Second Year Scholar
Born: 23/09/1992, Zaandam, Netherlands
By Lambros Lambrou
Oguzhan Ozyakup will undoubtedly have a bright future in football, but whatever heights he reaches in the coming years, the words ‘Shrewsbury Town’ and ‘Carling Cup’ are words that will always bring the brightest of smiles to his face.
“That was my debut for Arsenal and that would be special enough, but to come on off the bench and make an assist for Yossi (Benayoun) has made it unforgettable for me and will forever be a happy memory,” says ‘Ozzy’, who admits that he had a feeling that he would be in the squad.
“Before I came to England, I knew about the FA Cup and of course the Premier and Champions League competitions, but I did not know anything about the Carling Cup. Once I joined all the younger players kept talking about the Carling Cup and I understood that it was an important competition, but especially for younger players at Arsenal more than anywhere else, because it is the place where they usually get their first chance to play in the first team.
“I was in the squad that travelled to Manchester United early on in the season so I had been involved, but before the Third Round of the Carling Cup I was training a lot with the first team. I had a pretty good feeling that I would be selected because everything had been going well.
“I remember that on the Tuesday before the game and after training, the squad list went up and I ran over to see that my name was on the sheet. I was very happy, it was perfect, especially as my parents were in the UK so I phoned my dad straight away and they were able to come to the game.
“On the night, all the senior first team players who were not involved came into the dressing room and wished us well. Robin van Persie came and spoke to me and said that if I come on, I should just play my natural game. That must have helped because I was not nervous at all, just excited,” he beams.
“I remember the game started and it was not long before I was asked to warm up because Francis Coquelin picked up an injury. He ran the knock off and I sat back down. I was looking forward to coming on as soon as possible, and in the second-half I was warming up from practically the beginning. Colin Lewin called me over and told me to strip off because I was going on.
“There were no nerves at all, I was just so eager to get on. I was to replace Emmanuel Frimpong and Mr Wenger told me to be organised and concentrate on my defensive responsibilities. However, within seconds of going on the pitch I saw a space and made a run forward behind their defenders.
“Kieran Gibbs saw my run, but his through-ball was blocked. Then Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain got the ball and found me on the right side of the area. I got to the by-line and rolled the ball back for Yossi who took his goal so calmly. It was fantastic! To make my debut and an assist and for us to win was just perfect!”
The 19 year-old midfielder believes that the Gunners are well on the right track to scaling the heights where a club like ours should be. “We lost some top players in Cesc and Samir, but the new guys have come in and have now settled in well. We have been picking up some good results lately and you can see the team is gelling well.
"We have not scored late goals like the old days for a while, but watching the Champions League match against Marseille I just knew we would. I got the feeling that I used to get when watching Arsenal. I was watching with Ignasi Miquel and I told him that we will score in injury time and we did!"
What does Arsenal mean to you?
The first time I came to Arsenal I only felt like a player of a club. But it’s not just a club, it feels like a family here. You feel like you’re a member of that family. Sometimes you see your teammates more than your family
What would your dream job be, if you weren’t a footballer?
I’ve never really thought about anything else, I always wanted to be a footballer. But if not I would like to be a teacher
Who was the last person you called on your mobile?
My friend from Holland
What is the most played song on your iPod?
‘They Know’ by Drake
What was the last film you saw?
How to lose a guy in 10 days
What is your favourite gadget?
My Blackberry and iPad
What is your favourite website?
www.vi.nl and www.telegraaf.nl for Dutch football and general news
What is your favourite computer game at the moment?
Fifa 2012 on PS3
What car do you drive?
Golf 6 GTI
What’s your favourite Rob the Chef dish?
Salmon, rice and vegetables
Apart from football, what sport are you best at?
Tennis and table tennis
What would you ask your team-mates if you were an interviewer?
Who gets the most fines for being late?
Which person would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
What team did you support as a boy?
Who is the most famous player you have swapped shirts with?
Robin van Persie. I got his but I didn’t give mine to him!
What talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing
Who is the greatest ever player in your position?
Who are the best band/ act you have seen live?
Rihanna at the O2
What is your favourite place in the world?
Tell us something we may not know about you...
I have a beautiful sister who is like a best friend to me