The world-renowned DJ and Highbury-based Gooner talks about Arsenal’s ‘great’ season, the importance of Arsene Wenger and being starstruck by a former club captain
Does the FA Cup and fourth place represent a good season for Arsenal?
"People talk about eight, nine years not winning anything for Arsenal, but football is all about the Premier League and the Champions League these days; anything else is just a little bonus.
"The Premiership should really go to Chelsea or Manchester City naturally, and in a way I just think the seasons become null and void. I love City's fans, but it doesn't mean anything. With Arsenal, how can you compete? With how much money they've spent, of course they've got to win the league.
"If Liverpool had won the league, as a purist I'd have been happy for them but it would have hurt me more!"
Will Financial Fair Play help level the playing field?
"I'm not trusting Financial Fair Play - look at what happened with Barcelona recently [the transfer ban]. The whole thing is so inconsistent that I don't ever think that they will ever ban a team. Unfortunately we can't rely on that.
"From an Arsenal point of view, people have been saying this for a few years, but we're not far from a potential title-winning team on a budget.
"People forget that we've gone from Highbury to the Emirates and that we've stayed local, and we've managed to economically sustain the club and develop it, and maintain a presence in the top four, which is the equivalent, whatever people say, of winning a trophy. That is the reality of football right now - forget the FA Cup, I'd rather be in the Champions League.
"It was quite nice to drive around Highbury where I live [before the final]; all the shops have got all the gear out and people have got their shirts out, and it feels like 10 years ago.
So just how far are Arsenal from winning the league then?
"We're just two players away. It's always ‘what ifs’ every time, and come February when Arsenal fall into the same vibe like losing Theo [Walcott] and Aaron Ramsey meant we didn't have the weight in the long run to really maintain a fight.
"We're all thinking 'what if we'd have spent another £10 million on [Luis] Suarez and just done the deal?' This was a good year to get it: [Jose] Mourinho's back and he's not the same person; [Manuel] Pellegrini was just beginning in the league; obviously Manchester United are in a complete transition period; this was a good year to be able to win the league, and Chelsea and City are only going to get stronger."
Is Arsene Wenger still the right man to lead the club?
"It's difficult for him because winning is important, and he hasn't in the old-fashioned sense. You look at him and he's basically been switched on for 10 years; he's never been able to relax.
"I wouldn't necessarily be upset if he handed over to somebody like Roberto Martinez, but equally he's still pretty much on the game. He's bringing through his fair share of youngsters from Ramsey to Wilshere - these guys are becoming world-class players.
"He's probably playing players a bit too young which is probably why we're getting injuries and we need to look at why we get so many injuries every year, but I'm still in the pro-Wenger camp. But ask me again in November when we're struggling in sixth and we've just lost away to QPR!
"The FA Cup and fourth place - I think that's the most successful manager in England this season apart from Pellegrini. And when you consider the economics, then that's got to be regarded as a great achievement.
"Selling the gospel of John Coltrane and Arsene Wenger is my mission in life!"
"I don't know about that. I think there was a bit of a problem last year with the transfer activity - for example, how could we let [Gonzalo] Higuain go like we did? What's he doing going over to play for Napoli? That was in the bag and that would have been great. I think there's an issue there.
"It's a real shame about [Bacary] Sagna because he's a great player and I'm absolutely gutted that we can't offer him a really good deal that he deserves, and he's going to have to go to City and get it.
"I understood [Cesc] Fabregas going, I understood [Thierry] Henry going, but the thing that upset me a lot was [Robin] van Persie. I'm waiting for Arsene's book to find out the truth about that! I was upset with [Samir] Nasri going, and for me there's loyalty in this game. [Van Persie] was very well-sheltered by Arsenal, and if you're going to leave, you can't go to United!
So what does Wenger need to do to move the team on?
"I think it's all about getting the correct, subtle variations of a formula that can work; understanding the heritage of the club, the passion of the fans. Ian Wright and Henry - they became Gooners. Cesc could be somebody who might well come back, but I don't know where he'd fit actually!
"We need somebody to replace [Mikel] Arteta and [Mathieu] Flamini - and how loyal has Wenger been to [Abou] Diaby?! Obviously we need a great striker, and we need a bit of support at the back. We need somebody to probably replace [Thomas] Vermaelen and we're going to need a new right-back.
How much does it mean to see an Arsenal fan like Carl Jenkinson celebrating scoring for his club?
"Arsenal have become a pretty British-based club haven't they?! That wasn't the case five years ago, and that's gone down well with the fans.
"People are always looking for a reason to criticise, and Wenger has definitely made a big effort in that area. Although I don't think Jenkinson's up to the top, top standard at the moment, maybe he'll ‘do a Song’. I remember Alex Song was the worst player I've ever seen for the first six months, and then he suddenly got good and then he went!
"It does feel good to see him celebrating that goal like he did being a proper Gooner fan. It's important to have the correct balance; it's the reason why Manchester United and Arsenal were such strong teams in the past, and why Spurs are going to keep having problems. You can't just buy a team from scratch."
Your new album ‘Sonzeira – Bam Bam Bam’ presents Brazilian music and culture with a modern twist – tell us about that.
"I've been a fan of the music for many years; there's going to be so much focus on Brazil in the next few years with the World Cup and the Olympics, and it was a good time to try and present the music and the culture and the heritage of the music in a modern context. I went to Brazil in January and recorded with a lot of my heroes - hopefully I've gone a bit deeper than the cliched, throwaway records that will be out there."
Who are you backing for the World Cup there this summer?
"I'd put money on Belgium to get to the semis, but watch Germany. Argentina could be good; Spain have maybe had their time, so I would say Germany - with the extra Arsenal players! With Bayern Munich, and even with Podolski, you can see that they're waking up at just the right time of the season, whereas all the England players are knackered."
The new album features Seu Jorge – fans of Wes Anderson’s film ‘The Life Aquatic…’ will know all about him. What was he like to work with?
"He's great; I've worked with him a few times. He's filming a new movie where he's playing Pele's dad [a young Pele] so I had to go to LA where he lives to record with him, but that was the icing on the cake.
"He's a proper dude; I've made Seu Jorge a Gooner, he's got the shirt and everything! I took him to see Arsenal a few years back and he knew Gilberto Silva. I had to DJ at the Roundhouse afterwards but I got so excited that I left my records at home, so I ended up missing my DJ set!
Any other famous musicians you’ve converted to the cause?
"The other person who's a proper Gooner is Seun Kuti who's the son of [famous Nigerian musician and political activist] Fela Kuti. He speaks on the album’s opening track – he always calls me from Lagos at the first bit of gossip or news.
"He was desperate for a ticket for the final but couldn't get over from Lagos."
So you’re spreading the love of Arsenal across the globe, then?
"Selling the gospel of John Coltrane and Arsene Wenger is my mission in life!"
Gilles Peterson and the Sonzeira collective's album 'Brasil Bam Bam Bam' was released on May 19th and is available to buy at www.brasilbambambam.com