Interview: Alex Song
Alex, first of all, how are you finding life at Arsenal?AS:
Life here at Arsenal is good, as soon as i arrived, all the players here welcome you very well and made things easy for me, it's easy to work here and play here.
What did it feel like to make your first team debut as a substitute against Everton?AS:
Making my debut against Everton was something very strong in my mind, it was only for 5 minutes but it was great, it was a dream for me to play one day for Arsenal & this day will be engraved in my mind forever.
How did you arrive here at Arsenal? Tell us the story of you transfer from Bastia.AS:
Well basically the pre-season started with Bastia in June and I Really didn't want to continue playing for them because we'd gone down. It's not that the second division is not a good championship, it's just the football in the first division is better & you want to improve when you're young, I didn't really want to play in the second. After that it was proposed that I have a trial here at Arsenal & the manager thought I was doing well, so he decided to offer me a contract. Thats pretty much it, I was delighted to be able to sign a contract here.
You seemed to make the right impression on the pre-season trip to Austria, how did that go for you?AS:
Well I arrived on the pre-season tour of Austria and it seemed like i'd known everyone for ages, when you see all these big players from the outside you couldn't tell that they'd be like that but they made things really really easy for me by talking to me and they made me feel very much part of the squad.
And on the pitch, how did you feel, pre-season is usually quite a tough thing to go through.AS:
Well it was great really, you know at Arsenal there's only really great players and it's very easy to adapt and play with, it was very easy to fit my game into what they were doing on the pitch.ATVO:
Back to your early days, is it true that you first played football in bear feet back in Cameroon?AS:
No, No, thats not true I never played football in Cameroon, I grew up in the suburbs of Paris, thats where I started to play football and then I joined Red star and then Bastia and thats where my career started.
Before you came to Arenal did you talk to your uncle Rigobert about moving to England?AS:
Yes of course, we call each ohter every couple of days really, i'm lucky to have someone next to me with all his experience, he guides me and gives me a lot of advice on how to improve. ATVO:
Do you dream that one day you can achieve the same sort of career as he had?AS:
Well you know, I feel really lucky that I've got him with me, he's my idol really so if I can even achieve only a quarter of what he's done I would be very very happy. ATVO:
You played over 30 games for Bastia last year, it seems that you made a strong impression in France.AS:
Yeah, I was very lucky at Bastia because the coach I had there was the one I had in the youth team and he'd gone on to take control of the first team, so he knew me very well and he trusted me alot, he gave me a chance and I took it, I gave everything I could and then the season was very very positive for me but unfortunately not so much for the club because we were relegated as I said.ATVO:
Most of the games that you played for Bastia you were playing as a defender, a left back, so how did you end up in central midfield? Was it Arsene Wenger choice?AS:
Well for me it just doesn't matter if I play in defence or central midfield or wherever. When I arrive the coach told me he wanted me to play in central midfield and thats not a problem for me, it's what the coach wants and that's what I'll try to do.ATVO:
But you seem to like playing in midfield where you get to be involved abit more.AS:
Yes of course, you participate much more in the game and you touch the ball very very often. ATVO:
Every new foreign player says the pace of English football is really really fast, is that true?AS:
For sure yeah, I always remember my first training sessionin Austria, I'd hardly controlled it and someone was charging into me. In France you've got time to control the ball and put your head up, but here it's pressing pressing pressing all the time so you need to learn everyday in training and never ever give up.ATVO:
How does the standard of Arsenal's reserves compare to the standard you were playing at before?AS:
Well frankly you can't compare Arsenal's reserves to Bastia's reserves. Here the second string is much much better, it's not that football in france is not as good but I think the Arsenal reserves could even play in the French league because there's so many good players, so many good young players in our side.ATVO:
Has the boss spoken to you about his plans for this season? What's he said to you?AS:
Well the boss talks to me quite a lot, he's asked me to work hard all the time and give everything I have and never give up. I'll need to fight very hard if i'm going to win a place in this sideATVO:
What are your ambitions for this season?AS:
Well, I'm on loan for a year with an option to buy after that, so my ambition is to sign a new contract next year, and for that I've simpley got to give everything I've got and convince the boss to buy me at the end of the season, thats all I can say at this stage.