Monki

Throughout the season, JD Football spoke to a number of music artists and DJs about how their favourite football teams were faring. It may be the summer break now, but don’t think anything has changed! We spoke to BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra DJ Monki about her beloved Arsenal and her own experiences playing the game… 

How did you come to support Arsenal?
My dad is from North London, but he’s not a football fan so I sort of got it from my granddad. My granddad, my cousins and uncles are all Arsenal fans, except for one rogue uncle who decided to be a Tottenham fan!

Do you get many opportunities to see them in the flesh?
I’m a Red member, so I go quite a few times through the season. I’ve probably been about 10-15 times this season, I go when I can. At weekends it’s quite difficult because I’m gigging, so most of the time I go for Champions League games in the week. I can’t even do Monday nights anymore now because my show is then!

Were you able to make the Cup Final?
I couldn’t go, but I was coming back from a gig so I wouldn’t have been able to go even if I had a ticket, and I ended up watching it at home. When I watched the Semi Final, I got a noise complaint from my neighbour because I was shouting at the telly, so I had to celebrate in silence. Running around the living room, but in complete silence! Last year I watched it at the Emirates which is really really good. In the future, if I can’t get tickets again I’d probably do that instead.

What is your general assessment of Arsenal’s campaign?
It’s an improvement to last year, which is always good. We’re not fourth, so it’s definitely the most improvement we’ve had in nine years. We’ve made some good signings, and hopefully next year we can contend for the title if we make some more over the summer. Whether or not that happens is an Arsenal fan’s nightmare, it’s what we wish for every summer! Hopefully after last year they’ll sign a few more people.

Where do you think you need to make additions?
I think we need a striker, a goalie and maybe a centre back. Ospina came in, he was supposed to be a B keeper and now he’s our A, but with the mistakes he’s made…he’s great but I don’t think he should be first choice. Giroud is expected to do so much as well, so I think we need to take the pressure off him for a bit. He can do a job but he’s not going to win us the league. I have trust in Wenger to sign the right people, especially after Sanchez and Ozil.

It’s much more exciting now for us [fans], because I feel like we’re in a position to sign players that are already developed rather than an 11 year-old striker from France that we’re gonna see in like ten years. The stadium is paid off so nothing is stopping us now, except perhaps the board, but nobody is going to know until we start trying to buy people.

Who is your favourite player?
If I was to single out one…I mean if it’s who has done the most for us this season then it’s Sanchez, but he’s only been there for a year so I think it might be unfair if I picked him. I think Wilshere’s great, he’s been injured quite a few times but when he’s in full form he’s amazing and pretty much unstoppable. There’s been some pretty bad media around him but you can tell he’s an Arsenal fan so maybe it means a little more to him.

Who do you think is the most replaceable in the first team?
There’s nobody in the team I dislike, [but] if I had to pick someone it’d probably be Szczesny. When he makes errors, they’re really big ones and usually we lose three points because of it. After the smoking stuff as well, that sort of indiscipline is not what you want to read when he’s making mistakes as it is. I think it’s probably time to bring in a new goalkeeper, which is looking likely.

Moving on from Arsenal, do you fancy yourself as a player?
I used to play a lot when I was a kid. I played for the Chelsea Academy as centre forward but then I got injured so I stopped playing. Music sort of took over and I really started to miss it, so I joined a 5-a-side team and I play for their 11-a-side team whenever I can. I trained with London Bees a few times but obviously that’s a full women’s team, which is a big commitment. It’s just a hobby for me now.

Have you been following England at the Womens World Cup?
I didn’t get to watch the game against France as I was stuck in a meeting but I’ll definitely be watching it moving forward. If they get out of the group stages that’ll be good in itself. I watched all the friendlies at Wembley, that was wicked. They sold 40,000 tickets which was jaw-dropping compared to when I was a kid.

How much has it changed for you since then?
I think it’s getting broadcast a lot more now and there’s more money getting pumped into it. Women are turning professional which is good, even though the money is nothing compared to the mens game it’s still an improvement on even five years ago.

Monki’s new Fabriclive 81 mix CD is out now, and you catch her live on BBC Radio 1Xtra from 10pm-1am Monday nights, with a repeat on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra 1-4am Sunday nights. Follow Monki on Twitter and SoundCloud. Monki plays her football in Nike Mercurials, which are available from jdsports.co.uk