Talking Arsenal With… Tim Wheeler

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler - This is Christmas
Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler... Connect 4, Wigan 0

Emmy the Great and Ash front man Tim Wheeler might just be the loveliest couple in all of indiedom, especially as they’ve just released an utterly delightful album of original Christmas songs. Football Burp caught up with Tim for a good old natter about his beloved Arsenal, who must be feeling rather festive themselves after Saturday’s 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic lifted them up to 5th in the Premier League…

I gather you’re an Arsenal fan because you used to live locally to them…

Yeah, I lived in Highbury from 1998 to 2006 or something.

Did you used to drink in the Herbert Chapman?

No! Maybe once, actually.

Did you manage to get to the game much during that time?

I started to go more towards the end, so I missed the glory years.

Do you remember the first game you went to?

I think it was a game against Bolton. I think it was a draw.

Did you watch the Wigan game?

I didn’t. I was in the middle of doing promos and soundchecks. We were in Highbury that day, actually. The last game I was at was the Carling Cup game against Manchester City.

Who’s impressed you out of the summer signings so far?

Santos is looking really good. I think Gervinho’s looking like a really spot-on signing, replacing Nasri. Mertesacker’s solid; it’s great that there’s some serious competition there now that Vermaelen’s back. I saw Park in the Carling Cup and I’m not sure he’s quite ready.


Oh yeah, I thought that was spot-on, actually. He’s been great. It was good, actually buying experience for once; obviously we’ve got Wilshere and Ramsey coming through, so I think it’s a smart move. And Oxlade-Chamberlain’s going to be amazing. I was quite shocked on transfer deadline day because I was dreading no-one coming in.

Walcott looks to be stepping up to the plate of late.

Yeah, he’s got like millions of assists! It would be nice to see him get more goals but he’s really solidifying as a player. Sadly, Arshavin’s kind of gone off the boil a bit, but overall things are getting a lot better.

Did you lose faith in Wenger at all during that poor run at the start of the season?

No, not really. I’ve always admired him so much. I was pretty sad when everyone was laying into him, but I figured that he’d turn things round and guide us to safer waters. I think he’s a complete genius.

It might be advisable to take these things with a pinch of salt, but Wenger’s said that he won’t be looking to sign a striker in January, despite the fact that Gervinho and Chamakh will be off to the African Cup of Nations…

Yeah, I think it would be a good move to bring someone in.

Henry? Anelka?

Yeah, that would be great! (Laughs) Yeah, why not Henry on loan? That would be really cool. Good for the youngsters as well.

He’s been training with you, hasn’t he?

Yeah. Anyway, I think you’ve just got to ignore anything that Wenger says about transfers. He’ll never give away what he’s up to so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is checking stuff out. Maybe he’ll give Walcott a go in the middle. He’s been talking about that for a long time.

Yeah, I think it would be a good move to bring someone in.

Do you play football yourself?

No, I’m pretty rubbish! (Laughs) That’s kind of why I got into music. I started getting serious about playing guitar because I needed something to show off with, and I figured it wasn’t going to be football! Although I did score my shot on Soccer AM: that’s the highlight of my football life.

How did you celebrate?

I stuck my fist in the air and high-fived Emma. It was such a good feeling. It must be insane to be a real footballer.

Finally, if you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the Arsenal players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you go for?

Szczęsny, Sol Campbell, Fabregas, Pires, Henry.

Tim, thank you.

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler - This is Christmas

This is Christmas by Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler is out now on Infectious Records. For more information, please visit www.thisischristmasalbum.com