicklas Bendtner. Then I looked at the position of the goalkeeper and saw that he was expecting me to shoot towards the far post. I then shot the ball inside the near post. It was certainly the best moment in my career so far – mainly because I didn’t know I was going to even play until the day before.”
On becoming an Arsenal regular..
“It’s my goal to become a first team regular, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. If you consider that I have had big injury problems with my ligament and back, I believe that I haven’t done too bad at all. I’ll just try to take my chances and keep pushing hard in training.”
On joining Arsenal last year..
“When I was 16 years old, my agent asked me where I would most like to play if I could choose. I spontaneously said, ‘Arsenal under Arsene Wenger’ without even thinking about it.
Shortly after my 19th Birthday in January 2012, he [Eisfeld's agent] called me and said: ‘I have a surprise for you. Arsenal is interested, Arsene Wenger would like to speak with you’.”
On life in London..
“It’s not that spectacular. Sure, I’ve seen all the attractions such as Big Ben and the London Eye in the first two weeks of joining. But we have training from 9:30 to 2:00 every day. Serge and myself do more relaxing things like eating out, going to the cinema, shopping or video games. We live in Enfield, north London which is close to our training ground.”
On Gunners boss Arsene Wenger..
“During training, he is very calm. He does not talk so much, but observes and leaves the rest to his assistant coach [Steve Bould]. But when he says something, it has meaning. And they are always things that motivate you.”
On what he misses most about Germany..
“The food and my mother! And of course my friends who live in Dortmund. I miss my family and friends back home but it was always my dream to play for Arsenal. To live it, I had to give up a lot.”
On Arsenal’s German contingent..
“We have a small German group at Arsenal now. Per is our ‘big Daddy’. He keeps our feet on the ground sometimes and tells us how we should behave. Luke [Lukas Podolski] is the joker in the pack, a completely unique character. Mesut is a more quiet. The same with my friend Serge Gnabry who lives just 300 metres away from me.”
On the Bundesliga v Premier League..
“The Bundesliga is certainly on a par, especially Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The victory of Bayern against Manchester City has shown that. Although I think there is more competition in England with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs out there. At least five teams that can win the title.”
On returning to Germany one day..
“I feel comfortable at Arsenal and know I can develop here at the top level. I have experienced many beautiful things here, such as our pre-season tour in Asia. Our fan base over there is very large and the people treat us like pop stars which gives us a massive boost.
I have a contract until the summer of 2015 – and beyond that Arsenal will be my first point of contact.”
With thanks to Benjamin Kraus