Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Meet the Gooner Family [Michael Barlow, Brisbane]

Meet Mick Barlow, my host in Brisbane, the final city on the Australian leg of my tour. Michael helps run Arsenal Australia's Twitter account and also does ticket allocation for members of the group. He's Brisbane born and raised, but Arsenal still runs through his blood.
Mick Barlow - Just a little bit 'Arsenal'

Q. Why Arsenal? 
The history and the class of the club. A lot of people in Australia will choose money rolling machines like United, City, Chelsea, but Arsenal is more like 'The People's Club', if that makes sense. Travelling 36 hours from the other side of the world to be greeted by Arsenal fans in London in a way that no other club's fans can do. That's the Gooner Family.

Q. Started Supporting Arsenal? 
1999. It was because of Bergkamp. I saw him playing for Holland in the 1998 World Cup and he was just great against Argentina. I followed him at Arsenal, I don't think it was until he left that I started becoming a lot more passionate about the club.

Q. Favourite Player? 
Dennis Bergkamp as per above.

Q. Favourite current Player? 
Per Mertesacker. He shows the characteristics of Arsenal, he shows that he's part of the Arsenal family, he gets involved in the camaraderie and is almost like a father figure in the club at the moment. He's also a bloody great centre-back. 

Q. Favourite Arsenal moment? 
It would have to be Giroud's goal against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, it was my first ever game I've seen at that stadium and the goal was scored after a few minutes of me arriving.

Q. Where do you watch Arsenal in Brisbane? 
Pig n Whistle at the Brewhouse. We normally get about fifty Gooners at a game when it isn't at a ridiculous time. We've had 150+ at a North London Derby when it's been at a decent hour.

Q. Emirates or Highbury? 
Highbury, even though I've never been there. When I first followed Arsenal they were playing there, I just appreciate the history, the original stand is still there, which I see when I go over to visit.

Q. League Prediction? 
I hate to say it, but I think second. As much as I want to see first, I think we'll make way to City because they have the squad depth. But, I think we can win the FA Cup. In my opinion, when we're fully fit we have the best first team squad in the league.

Q. Who will be Arsenal's player to watch for the second half of the season?  
Tomas Rosicky. He seems to be getting a break at the moment, he's got a fantastic engine on him and I think that, if he can stay fit, he's going to be a major contributor to some silverware.



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