Morning folks, been a while, eh?
Sorry I haven’t really been on the ol’ blog much of late. The whole Covid-19 stuff has not only meant that it has been a barren wasteland in terms of football – specifically The Arsenal – content to digest, but it has also meant that work has ensured i’ve had little time to actually sit down and compile some thoughts even if I wanted to. The role that I have has meant that there is an urgency for delivering quite a lot of stuff and that means long hours starting just after 7am and whereas I’d usually get myself an hour on the tube to compile some random musings, there just hasn’t been enough hours in the day.
I’m not making excuses (well, I blatantly am), I’m just letting you know, for those of you who for some reason actually read my nonsense every day. I haven’t even really been going on the socials either that much. Just the odd check in to see what’s happening, realise that we’ve just got loads of media houses desperate for eyeballs and firing out spurious nonsense, then logging off because I get annoyed by the volume.
It is nonsense though. We all know that, but here’s an example from my childhood, to give you an idea. I was in Year 7 (so 11 years old), I had a load of mates in my secondary school who were Arsenal fans and my parents had Microsoft Publisher. I’ve always enjoyed writing and so one Sunday afternoon I decided to create my own newspaper. “The Arsenal Times” I called it and I spent hours making it look vaguely acceptable, then I filled it with content about the club. Matches, player profiles, etc. I printed off ten copies and went into school on the Monday to see if anybody wanted it for 10p.
Not a sausage. Not a sniff. Nobody could give a monkey’s about my paper. It was just info that they already knew and I wasted a chunk of my dad’s print cartridge expenses.
The next week I decided to just make some stuff up. Matt Le Tissier was in his prime then and he was at Southampton and linked to pretty much any decent club for years, so I chose him as my subject, spun a yarn about how he and his agent had been staying in London and voila, I had a scoop that suddenly everyone wanted to read. It was a complete fabrication of the truth but I made just under a fiver that week.
We’ll forget the fact my dad probably paid about £10 in printer cartridges and paper.
So I guess the morale of the story is be careful with whom you offer your eyeballs too. You’re just offering up those clicks to people who are literally paid to make sh*t upn that will never happen.
So, what else is happening then, eh? Well nothing from an Arsenal perspective, although I have been asked to appear on a podcast about football history this Thursday coming. I’ve been asked to name my best goalkeeper from the 70s, defence from the 80s, midfield from the 90s and strikers from the 00s. The midfield and strikers are easy and, to an extent the defence is ok in terms of central defenders, but I’m struggling with right backs if I’m honest. I’ve got Lee Dixon, obviously, but when I think about the right backs we’ve had at the club, it’s not exactly a position that you can say we’ve had too many ‘legends’, is it?
I mean, if I tell you to talk about Arsenal midfielders, or wide players, or forwards, people could reel off a dozen I reckon. But right backs? Dixon, Lauren, Sagna was decent as is Bellerin, but not world class and not that of ‘legendary’ status I would guess. I will caveat this by saying I was born in 82 so my frame of reference is admittedly limited. But I would have thought that we’d have had a bigger roll of honour than the four I’ve just mentioned, wouldn’t you?
Perhaps you can help me out. Did we have any world class full backs before my time? Have we had any real ‘top of the class’ right backs who were in the top three or four in the world, like we’ve had strikers, midfielders, or wide players?
Answers on a virtual postcard please.
Catch y’all tomorrow. Going to try to write something every day over Easter.