Ever since I started following Arsenal religiously in the summer, I have gotten most of my news from Twitter. I follow over 600 accounts on Twitter and I estimate around 1/3 at least are related to soccer/Arsenal or are professional players.
One account I began following was @samuelj29060 because of his many opinions about Arsenal and very reliable information. He was continually popping up in my mini feed whenever I searched for Arsenal news or transfer rumors.
I contacted Sam on via his blog — http://samuelj29060.wordpress.com/ — if he wanted to do an interview with me. To my surprise he responded right away and like me is a 21-year old Arsenal fan.
Here is my list of questions and answers from Sam.
I was just wondering your name, age, how long you’ve been an Arsenal fan and why?
My name is Sam Collins, I am 21-years old and I have been an Arsenal fan since the age of 12.
You’re very active on Twitter, often tweeting new information about the club, including transfer rumors and such — do you have sources or where do you get your information from?
I get information for my tweets from a whole number of different sources. Some of these sources are just general football websites such as goal.com but others are personal and private sources. For example I have a close friend who works in the transfer market, so when it comes to the summer or January transfer windows, I am able to get information about transfers before most people know.
On your bio it says you’re an aspiring journalist — why is that and why be a football journalist?
I want to become a football journalist because of a simple reason – I love football and I love writing.
With over 3,000 followers, what do you think is key for attracting more followers/viewers or your blog?
The key to attracting new followers on twitter, in my opinion, is to be controversial, provide information for your followers and tweet a lot. 3,000 followers is more than enough for me, but it is a very small amount when compared to others on twitter.
Now with some Arsenal questions…
With selling Cesc and Na$ri in the summer transfer window, what do you think Arsenal fans can expect during January? Do you think they’ll make a “big name signing” or have you heard any rumors?
The loss of Fabregas in the summer was huge. Fabregas is one of the best midfielders in world football and any team would feel his loss. Nasri is a quality player too, but is not on the same level as Cesc, so his departure is less keenly felt. And I think Nasri’s replacement – Gervinho – has been one of Arsenal’s better players this season. I think in January we will see Arsenal sign 1-3 players. I know Wenger has contacted Gladbach about Marco Reus – an exciting 22-year old German international attacking midfielder/striker. He has a buy-out clause of around £16m and is a self-confessed arsenal fan, which makes him easier to try and sign. Apart from Reus, I think Lucho Gonzalez is one Wenger could go back in for in Jan, this could depend on when Wilshere and Diaby return from injury. Riccardo Montolivo, Esteban Granero, Marvin Martin, Yann M’Vila are other possible midfielders. As ever with Wenger, always expect one or two youth signings or signings that you have never heard of – possibly Tongo Doumbia of Rennes.
What players are on your wishlist for AFC to acquire? What positions need help?
When Wilshere and Diaby return, our midfield will have plenty of options – Wilshere Diaby Song Ramsey Arteta Coquelin Frimpong Rosicky Arshavin Benayoun – but I look closer than that. Diaby is incredibly injury-prone, Rosicky is out of contract in the summer, Arshavin is inconsistent and Benayoun will return to Chelsea after his loan period. So when you look at it like this, Arsenal need reinforcements in midfield in Jan. I personally think the defence is ok for now, as is the goalkeeping situation. The exits of Gervinho and Chamakh to the African cup of nations are more reasons for January signings up front. Chamakh could be sold too and there is too much reliance on Van Persie.
Do you think Vermaelen getting a new contract bodes well for van Persie and Walcott getting new deals? Do you think Walcott deserves one?
I am delighted Vermaelen signed a new contract as he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League but I think for the likes of Song, Van Persie and Walcott to follow suit, we will need to add some quality to the squad in January.
What do you think of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain so far… do you think he’ll make the England roster for Euro 2012?
Oxlade-Chamberlain is an exciting talent. I watched him against Olympiakos and Shrewsbury this season and for the England u-21s and he was excellent. But I also watched him against Bolton in the carling cup and last night against Belgium u21s and he was poor. This is normal with young players – to show such inconsistency as they are still learning. I don’t think he will go to the Euros, but he has a great chance to go the World cup in 2014 if he continues to develop under Arsene Wenger.
Do you like these two week breaks for international friendlies or not and why?
I personally love watching international football so I am all for these breaks but I would like a winter break in England in the future to help both the national team and the club players rest more – like France, Spain, Italy and Germany do.
What’s the deal with Brek Shea training with Arsenal, will he be signed at all?
And finally, Brek Shea is training at Arsenal for personal benefits, Wenger has already confirmed he won’t be signing him.