Arsenal kick off their pre-season friendlies against Barnet on Saturday at Underhill at 3pm.
Ahead of the game, Arsenal.com spoke to Bees manager Paul
Fairclough about his side's approach to the game, his scouting
past under Arsène Wenger and his bid to sign Ray Parlour.
Here's the second half of this two-part interview. Remember
tickets are still available for the game. It is also
streamed live on Arsenal TV Online.
What are your links with Arsenal? You used to scout the opposition teams in Europe didn't you?
Yes, I had a couple of spells - one in 2000 and another in 2002. I did a lot of Champions League teams which was fantastic. I learnt ever such a lot by going to the other clubs. Just to show you how thorough they were, I remember going to see Werder Bremen three times in the space of 10 days and the same thing with PSV. They were good days, I enjoyed it. Later on I did some of the Premiership away games as well.
What are your links these days? Have you tried to get some Arsenal youngsters on loan?
Yes I have tried to get players on loan and continue to do so. It is always a case of when Arsène thinks it is the right time for one of his younger players then he'll do it. He has not done that yet but then there are not many players from Arsenal who have gone out to Division Two sides. Obviously I'd welcome a couple of youngsters. It would help us and help them.
Do you go down and watch the Reserves because, with respect, those are the type of players you'd be after?
Yeah I go down and watch what is going on at that level. There are some great young players there with a lot of talent.
What are your hopes for this season from your side?
In the middle of last season we were as close as two points off the play-offs. Then we got involved in a good Cup run and, by the time we came out, we were 10 points off them. We took our eye off things for two or three weeks and we were out of it completely. That was a bit soul-destroying really. But we have always had good cup runs in the FA Cup and the Carling Cup. We have been to Manchester United, Leeds and Cardiff recently. Last season I really do think we underachieved. This season, I feel we could get promotion. Whether that is through the play-offs I don't know but I really want us to make a concerted effort to get out of this division.
Why should people turn up to Saturday?
It is the Arsenal fans' opportunity to welcome the new signings. Even if they are not on the pitch then I am sure some will be in the stands. And of course the same goes for the Barnet fans for our new players. Let's not forget this is not just the mighty Arsenal. We are the true North London giants after all!
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