John Arwuah - Fact File

Celtic’s Midfield Rock

Bloemfontein Celtic's poor start to the new season cost Clinton Larsen his job. Sabie Chili had an interview with Celtic midfielder John Arwuah, He talks about losing Larsen and his teammates.

Personal Information
Full Name:  John Junior Arwuah
Date Of Birth: 11 September 1985
Place of birth: Accra, Ghana

Position: Midfield
Jersey no: 28

Current Club: Bloemfontein Celtic
Previous Clubs:
Achimpim Stars (Ghana)
MK Land FC (Malaysia)
Tembisa Classic
Duban Stars
Maritzburg United
SuperSport United

Honours: 2012/13 Telkom Knockout champion, 2012/13 Player`s Player of the Season (both with Celtic), 2007/08 PSL promotion (with Maritzburg United, two U17 caps.

Hi John, lets talks about Larsen. He couldn`t turn things around at the club and decided to walk. Eish man, no one saw it coming at all because he kept motivating us whenever the chips were down. His departure really broke our hearts. As players we felt like…maybe we let the coach down! He addressed us before leaving and told us to keep working hard for the team. We had no choice but to accept his decision, but I still feel we let our coach down. Clinton is a great coach and you don`t want to lose someone like him. He`s by far one of the best coaches I`ve worked with and his management skills are second to none.

Okay, enough about Clinton. What‘s going wrong at Celtic this season. You are in 12th position with 16 points in 14 games.
Ja man, that`s the same question everyone has been asking, but I really don`t have an answer. I think even last season we started the same way but ended up having the best season since the club won the SA Supa8. So we hope things will change soon because we don`t deserve to be where we are at the moment. I think our main problem is missing chances and conceding stupid goals. This has been killing us as a result of lapses in concentration, but we`ve been working hard on improving these two aspects of our game. Hopefully we will start converting those chances and also keep clean sheets by avoiding some of the mistakes. One thing we are fortunate in as a club is that our supporters are always behind the team. Even when we meet them, they never swear or shout at us despite the disappointing results. Instead they always support us and encourage us.

Some will argue that because of Celtic supporters “blind loyalty” the players and management get away with a lot. 
No, I don`t think so because our supporters understand their role in the team. They also meet with management and the players from time to time, so they are actively involved and know everything about the club. The fact that they are so supportive doesn`t mean they let us get away with everything. We are working hard to make sure that things are getting better. No one enjoys losing and some of us even have sleepless nights after losing a game because we think of what a loss does to our position on the log and our supporters.

The team lost key players like Lennox Bacela, Letladi Madubanya and Dominic Isaacs this past season. Have these players been adequately replaced? 
Those were key players and the importance of their experience cannot be overemphasized. Having said that, players come and go all the time, and crying over them won`t help anyone. There`s going to be more players coming and going as that`s just the nature of the game. We just have to wish our former teammates everything of the best, but forget about them and focus on improving our team. It`s just a matter of time before the team gels again.

Personally, it has become evident that you do miss Letladi Madubanya`s presence in the central midfield.
Ja, you`re right, we all miss Letladi but, like I said, we have to focus on the future. We formed a great partnership and even though I`m happy with my personal performance so far, there is always room for improvement. I have won some Man of the Match awards, but I`m never satisfied with my performance. We have Musa Nyatama as my partner, having played and done  well together at Maritzburg United before. I think with time, we will stamp our authority in the midfield and I`m sure everyone can see that.

Nyatama is more of a creative and offensive player compared to Madubanya, which means the dirty job is solely your responsibility. In essence, this means there are more chances for the opposition to get through Celtic`s midfield and eventually expose the defence.
You`ve got that one 100% right because that`s what is happening. With Madubanya, we used to share the dirty work but, in all fairness, we can`t expect Musa to do the same as they are completely different players. Musa excels at going forward, and creating and scoring goals rather than defending, while Madubanya was different. So Musa and I have to complement each other and I`m happy that Musa has been tracking back more often after losing the ball more now than before. It`s all about communication and we have been working on that.

John, thanks for your time.
You are welcome.