Ask A Silly Question
FourFourTwo interviews football legends about life's endless comedy
Guten morgen, Volzy. You’re a man of many fan-inspired nicknames: 220 Voltz, The Electrician, Mr Resistor, The Lightbulb. Got any that we don’t know about?
My friend doesn’t think my surname sounds German enough, so he keeps adding things to the end of it to make it more authentic: Volzenthaler, Volzenberger, Volzenschteiner.
Quite right too. What’s your favourite?
I’d take any of those in honour of the Motherland. But if I had to choose I’d go for Volzenthaler.
Teutonic! What’s the weirdest dream you ever had then, Volzenthaler?
I don’t tend to remember many because I sleep really deeply. But I had a weird one a couple of weeks ago. I was over near Crystal Palace and suddenly realised I was late for a game so I had to figure out the best way to get back to Craven Cottage. I was running to the station and suddenly my mate John landed in a police helicopter and picked me up. I got there just in time for kick-off. Thanks, John!
You’re a renowned cyclist. Can you do any tricks? The bunny hop? An ‘endo’? Catching ‘wicked air’ off a bench?
The trick I seem to be best at is getting punctures. And I don’t really want to risk getting injured so stunts aren’t something I try on my folding bike. I used to do all that stuff on my BMX when I was a kid, though.
On your website, you claim Germans excel at separating rubbish, walking backwards, dive-bombing into pools and cherry stone spitting. Which are you best at?
When it comes to rubbish separating, I’m no good at all. What’s the point in this country? It all gets mashed up together at the other end, anyway. Walking backwards I’m good at, but I think my specialty is a combination of that and dive bombing – backwards diving. I tried cherry stone spitting but I can’t get enough distance. All I get is too much elevation, and that’s no good to anyone, is it?
No, Mo, it’s not. On to more important matters. It’s England against Germany at the buffet. The Scotch Egg is playing the Bratwurst. Which one is a jubilant Bobby Moore?
To be honest, the longer I’ve been away from Germany, the keener on Bratwurst I’ve become and now I’m a big, big fan.
And your thoughts on the mighty Segg?
I’ve never had a Scotch Egg so it’s hard to say. In fact, I’m not even sure what one is.
It’s Britain’s greatest example of fusion cuisine, pioneered by Fortnum & Mason in 1738. A hard-boiled egg, lovingly covered in sausage meat and breadcrumbs.
Really? I like the idea of that. Why have I never experienced one of these? Maybe I need to start hanging out with Jimmy Bullard a bit more. That way I might be able to get the full Scotch Egg experience.
What do you snack on, then?
In German households we love a bit of that chocolate spread, Nutella. And that can get quite messy. I tried stirring some into porridge recently. It was a chocolate experiment. Legendary – although not great in the calorie department.
What’s the most scared you’ve ever been?
Probably when I made my first-team debut for Arsenal in the Worthington Cup. I was crapping myself. I also got a bit edgy on our recent trip back from an away game up at Bolton. We were on this little plane and I don’t know what the pilot was on but there were some proper bumps up there. For a second I actually thought that we might not make it back.
Terrifying. What’s the illest you’ve ever been?
When I had some dodgy prawns from this tapas restaurant in Clapham last year. It only lasted a day but I seriously thought I was going to die. It was all going on, at both ends. Ever since then I’ve looked upon prawns as the enemy.
Quite. Auf wiedersehen, Volzenthaler.
From the April 2008 issue of FFT
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