We chat to Reverend And The Makers front man Jon McClure about his new album 'Thirty Two', Sheffield Wednesday, and England's chances in the heat of the Amazon...
He's a lot less embarrassed this season and prepared to naively think that Joey Barton has learned his lesson. He's chuffed with the new album though...
So are you a real Arsenal fan or a glory-hunter?
I'm a real Arsenal fan though I did lose my way a bit when I got into rock 'n' roll and politics and got disillusioned by football. Then a few years ago I joined a fantasy football league and I realised that my love of football was not dead, just dormant.
My parents did not exactly encourage my football obsession because I had a tendency to cry about football. I was a senstive child. Had I gone to Highbury, that might have tipped me over the edge. I was inconsolable about the Nayim goal in the Cup Winners' Cup final. And for some reason I always used to be scared of Arsenal v Bolton. Every time I saw it on the fixture list, I used to shit myself. I was clearly an odd child.
So who was your childhood Arsenal hero?
Dennis Bergkamp. I was too young to remember anything about the signing, other than he was suddenly at Arsenal playing glorious football. I'm going to go into cliches now but he played football like a scietntist explaining formula or a poet. He walked with it as others ran with it. The pinnacle was that goal v Newcastle. It was lyrical football and it was absolutely beautiful. There's something in Arsenal that appeals to a 'creative person'. It must be difficult for artists to support Stoke or Blackburn.
So do you ever get to see Arsenal?
I've got a season ticket but will probably only see three or four games this season - so that's about £300 a game. But when I can't go, I make sure that somebody goes. I couldn't leave the seat empty when there are people paying ridiculous sums for their tickets. I leave the ticket with my wife, though she's a Villa fan. It could be worse - she could be a Spurs fan. Even when I was single and looking, if I met a girl and she was a Spurs fan, I quickly decided that we should just be friends. The romance ends here.
Do you have kids? Who will they support?
We've come to a compromise - if it's a girl, she can be a Villa fan and if it's a boy, I get to take him to Arsenal.
What was your happiest moment as an Arsenal fan?
I think it was last season in the home game against Barcelona. I saw all those Barca fans smiling before game, and they knew they were going to tear us apart. Every Arsenal fan was bricking it. That second goal - Nasri to Arshavin who, cool as you like, puts it in the net. It was exquisite football. The second leg took the shine off it a bit. But even on that night in Barcelona, Djourou was brilliant, Koscielny was brilliant. They played like troopers. It's just a shame we haven't shown that strength and will since then.
So how do you feel about Nasri and Fabregas now?
I refuse to discuss Nasri. If I said anything, I might sound like the most evil person in world. With Cesc it's different because Cesc wanted to go home. He had clearly lost passion for the club and he was stagnant in the second half of the season. It was really good for him to go because we needed to move forward - to search for a proper leader, a player that every other young player can look up towards. Arsene obviously sees it in Wilshere and I do think he will go on to be a big part of Arsenal.
Cesc kissing the Barcelona shirt was utterly, utterly heartbreaking - like seeing your wife kissing another man. It's just a shame that Samir Nasri didn't want to say 'we've lost our captain, now we'll do it ourselves'. I'm not sure if it's wishful thinking but you want somebody to value the cannon and fight for the fans.
What do you think to the new signings?
Per Mertesacker seems like a very intelligent signing. There was a lot of talk about Gary Cahill but that would not be a Wenger signing. Mind you, the Mertesacker signing is not typical Wenger either - usually he doesn't just want to buy in talent, he wants to instil and infuse them. But Mertesacker is over six feet and we needed that. You can't trust Gibbs to stay fit so getting Santos was a great idea. Park sounds like a real good prospect. I can't wait to see Arteta - at last Wenger bought a player who is a ready-made Premier Leagueb player.
What Arsenal fans were hoping for was a non-Arsenal signing - for Wenger to do something different. What we didn't want was more diminutive wingers, forwards who can't finish etc. It's exciting to see new faces and see what changes.
So when is The Subways' new album out?
This month. I'm so excited about it - I worked on it all last year. Now I'm just excited about playing these songs live. Musically it's a combination between the first and second albums, but it's much more lyrical. I wrote the lyrics before the music and that's a first for me. In one song - 'Down Our Street' - I sing about a Spurs fan who's always crying when things go wrong. As soon as I recorded the song, I had to go on Twitter to wind up the Tottenham fans. You can't marry a Spurs fan but you can have some good banter.
New album 'Money and Celebrity' is released on September 19 on Cooking Vinyl. See www.thesubways.net for more details.