'The most vain player? Olivier Giroud!'

Thomas Vermaelen, Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere
Thomas Vermaelen, Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere at a Q&A

Arsenal supporters had the chance to quiz the first-team squad at a series of Q&A sessions on Thursday during Members' Day. Below we have a transcript of some of the highlights from an informative - and at times hilarious - afternoon!

How do you feel about playing centre back, Bacary?
Bacary Sagna: As I have said before I am really pleased to play centre back for Arsenal. As we had some injured players I have had to cover there sometimes but we have some really good centre-backs at the Club. If we have injuries I will [play there] because all I want to do is help my team.

You must have enjoyed playing there against Sunderland last season...
BS: It was different for me, because it was the first time I had ever played centre back. I spoke a lot to Laurent Koscielny before the game because he plays there and he gave me a lot of advice. I tried to communicate as much as possible on the pitch and it went well, so i was quite happy.

How much do the players look at the fixture list before the season starts?
Jack Wilshere: Yeah, we do. The ones that stands out are Tottenham at home and away, and then the big ones like Man Utd and Man City away. Hopefully this year we can improve our record against them. Christmas is a busy time so we look at who we are playing then, and also at the run-in. This year it worked out quite well - we have the first game at home which is good. Hopefully we can have a sharp start to the season and really put ourselves up there and see where we are at the end.

"I do like Italian food, so I would probably say Chicken Milanese. It's quite simple, it's just chicken in breadcrumbs. Can I cook it? No!"

Carl Jenkinson

What do we need to do to get us over the line against the big clubs?
Thomas Vermaelen: It is difficult to say what we need to do. We have the quality to beat these teams, but we just have to make sure we improve in these games. Last year we had a great run and finished fourth, which made us really happy because it became our main target. But at the start of the season we want to aim higher and the games against these big clubs are really important.

And we still have to qualify for the Champions League…
TV: Yes, we still have a massive job to do in those two games and that is definitely in the back of our heads.

How big a result was the win at Bayern Munich last season?
Carl Jenkinson: For both me and the team it was a good night and it was a turning point for us because we went on the run we did afterwards. Bayern Munich were unstoppable last season and we went there and won 2-0 - they didn't concede a lot of goals so to score two and concede none at their place was a big confidence booster for everyone. We realised what we are capable of that night and we took that into the rest of the season.

Who is the most vain member of the squad?
TV: That is an easy one, it has to be Olivier Giroud!

What would you have done if you weren't a footballer?
JW: Well, my dad was a builder so I would probably have followed him. I would have been an apprentice!

What is your favourite dish?
CJ: There are too many, I eat too much! I do like Italian food, so I would probably say Chicken Milanese. It's quite simple, it's just chicken in breadcrumbs. Can I cook it? No!

"The atmosphere that stands out for me is when we played Leeds and Thierry scored the winner - that was unbelievable"

Carl Jenkinson

Who is your favourite footballer?
JW: I would have to say, being an Englishman, David Beckham. When I was growing up he was the England captain and there were a couple of games that he won on his own. He was a role model for me I suppose. He went through a tough time after the 1998 World Cup but he came back and was given the armband andset an example for everyone. Even now he is still doing that.

What has been your most memorable game for Arsenal?
CJ: I don't want to say Munich because we already discussed that, so I will probably say Spurs at the Emirates. I only came on for about 15 minutes as I had just come back from injury, and I didn't have much effect on the outcome, but it was nice to be part of a result like that.

Who is your inspiration?
JW: Well apart from David Beckham, growing up at Arsenal I would have to say Cesc Fabregas. He was a bit like me, he young when he broke into the team and he kept his place. He has obviously moved on but he was a real inspiration.

Who impressed you most on the Asia Tour?
JW: I think it was young Gedion [Zelalem]. He is only 16 but when he got his chance he took it. He played a few passes through that I don't know how he saw them to be honest. As well as him there was Serge [Gnabry]. He has had a few chances and he keeps producing, so the future looks good.

Do you think they are ready to play regularly in the first team?
JW: I am not too sure, I don't think you can say if anyone is ready until they have had a little run in the first team. For myself, I had to go on loan to be ready - it is like finishing school. With those two, they are young, they're strong and they're around a great manager who is used to bringing young players in. They are in the right environment for it.

If you could choose any player from the Invincibles to come into the current squad, who would it be?
JW: The obvious one is Thierry Henry because he is the best strikers ever to have played in the Premier League and one of the best strikers to have ever lived. So it would have to be him.

What is the best atmosphere you have experienced at the Emirates?
JW: That would have to be when we beat Barcelona 2-1 [in 2009]. There have been a few, such as when we beat Tottenham 5-2 - both times!
CJ: The one that stands out for me is when we played Leeds and Thierry scored the winner - that was unbelievable.

Which young player do you think has the best chance of a breakthrough?
CJ: So many of the young players impress me to be honest but if I had to choose one it would be Gedion. He is very gifted on the ball, he is a midfielder that it is difficult to get the ball off, he has great balance and good feet and has great vision. he is still young, so physically he still has to develop and get a bit quicker and stronger - but technically he has got all the attributes to play at the highest level, without a doubt.

