Park: I will return to Korea in 2013 for military service

Park: I will return to Korea in 2013 for military service

Chu Young Park has given his first interview to Arsenal Player; here’s what the 26-year-old striker had to say about his move to the Emirates, his respect for Arsene Wenger, the progress he has made in his career, comparisons with David Beckham and why he must return to Korea in 2013.

On moving to Arsenal…

I’m very honoured and I feel very happy to be at Arsenal. They are a team that I dreamed about when I was young. I always liked Arsenal and I cannot believe that I am here.

When contact was made and I was told of their interest I could not believe it, I was really happy.

I got a phone call from my club and they told me Arsenal were interested in signing me but at first I didn’t believe it. I needed to check that it really was Arsenal. I want to thank everyone who made this move possible for me.

On Arsene Wenger…

He is an Arsenal legend. From the moment I liked Arsenal he was the head coach and I have always admired him. He has been here for many, many years and he is one of the best in the world. I am very happy to get the chance to work with him.

I’ve always heard that Mr. Wenger is very professional and that he thinks about football all the time. He has a reputation for being a good man and for treating all his players with respect. I hope he will be nice to me too. His reputation in Monaco is very good, because he was a manager there as well.

On the current state of the Arsenal side…

I think they are one of the best teams. It really is a dream to be here and I am very, very proud to be an Arsenal player. Now I just want to show how good I am and prove myself.

I don’t know any of the players personally, but I played against Gervinho in the French league. I have seen him since I came to the training ground and he talked to me and told me he is very happy since coming to Arsenal. He is the only player I know though.

On taking a step up in his career…

A lot has happened in two days and it feels like a big, big step up but that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to perform. I will work very hard, I will train very hard and I will show that I am able to be part of this Arsenal team. I will work hard to prove myself and build a reputation with the Arsenal fans.

When I first went to Monaco I got better and better. I scored more goals the longer I was there. At the moment I am prepared to show even more  at Arsenal. I need to get to the point where I can be at my best and that will require concentration and hard work. I will be strong and hopefully I will show my best form.

On being compared to David Beckham…

I think that is not possible. When I was in Seoul I scored many goals from free-kicks, but at Monaco I didn’t score one goal from a free-kick, so I don’t think the comparison is accurate.

My best position is up front. I feel very comfortable as a striker.

On getting up to speed in England…

I didn’t have a full pre-season but I have two games for the national team [coming up], so I expect my condition to improve very quickly. After that I will come here and make sure that I get to my peak condition so that I’m ready to play for Arsenal.

On the difference between England and France…

I’ve heard from many players who play in England and they say English football is very strong and very fast too. The French league is almost the same because it is very tough as well with quick players. I feel that I need to concentrate on my skills, so that I can fit in with the Arsenal style of play.

On being an ambassador for South Korea…

I feel more responsible now because I am the national team captain of South Korea and I am in a very big club like Arsenal. There are many Arsenal fans in Korea, really big fans of the club, so I feel more responsible now to show what I can do and to play well here. If I can do that then the people of Korea will be happy for me. I know I must perform well.

On returning to Korea in 2013 for military service…

Yes it is true. I don’t feel rushed [to make a mark at Arsenal]. I just feel really proud to have two and a half years at Arsenal. They are the last team I will be with before I go back to Korea from Europe. I am really happy about that. I will do my best to show what I can do in the next two and half years.

On speaking with his cousin Ji Sung Park at Manchester United…

No I haven’t spoken to him yet, but when I do I will ask for advice. He is experienced in the Premier League so I will ask how he settled in, on and off the pitch. It is a new country for me so I would like to ask how he adapted when he came here.

On Korean football…

We are preparing for the next World Cup as we speak. In Korea we have many, many young players so we have to get used to each other and set ourselves a goal. All the players in the national team have to work together to reach that goal. We are in a process of evolution, and getting better year by year, but at the moment the team is still young.

On what Arsenal could expect if they toured Korea…

I think the Asia tour was very good for Arsenal. If the club went to Korea I think they would be amazed. They would get a reception they really wouldn’t expect. It would be a really good experience, the Korean fans really love them.

On his message to the fans…

I’m really happy to be at Arsenal. In my opinion this is a great club. Now I have to show what I can do on the pitch. I will do my best, I will never give up, I will show heart and I will give everything I hope you will support me.

Sporter of spectacles, beard & permanent grimace. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes all my own work. Likes it when Arsenal are good.

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