Meet Sean Jenkinson, my host whilst in Melbourne. Sean has literally only just moved back from Tokyo, where he used to live for six years. His wife and children are still in Japan, they'll move to Australia next weekend. It meant a relatively empty house to sleep in, as most of the furniture is still on a boat in the Pacific Ocean. As is always the case with the Gooner Family, Sean has provided some great hospitality whilst I've been here. I'm sure he's looking forward to trading me in for his wife though, who by the way doesn't realise I'm staying with him in their new house that she hasn't seen yet! Good luck explaining that one Sean!
Q. Why Arsenal?
It's the Arsenal Family. The people I've met, these are lifelong bonds I'll have because of the love for Arsenal. It doesn't get better than that. The people, both staff and supporters, are what makes Arsenal the team a cut above the rest.
Q. Started Supporting Arsenal.
I became a real supporter of Arsenal back in 1997, when I lived in London. I found that the further I moved away from Highbury, the more I loved them. I'm now in Melbourne; it's not easy to get any further away and yet I'm completely besotted with them. It's been interwoven into my life for the past 16 years.
Q. Favourite all-time Player.
Thierry Henry. He just had that Va Va Voom factor, he'd take your breath away with everything he did on the pitch, and most stuff off it too.
Q. Favourite current Player.
Per Mertesacker. He probably epitomises the team right now - he came into the league and everybody wrote him off, he was slow, he made errors and the pundits said he wouldn't adapt to the pace of the Premier League. Now look at him. What Top Four team wouldn't want The Big F***ing German? He has height, he's efficient, he reads the game as well as any other German international would, and he's unbelievably consistent.
Q. Most memorable Arsenal moment.
|The crazy Jenkinson stalker family|
My most memorable match moment was against Everton, 1998, when Tony Adams scored that striker's goal to confirm Arsenal's Premier League trophy. It was an iconic moment. I'd also like to say that my favourite non matchday moment was when myself, my wife and my two daughters met Carl Jenkinson at the Saitama Fan Day in Japan, as part of the 2013 Asia Tour. As a fellow (but notrelated) Jenkinson, it was particularly fitting to meet Carl and get featured on Arsenal TV.
Q. Where do you watch Arsenal in Melbourne?
The time difference makes it really difficult to watch Arsenal live here. a 3pm Saturday kickoff is 2am in the morning here. If I manage to stay awake long enough, I watch it at the Celtic Club, home to the Arsenal Australia Melbourne Supporters Club. Midweek 7:45pm games are shown at 6:45am here, and (if I'm up early enough) I'll watch it at the Imperial Hotel, which is one of the only venues here in Melbourne that opens early enough to show Premier League games live. You'd think it wouldn't get trickier than this, but I used to live in Tokyo, where Champions League games kicked off at 3:45am; I remember one time catching the last train into town to watch it, and then the first train of the morning back home!
Q. Emirates or Highbury?
I haven't been to Emirates but I'd have to say Highbury because of the history.
Q. League Prediction.
Heart says first, my head says third. I don't think we have the depth to sustain a prolonged challenge - but I'm enjoying watching the Arsenal and I hope we'll get that silverware this season!
Q. Who will be Arsenal's player to watch this season?
I wouldn't have said it at the start of the year, I'll go with Ramsey. At least he's the obvious choice, but I think the player to really watch this season will be Serge Gnabry, I think he's going to make a great impact when he gets some more playing time.