"They are young, they're strong and they're around a great manager who is used to bringing young players in. They are in the right environment"

Jack Wilshere

Mikel, how has pre-season been?
Mikel Arteta: We've been really busy. We had a long tour. It was a very good experience to meet all the different people and we've seen the support that Arsenal  gets all around the world. It was really nice to get to know different cultures.

What was it like seeing thousands of fans at the airport when you arrived on tour? Aaron Ramsey: It was really surreal. I suppose that's the sort of reception rock stars get - people throwing themselves at you just to touch you. We thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to give something back with all the activities we did for them.

Per, tell us a bit about your dancing...
Per Mertesacker: I think that was a great time at the fan party with the Vietnamese. They were excited to find out anything about us so we did a bit of singing and dancing to represent Arsenal as we are.

Let's talk about the Running Man - he was one of the biggest stories to come out of the tour. How did he end up on the bus?
Lukas Podolski: I think he ran for miles alongside the bus. Everybody wanted to let him on the bus and finally he was on the bus. There was an amazing video up on YouTube - I think it had three million views. It was a great idea.

Per, who is the toughest striker you've ever faced?
PM: I always try to do my best but when Fernando Torres scored against Germany when we played against them in the [2008 European Championship] final, he was my hardest opponent at that time. When I think about Torres, he was my hardest opponent at that time - in 2008. That day, he was very good. This season, I have no fear about anyone at the moment.

Has the Asia tour helped to enhance the squad's team spirit?
PM: I think you could feel during the Asia tour that we have a good relationship to one another. We built it up more during the 16 days we were over there. We had great fun and great things to do together so that was good for the team spirit - to build it up. As I said, we had that before and I think that tour creates more relationships together.

"We depend on each other, protect each other and when you get through those moments and then you face the nice ones, obviously it's very pleasant"

Mikel Arteta

Does the squad feel tighter as a unit now?
MA: We've been together now for a long time. We know each other very well. I think we've been through some tough moments and we've responded really well as a group. We depend on each other, protect each other and when you get through those moments and then you face the nice ones, obviously it's very pleasant. I think we've got a great atmosphere. Everyone works really hard and we like each other. Hopefully you can see that on the pitch because through the season there are moment that you really need that banter around.

There's a lot of banter among the lads - especially with Poldi and his noise. How did that come about?
AR: It started in a game once. I had the ball and he [Podolski] was out on the wing and he shouted "Aha" for me to pass the ball to him. I didn't pass at him because I didn't know what to do!

Who are the most fun Arsenal players on a night out?
AR: Well we don't drink or go out so…! These two Germans [Podolski and Mertesacker] are always trying to cause a bit of banter. They are always loud around the changing room. They take that out with them as well when we do have the odd occasion where we do go out at Christmas parties and things like that.
LP: But on the pitch we're very serious! The British core are always fun too.

Let's go back to the Newcastle game at the end of last season. What was the feeling like in the dressing room before the match?
MA: There were a few tense weeks at the end of last season. The only thing we could fight for was fourth place. We went all the way through to the last game and knew it was going to be a tough one. We were all really focused because we knew what it meant to win or lose. We tried our best, ended up winning the game and got the place we wanted.

Guys, if you could pick one all-time player to take to the field with, who would you choose?
MA: Messi.
AR: I've had the opportunity to play with him so I'll go for another player - George Best.
PM: Podolski!
LP: Mertesacker!
Gedion Zelalem: Michael Laudrup. He made the game look simple and was a perfect player.

Mikel, how come your hair is always so perfect?
MA: I don't know but other people are very interested. One in every three messages I get on Twitter are about my hair! I use a simple gel - that's all. Maybe a bit of wax too.

"When I was in the youth team at Cardiff I got into a bit of trouble and ended up being asked to leave the pitch. After that, my coach said I was like Rambo out there! It stuck with me ever since"

Aaron Ramsey

What about the rest of you? Aaron, have you ever asked him for hair tips?
AR: I haven't but we have had a few conversations behind his back about it. We're all a bit jealous of it.
MA: Aaron's is always immaculate as well!

Aaron, who started calling you Rambo?
AR: When I was in the youth at Cardiff I got into a bit of trouble on the pitch and ended up being asked to leave the pitch. After that, my coach said I was like Rambo out there. It stuck with me ever since, all through the youth at Cardiff and at Wales. They've called me Rambo ever since.

Out of all of the first-team squad, which player looks in the mirror the most?
LP: Giroud! [He's there for about] 10 or 15 minutes. It's a competition with Mikel!

Lukas, what's the most important goal you've scored for Arsenal?
LP: It was in the Champions League. My first goal [for the Club] against Liverpool was a great feeling.

Per, what do you think of zonal marking?
PM:  I feel more free with zonal marking. I can protect the room better. I have no direct opponent [which is beneficial] because sometimes they block you and sometimes it's difficult to go with them. I would like to stick wit zonal marking because then I can get myself in good shape for the header. I don't think that we should change it.

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