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Arsenal Friday fanzone Q&A: Paul Antino

PUBLISHED: 10:46 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 02 February 2018

Paul Antino and George Graham

Paul Antino and George Graham

Archant

It’s time for our Friday fanzone Q&A. This week we interview a true gentleman and loyal Arsenal fan with more than four decades of service, Paul Antino. Read on for Paul’s views on all things to do with the club.

How did you become an Arsenal fan?

My family were living in Hornsey Rise and they went to Arsenal regularly

Years supporting the club?

45

Arsene Wenger and Stan Kroenke. Discuss

Arsene was quite rightly regarded as a genius, but sadly he has lost that touch. If he isn’t able to coach the defence or challenge players he should have players or a No 2 who can – or are allowed too. As for Stan, I think the real test of him will be after Arsene leaves – even if I struggle to understand how any business can have a 30 per cent shareholder who isn’t even invited to board meetings.

Do you think social media has made the game better or worse for fans?

Worse in terms of fans being directly abusive to players away from the pitch. We all used to moan and whinge at poor performances but some of the comments take it beyond the actual game.

One thing you would change about the club?

Well apart from the manager, the badge.

What makes you proud to be a Gooner?

History, Tradition and Class.

Next statue outside would be?

Pat Rice – there cannot be many who have served the club like he did in so many roles, over so many years.

First game?

1972, Arsenal Youth v Italy Youth. We had Brady, Stapleton, Price and Paul Davis in the squad.

Favourite game and why?

Anfield 1989, no finish to the league title will ever trump that.

Worst game and why?

Liverpool, FA Cup Final 2001. Never been so devastated after a game where we played so well and should have won, but didn’t.

Favourite player and why?

Thierry Henry, there wasn’t much he couldn’t do.

Worst player and why?

Igor Stepanovs, turned slower than a dustcart.

Pre-match routine?

Used to be Phibbers, but since that shut it’s in The Rocket.

Best thing about Highbury?

Outside View of The East Stand.

Best thing about Emirates?

The lovely wide seats.

Biggest scrape as a fan?

Upton Park 1985, known to many as ‘Liberties’.

Fourth place trophy or Europa League – can’t say both.

Winning The Europa League, top four not even close.

Favourite win over Spurs

1987 League Cup Semi-Final, the catalyst for what put Arsenal back at the top.

Prediction for the rest of the season

With Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang – even though we didn’t get a centre half who can defend and organise – I think we may surprise people with another trophy.

All time Arsenal XI (4-4-2)

Seaman; Lauren, Keown, Adams, Cole; Pires, Vieira, Brady, Rocastle; Wright, Henry

Anything you want to add, I hear you do an awful lot of work for charity

Away from my family life and Arsenal, I am also patron of The Emily Ash Trust, a charity run solely by volunteers which has evolved to where our primary aim is to support families who have a child, teenager or young adult with cancer. We are aware of the enormous strain put on all members of the family at this time, physically, emotionally, logistically and financially and we are here to help provide much needed support and a little light relief for the entire family.

To learn more about The Emily Ash Trust visit www.emilyashtrust.co.uk and follow them on Twitter @EmilyAshTrust

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