Ask A Gooner, Vol. 1

Mark Barbeau Secretary of Arsenal America & SF Branch Manager and his wife Loryn at Nevada Smiths

Q: What's your name?
A: Mark Barbeau

Q: Where are you from, Mark?
A: San Francisco, California

Q: What was your first Arsenal experience?
A: Going to see Arsenal vs Man City at their final season at Highbury

Q: What happened that day?
A: Well, it wasn't the most stellar game of football that day, but I think we won 1-nil. There was an interesting event that occurred where Henry and Pires tried something fancy on a Penalty Kick, and it clearly didn't go off the way they planned, and it was all good fun because they did win the match that day, but had they not won, it wouldn't have been as amusing. The next day in the tabloids, Henry blamed the error on Pires, and Pires said the next day that it was Henry's idea.

Q: And what was your worst Arsenal memory?
A: Oh, that's an easy one. Losing the Champion's League to Barcelona. I'm not a violent person, but a guy who pretended to be an Arsenal fan, and even sat with us, suddenly it became clear that he was a Barcelona fan, and I was like, "what the f*ck, dude?" My wife said to me, "you don't fight, remember?" I was in my cups as they say, and it was very tense. My wife said, "well we have the whole afternoon, what do you want to do?" I said, "I'm going home, and going to bed," and that's what I did, I went home and slept for like 12 hours.

Q: Where is your club, and where do you meet?
A: Bay Area Gooners, and we meet at Maggie McGarrys in North Beach on the corner of Grant & Green. We're there ridiculously early, sometimes as early as 4:45AM if we can get the pub to open up, but definitely from 7AM on...

Q: Favorite Arsenal player from this season so far?
A: This year? That's a tough one. I'm happy to see Tomas Rosicky back, but I think I have to go with Alex Song because he's been such an amazing improvement.

Q: Where will Arsenal finish in the League this season?
A: I hope top of the league. I put a 10 quid bet every season that we'll finish top of the league.

If you're in San Francisco California on a match weekend, pay a visit to Maggie McGarrys and sing with the Bay Area Gooners.

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