Talking Arsenal with… You Me At Six

Guitarist Max Helyer discusses his beloved Gunners in the build up to their clash with Bayern Munich.

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You Me At Six guitarist Max Helyer chats about goings-on at his beloved Arsenal a mere couple of hours before last night’s 0-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League – first, though, do enjoy this choice cut from their fourth album Cavalier Youth, which recently hit the number 1 spot (and could very well describe Arsène Wenger’s managerial policy)…

First of all, congratulations on your number 1 album.

Thank you, it was quite a surprise. Hopefully Arsenal can do the same.

Do you think they can?

I do, but I think it’s still early days to be honest with you because of how tight this season’s been. There have been moments where you think, “Oh, we’ve lost it,” then Chelsea or Manchester City drop points.

As an Arsenal fan I’m just delighted to see how much better we’ve been playing this season compared to previous seasons. There have been a couple of games where we let our guard down, like the Liverpool game where we got punished for a bad opening twenty minutes, but we’ve been very consistent defensively and attacking well as well.

Are you going to be able to watch the Bayern Munich game tonight?

I’m not going to be able to get down there but I’ll have a few beers and watch it, that’s for sure. Obviously Pep Guardiola’s there now and we’ve got a few players missing, but I think we can hold them or sneak a 2-1 win.

What do you think of Jose Mourinho’s recent antics, seemingly trying to undermine Arsène Wenger with ‘mind games’…

It’s Mourinho being Mourinho, isn’t it? Maybe he stepped a little bit out of line when he said that Wenger’s “a specialist in failure”, but I think karma came back and whacked him in the face when they lost 2-0 at Man City the other night. Sometimes he should just worry about what his team’s doing.

I hope we just keep quiet, carry on with what we’re doing and we’ll see at the end of the season whether we’re specialists in failure or not.

What would you say to those who are writing off Mesut Özil already, even going as far as to label him a flop?

Yeah, he was expensive, but if you look at players like Giroud and Mertesacker, they didn’t instantly adapt. Writing him off now is a bit harsh as he’s only been here for, what, six or seven months so far?

He’s been pretty good for a first season, to be honest with you. Yeah, everybody expects higher things when you pay that much for a player, but the German and Spanish schedules are different to what the Premier League is like so give him a little bit more time and I think next season he can be more dangerous.

Santi Cazorla’s the one I like watching.

Cazorla’s one of the only ones to come into the Arsenal squad recently and adapt so well. It’s like he took the Fabregas position and adapted it for his style of play. He runs all around the field, you can see he puts the effort in.

Sometimes he has days where he’s a bit iffy, but I think 95% of the time he’s pretty damn good and spurs on the team. I like him because he takes a shot, like Aaron Ramsey.

I love the way we play football, I’m not criticising that, but sometimes we lack someone who just takes a dig. Cazorla’s always that man to be there and take a bit of pot luck.

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

Patrick Vieira because he’s dangerous in the midfield area, always causing hassle and problems. I’ll put Theo Walcott in there for his pace and speed.

Defender-wise, I would go with Koscielny at the moment – I know we’ve had some great defenders over the years but I’m liking him at the moment, and he’s got a bit more speed than Mertesacker which would be useful in five-a-side, because you’ll need someone getting up and down the field.

In goal, the legend that is David Seaman, and for my final player I’d put Santi Cazorla in there.

Max Helyer, thank you.

The number 1 album Cavalier Youth is out now.

For more information, visit the official You Me At Six website.