by Tony Attwood
Maybe its because I am getting old. Maybe its because my nature these days is to see the pot half full not half empty. Maybe it is just because I find it utterly laughable to read the comments about how Wenger has lost it when we are two points off the top of the table.
Maybe its because I know a bit about Arsenal history and can relate that dreadful run that we had before winning the first double under Wenger – including the Port Vale match.
Maybe it is because I remember losing to York City in the FA Cup under Don Howe (thanks for reminding me Walter – that was the match you were thinking of the other day – not my favourite memory). Maybe it is because I can remember Manchester United in the second division. Maybe it is because of Wrexham.
Maybe it is because I can remember that awful, dreadful, terrible style of play and the ghastly feelings in the Rioch year before Wenger – when I was on the other side of the barricade, calling for the manager to go – for the first time since the era of Billy Wright.
Or maybe it is because I am fractionally a more balanced guy than some. But whatever the cause, I wake up this morning, feel a bit pissed off with football, but shrug and regain my sense of perspective and am about to toddle off to another day of writing advertisements for clients.
In my in box this AM was an email about a forthcoming book “Arsenal til I die” being published by Arsenal in the Community in which there is an article by me. My piece is about my father, an Arsenal supporter in north London, who had been at the games in the 1930s watching the great teams, and whose present to me was to support the Arsenal. Except I was launched into it during a season when we came 12th – and that was just the start of the decline. Maybe it was that which gave me my perspective – but whatever it was I am Arsenal til I die, but I still also have a life to lead.
Two defeats, frustrating, annoying, upsetting, and the first was almost numbing – not least as I was there. But still I didn’t kick the dog (and wouldn’t have done even if I had had one).
Upon such reflections I do begin to worry about the mental state of some Arsenal supporters. Not to suggest they are unbalanced, but that they are beating themselves up so much over two defeats, what with us still being in Europe, and still being two points off the lead in the league, and what with history showing that out of bad runs comes good runs, that I wonder what happens with other team’s supporters when they have a bad game or two.
And so, I want to start a new column, right here on Untold Arsenal.
Despite the moronic attempt of one person recently to disrupt us (a person who it turns out has already been banned on this site due to his repeated plagiarism and who has gone off, got a new identity and has been doing it again this week) Untold is still one of the leading football blogs in the multiverse, being particularly well read on Ursa Minor, I’m told. We regularly pop up near the top of the Wikio football rankings, and get something in the order of 300,000 hits a month.
And we want a new writer.
Let’s do the basics. Untold Arsenal is the pro-Wenger web site. If you are not in that camp, fair enough, we can all have different views, but if you are not 100% pr0-Wenger it is best to offer your writing services elsewhere (there’s about 99,000 anti-Wenger blogs out there at the moment so you have a wide choice).
Second, I am wanting one or more people who can write regularly on a particular topic. So that’s not just this week and next week, but each week. Of course you will be let off for family affairs, essay writing (but not too many essays Phil). But seriously, I want a writer or set of writers who can a) write and b) write regularly.
So what of the topic, I hear you cry. Here’s the low down.
I want you to look at the debate and commentary on two or three of the blogs written by fans of our major rivals, and see what they are saying. And then to write a brief piece. So this week, you might be focussing (if doing the old Russian Alliance in south west London) on the possible sacking of the manager, the dictatorial tendencies of the owner, and the sad case of Ray Wilkins and a minor win in the Champs League. How do the blogs react? Are the fans of that club worried? Are they calling for the head of the manager, the owner, the groundsman, the head of security, the head of interrogation…
Briefness in writing is fine – but if you can go on for 1000 words and it all makes some kind of sense and keeps the audience going, that’s fine too. It just has to be, well, sort of, you know, coherent and well written. Like.
In my dream-like ideal world I would have one person looking at a handful of blogs from C. Hel Sea, one checking Man IOU, one doing the very tiny totts, and maybe even one doing Liverpoodle. If you think there’s another team we ought to do, suggest it to me. Notlob anyone? (they must be delirious).
It is important the blogs you choose have a fairly high google ranking, so we can get a view of how influential they are, and ideally they need to have different emphases (but Untold can check out those details – you just have to pick them).
How it might go…
First you email Tony.Attwood@aisa.org and tell me you are interested, and confirm you could do one article a week every week (if you felt you could do more and entertain us all with more, fine, but one is the minimum, except when on annual hols or the funeral of your pet cat). Also tell me which club you would like to cover, and if possible, which blogs you would go for. If you can also write a few hundred words there and then, and attach them as a word document so much the better.
Second, if you are the only applicant, or if out of 10,000 applicants I choose you, you will be asked to do one full sample article (unless you gave me one with your application), so I can see what you come up with.
Third, if you are on, we go, and you have your weekly or twice weekly column on Untold. Chances are a lot of people will read what you write each week, which might make you feel rather chuffed (although I can tell you from experience you’ll also get abuse, and writing a blog doesn’t tend to get you very far with members of the opposite whatnot). You might even get a call from a national paper asking you to be a guest writer. Or not. But watch out – they are a bunch of hearty roughs in Fleet Street.
What you will be doing is indicating exactly how the fans on the blogs you have selected are seeing the world. For example if you were a C. Hel Sea fan and you were doing this project in reverse, you might say that Untold had a deep and poignant article about how much the first home defeat by Tottenham in 20000 years hurt, and how the site was subverted by an attack of anti-Wenger supporters, which ultimately caused a rally of pro-Wenger, “lets-move-on” support, and then the anti-Wenger mob came back after the Braga affair and blamed Wenger for injuring Cesc.
We can work out the details and you will be free to put your own approach into this – as an editor I don’t dictate formats, only suggest, as I hope Dale, Walter, Dogface and Phil will agree. (Billy the dog is a different kettle of haddocks).
So, if you are interested, write to me, tell me which club you would like to review, and nominate a few blogs that you would like to cover.
And just to clarify, you can write under your own name, or a nom-de-plume. Your secret life will be safe with me.
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