Yours truly was the Citizen of the week for Football Focus, the Fan Zone. A Facebook group with the strength of over 25, 000 football loving members.
FFFZ Media: What spurred your interest in football and why Arsenal?
Mercy: Rebellion! I used to enjoy being the coloured sheep of the family. I can’t be sure the exact year now but my siblings hated Thierry Henry with a passion, they thought he denied Kanu the shine. It was exactly him I wanted to support and so there I was rooting for him and subsequently the Arsenal team
During Service year, I was broadcasting sports in both Pidgin and English, I was enjoying it a lot. It had gradually replaced most of my hobbies.
FFFZ Media: As fans, we all experienced highs and lows. Which two moments would you consider as highly memorable and which two moments defined a bad period as an Arsenal fan?
Mercy: Two bad days in the office? Who are you kidding man? I am a bloody Arsenal fan, each season is a bloodbath. Although the Champions League final, the defeat to Barcelona still does me one kain. I believe it cost us too damn much.
Happy moments? Those days when we won EPL was fun. Recent ones have got to be beating Man United 3:0 and Chelsea by same margin. Those days, I was sure ‘trollers’ had to eat humble pie, tear up dissertation and didn’t sleep well. But disappointingly we haven’t had much to celebrate.
FFFZ Media: The man at the centre of these highs and lows, Arsenal Wenger is causing division among fans now, opinion wise. Some think it’s time to take a bow while others disagree. Where do you stand?
Mercy: I want Wenger Out with alacrity. He is spent. I do have a feeling that even if Wenger somehow surprised himself and bought Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi to Arsenal we would still end up with a UCL spot, and not the title.
Most days after a disappointing outing it is clear the players were mostly mush but how does some players, eg. Ozil keep on playing week in week out and not sit on the bench for even 2 seconds? Not just Ozil though.
What’s worse baba still employs sentiments. Your team loses and you can afford not hurting their feelings?
Then a manager who can’t actually buy the players a team needs; is that one a manager? We begged Wenger for a DM for how many years. Even Giroud wanted a striker, your striker wants a striker and you think otherwise?
FFFZ Media: Who will be your perfect replacement since you haff join bad gang?
Mercy: Perfect replacement for Wenger? Allow me to dream. Conte! I sincerely don’t want a manager that sits down. Sitting managers don’t win the leagues
FFFZ Media: Dream on. Manchester United struggled after Fergie left. Do you think this might be the reason the board is still holding on to Wenger? I mean the fear of unknown.
Mercy: This Arsenal board’s greatest fear is unconnected to Arsenal suddenly falling from glory cos my dear, we have not kissed even “ry” in the last decade. I honestly think economic prowess is a factor they don’t want to miss.
And it may not matter to them but it does matter to the fans, this perennial Fourth Place is nothing. I for one will take all the sticks if we lose two years then find our way. I can’t tell my kids this kind story oh, I won’t.
Why would we be repeating same thing every year and expect different result?
FFFZ Media: Talking about economic prowess of the club, why has it been so hard for the club to sign players needed for the team since money isn’t an issue? Who would you blame for this, the manager or the board?
Mercy: Wenger clearly stated his stance when it comes to transfers, he once said,
“It’s not my money and it’s important to spend money the right way.”
After that you would think it is up to the board right? No! He goes ahead to say, “We are not scared to spend money but to buy in itself is not a quality – to buy good players is. This club has been built on that.”
Long story cut short, Wenger is the board, the board is Wenger. Both are still in that era when players cost peanuts.
Do we enjoy that Pogba costs so much? No! But that is what works nowadays, do the needful or you better have the capacity to make all your so called average players phenomenal.
FFFZ Media: It will seem the club has given Arsenal Wenger so much powers where players’ transfer fees and wages are concerned, something some fans are not happy about. Sir Alex Ferguson also had huge say in these things when he was at Manchester United and it’s nothing like we are witnessing now. What do you think is responsible for this?
Mercy: Arsene and Ferguson comparison? I fear who no fear you oh. 20 years is enough to give anyone that kind of power. Especially if his policies has enriched the “right people” and given them the level of success “they don’t mind”. A stadium, a legacy, a style, the works.
If Wenger’s methods were working, we won’t be having this conversation, would we? If he has won the Premiership at least 3 times, Champion League twice in the last decade, he can do a Mugabe for all I care.
FFFZ Media: So in essence, you are not against a manager have such powers as long as he is delivering?
Mercy: To a large extent yes. Are we afraid they will be bullied and hurt by the managers? These players are grown men, they have a great life, they will be fine but if we don’t win trophies, I won’t be.
FFFZ Media: If given the powers, which three players would you bring to the club in summer and would you let some go?
Mercy: Bringing in anyone into Wenger’s coven is purely a waste of time. However, for gist sake, I am of the opinion that beyond the striking role, you don’t need superman and Thor to win the League. Just leaders and sore losers will do.
We need a goalie, Cech is a great guy but he turns my stomach, his deputy does not inspire trust. Iraizoz Moreno from Bilbao is my man at the moment.
Fuse Xhaka and Ramsey or Elneny into one person if that is possible. Or get the DM we have cried for since 19kiridim.
Get a proper striker, I don’t know who sincerely. But not Welbeck. Then 2 strikers more just to show off or show intent.
I will restrain myself because I honestly think Wenger is responsible for Ozil ‘s form, he would thrive under another manager.
Forget Walcott’s bipolar, that guy is “unhelpable” he should get out, reminds me of Gervinho.
I am not interested in outs really. No be Fabregas dey bench?
FFFZ Media: Do you see Arsenal finishing this season with a trophy?
FFFZ Media: The UCL first leg result might need some level of miracle to overturn. The EPL and FA cup are still up for grabs, don’t you think?
Mercy: Hehehehe, Tell me something! Perhaps na back of TV I dey watch. We are fourth, no? And definitely not favourites not in the way we play or others play.
FA Cup is Wenger’s new baby. Maybe he will consult his Otumokpo. Me, I am done
FFFZ Media: As expected. Lol. Next question is an hypothetical question asked only for its comical value. Logos of clubs presented to you and you are to touch one, after which the club whose logo you touch will be relegated. Which club’s logo will be touched?
Mercy: ??? I will surprise y’all, perhaps myself too and not touch Chelsea. I want a repeat of their horrendous last season (we been ‘year word’) but it would be Sunderland.
FFFZ Media: Hahahaha. Chelsea fans will surely reply you on this. Sunderland though? What is the beef with Sunderland about? I’m surprised.
Mercy: I am sick and tired of that nonsense club, every season they play rubbish and just at the end they wake up like sleeping giant. Kini yen?
FFFZ Media: Some football fans will be touching LFC’s logo. What is your take on the sacking of Claudio Ranieri and the report about players sabotage?
Mercy: Leicester, a grasshopper that thinks itself a bird. They too dey form saboteur. It is crazy that Leicester suddenly feel that fighting against relegation is beyond them. Last season was a wonder; this is their true form. And yes they should go. Ranieri is their legend.
FFFZ Media: Finally, FA cup isn’t predictable. One wrong call from the referee or loss of concentration from defenders can change the result. Thus I will focus on EPL. Which team do you see winning the title come May?
Mercy: Chelsea. Except of course Eva is an Ijebu woman.
FFFZ Media: Lol. Thank you for your time Mercy.