Talking Arsenal with… East 17


Football Burp enjoyed a brief natter with East 17 mainstay Tony Mortimer on the subject of his beloved Arsenal. The boys are back with a new single, “Secret of My Life” (see video below), and a new singer in the form of Blair ‘Sparx’ Dreelan, who replaces the outgoing Brian Harvey…

As an Arsenal fan, have you been suffering of late?

On no, it’s the same every season with us: we nearly make it. We get really good then we all die in a fortnight. When it comes to crunch games, we’ve never been able to win. I think Arsene can instil fantastic stuff in the team and we can beat Barcelona on our day but then we can also draw with Leyton Orient. It’s unbelievable but we’re used to it. We enjoy watching them play because they play some nice stuff but all the fans know that they try to walk the ball into the net, which is not always practical.

Is Wenger losing touch, perhaps?

I don’t think he’s losing his touch; I think this is his touch, this is his football. He plays that kind of passing game but he doesn’t have Thierry Henry, who was a phenomenon, anymore. We’ve had some great strikers but, to be honest, I don’t think we’ve got great strikers now, apart from Robin van Persie. And the team is just too little; I went to watch them against West Ham and they looked like boys against men. They’re really fast and small but there’s no big lump in the middle of the pitch. You need strength at centre-back and defensive midfield, some sort of weight there, otherwise you just get pushed off the ball a lot.

What kind of player would you like to see signed?

Erm…Messi. (Laughs) That would be good. Maybe Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard, or another Vieira. We need another Vieira.