32 Comments

Let There Be Arsenal

nothing_to_see_here

I let the mask slip at work yesterday. Friday, three minutes away from going home and the frankly fuckwitted semi evolved attitudes of my work colleagues finally got to me and I fear I bared my fangs. To be fair I’ve coped day in day out for six long desperate years and rarely if ever have I given vent to my true feelings. Without wishing to be self indulgent about the blog for which I’m writing, I want to talk about why this place is so important to me. Hey – there’s bugger all football to talk about so we can chat about the peripherals, the blogs or newspaper columns or broadcast media we like or dislike, can’t we?

When so much of one’s existence both personal and professional is spent tolerating other people who’s opinions make you piss razor blades and who you could cheerfully eviscerate without a backwards glance it is vital to have safe places where you can go and let out the steam. I had a cycling buddy who put up with me about as well as I did he and we would burn off calories and excess rage as we tore up the countryside each Sunday morning. It did me good. I have similarly over the years found people who share my love of certain bands or comedians or, as in your case, football.

The arrival of the internet was like a beneficent God smiling down on his creation and saying “Here, you don’t have to wait to read about your team in the paper or hope they will be featured on Match Of The Day. You can pick and choose blogs dedicated to The Arsenal and read about the team every day. I support them too you know” and we could. Suddenly we could find people who liked not just the same sport but the same team. But as with other great ideas God took his eye off the ball and left a serpent in the garden. Or an apple. Or something. In any case the blogs went wrong and rather than being a place to be yourself and relax after wearing the disguise at work all day or pretending to care about whatever your neighbour was waffling about, they became combative. We went there to fight the malcontents or adopt a semi neutral peace keeping pose and attempt not to ruffle too many feathers.

This is why Positively Arsenal has become so important. I can be me here. I don’t water down the message or put up with people I’d rather poke with a sharpened stick. And one of the things PA has set its sights on is not disappearing down the path of so many other blogs. We won’t offer the manager tactical advice. We won’t ape the print media. And we won’t just repeat the Boss’s press conference when there’s nothing else to write about. We will be honest and tell it from the heart.

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So now of course I’m in a quandary. Saturday morning and absolutely no football to talk about. What to do? It’s a little early for a Bayern preview and I’m buggered if I’ll talk about the FA Cup when we’re not even in it. I could write about Bristol Rovers six pointer away to Chesterfield. Like many of you I have a second or ‘local’ team and regularly watched Rovers when they lost their stadium in Bristol and played down the road in Twerton Park. But this is Positively Arsenal and so I doubt you’d give a monkeys. The fact is that blogs, whilst seeming like a gift from God at first, are actually a part of the malaise of the modern sports fan. There used to be such a break from football every summer that you had the most incredible sense of anticipation and excitement when the season began anew every autumn. There were minor withdrawal symptoms for the first couple of weeks but really by the time the FA cup had been lifted you were ready for a break. Now we discuss the team, their prospects, the season past, the players the endless bloody pointless transfer speculation right through the summer and watch the pre season and never ever let the thing rest and I believe it is sucking the life out of the game.

And yet here we are like junkies gathering around an empty crack pipe because that’s the closest we can get to a fix. Any blog will die without daily postings. People need to know it’s there and that they can meet up and chat. Like a pub that opens and closes sporadically and will soon find people drink somewhere they can actually rely upon being open, a blog needs to be fresh and new and filled with stuff every single day. Even when there’s actually next to nothing to talk about. What do we do folks? This is your blog, how can we meet your voracious appetites for Arsenal related verbiage and yet not end up in a dead horse / flogging scenario? Because I need this place to be open for business. I need a retreat from the daily panto into a world of reality and I don’t want this golden egg laying goose to be found dead one day.

OK OK sorry, I promised not to be self indulgent and then look what happened. So for those who want a proper blog with up to date news and opinions here’s both.

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NEWS: They arrested and charged the banana guy. You might say we need to stamp out any missile throwing from the crowd and you might say, it was a bloody piece of fruit for Christ’s sake.

OPINION: I can see both sides.

NEWS: Benik Afobe has torn his cruciate. Which is such a bastard of a thing to happen. Twenty years old and a very promising player.

OPINION: I neither blame Millwall, the loan system nor the Arsenal medical staff.

NEWS: Our chairman, when asked about the media story of a takeover is quoted as saying “It all seems a bit of a waste of time,”.

OPINION: It all seems a bit of a waste of time.

NEWS: Grandson of Arsenal footballer Denis Compton scores first test century against New Zealand while everyone but Mel was asleep.

OPINION: I thought he was South African?

NEWS: My Mikel Arteta sticker fell off my PC earlier and it stuck to my jumper and I don’t understand the significance. If there is any significance:

OPINION: A 49 year old man shouldn’t be collecting stickers.

NEWS: A military force from an alien planet has landed in the Emirates car park and is resupplying its beachhead with big flashy light covered spaceships.

OPINION: That’s enough news now.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

32 comments on “Let There Be Arsenal

  1. Ooh where did you get your Mikel Arteta sticker from? I’d like one of those.

    (So it’s true God DOES support Arsenal and an alien landing party is clogging up the Emirates car park?).

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  2. Remember where you heard it first Andrew!

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  3. That’s the power of PA; still, I hope we don’t cause a run on those stickers!

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  4. You’re a star steww – even on the slowest of slow Arsenal news days you’ve found something to amuse us all. I am sad to see how bereft my life is without Arsenal. Now that I am not going to see the team at the Emirates today I’ve decided to grace my family with my presence – they may or may not be grateful for that!

    In relation to banana-gate, I’ve got mixed feelings about that too. On one hand it seems a little OTT, on the other it could be seen as preventing an escalation of incidents. I have to ask though, why don’t chelski do something about their celery throwers? I seem to recall Cesc getting pelted at Stamford Bridge a few years ago when he went to take a corner and the silence about that was deafening.

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  5. Stew.It is an absolute pleasure to read your work.

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  6. Just fuckin brilliant. Busy at work, even today, so been quiet but keep posting. I keep checking in. Tell George to chill, we are doing OK.

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  7. The reason I drink here is because the regulars recognize that supporting Arsenal football club requires that you enjoy the experience, revel in the ups, the downs and the lifelong thread that binds us fast to club.

    I salute you all

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  8. Regarding bananagate I am incredulous that the Metropolitan Police have the time and the resources to spend on an incident in which no one was injured, no one apparently offended, no disturbance of public order occurred or was likely to occur

    And now they intend to expend more money and time prosecuting the fruit flinger Flint at Highbury Corner

    I have written to Theresa May to demand answers

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  9. Thanks for your kind words folks. I read a collection of articles from Stephen Fry when he was a young up coming writer and he said he’d been told you’re allowed to publish one piece of the “I’ve got nothing to write about today” variety in your career and no more.
    Looks like I just used mine up.

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  10. Well done number 10, I don’t want this to turn into a back-slapping club but I think I speak for all the PA crew when I say we’re lucky to have you on here, despite playing “poison” by Alice Cooper on your radio show the other week!.As for Compton, he was been getting lots of negative stuff said and written about him before this test match, England stuck by him and he got his just reward, good stuff that “loyalty “isn’t it?

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  11. I watched highlights after reading your tweet this morning Mel and it looked a very assured century in a pressure situation both in terms of the match and the pointless pressure the journos had put him under.
    As for my back, slap away, I need all the help I can get.

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  12. Needless to say I haven’t seen this new Dennis Compton but I had a lot of his Dad’s pictures in my childhood scrapbook. Windies were a rising force. Hell I am getting old.

    PS: What’s happened to ZimP?

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  13. I watched 10 minutes of the Everton ,Wigan game .And saw a cunt of an Everton player go in hard on young Rio Miyaichi.
    It was over zealous and looks like he did his Ankle in again.
    Unbelievable how we accept this as “hard play” in England.

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  14. Perhaps a Lion got him Shotta

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  15. I don’t think the bloggers here need to worry if there appears to be nothing to say, the population hereabout would clearly be nowhere near shallow enough to up and sod off simply because things are quiet for a bit. Such fillers as the one above by Steww are far more than adequate and long may it continue. Nice writing sir.

    Didn’t see the challenge on Rio but did see him going off on the stretcher and thought ‘bugger’ , hope it goes ok for him and also of course, as well as things can for afobe with his cruciate.

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  16. Nice stuff Stew it can’t be easy to find stuff to write about with the absence of Arsenal matches. Well done.

    Anyone who is interested:

    Arsenal U19s v CSKA Moscow U19s
    Monday 25th March 2013
    Kick off 7.00pm
    At Emirates Stadium

    Tickets are priced at £4 adults/£2 concessions and £3/£1 for members and will be available to purchase on Arsenal.com from Monday 11 March 2013.

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  17. Hah
    Good post STEWW
    from yesterday my choice would be. QPR. STOKE AND west ham.
    Would not mind if one or more of this trio where to go down.
    Want villa ; wigen and reading to stay up. .
    Most important of all I want ARSENAL to be drawn ac Milan for the
    Next round in champions league. smiling face. Wink wink.

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  18. I think the spelling is. RYO. NOT RIO. and I hope he isn’t seriously injured. Basterd Baines.

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  19. Imagine no pub where you can go to watch the match, no co-workers with whom you can chat football. That’s my life. Friends who indulge/make fun of my strange passion for some English “soccer” team. Saturday mornings spent screaming at my TV while drinking coffee and chatting on Twitter, and trying not to wake the family. Thank god for the Internet. This blog is my pub, and you guys are my mates. I’m not going anywhere. Thanks to all of you who write and post comments and make this a fun place to hang out. Even if I don’t comment, I’m here every day.

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  20. Oh, and News: Opinion: should be a regular feature. Brilliant!

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  21. Yep the news and Opinion was good .

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  22. “This blog is my pub, and you guys are my mates”
    That is exactly how I feel.Well said

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  23. stew the sticker thing is very significant i will expect him to be sold forthwith …….. mines a guiness cheers !

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  24. Only problem, George, is that I usually don’t arrive until right before closing time!

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  25. alabamagooner what is your id on twitter?

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  26. CRIMSON TIDE GOONER
    f••••• excellent….

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  27. Nice to have Alabama gooner on board, let us know your twitter id, I’m on there as @40shewore not to be confused with @ shewore-we’re very different people.

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  28. Ok, a sign I really trust you guys… @kmwood02 on Twitter.

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  29. MEL
    40shewore. ??
    Hahaha…. I thought it was the other cab driver that was onto/into
    Ladies. Wear…

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  30. Stuckin Dallas Fort Worth airport waiting for a connection to San Antonio. An electrical storm is causing mayhem. S what do I do? I read Positively Arsenal!

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  31. Haha! Don’t believe everything you hear goonerkam! Kelly we’re already following each other, great minds & all that!

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  32. Mel I saw that! Always on the hunt for positive folks on Twitter, surely that’s how I found you.

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