Twenty years ago to the very day I sat down and published the very first post on arseblog.com.
Feb 27th 2002 – The A R S E B L O G is born amidst a fanfare of pure silence and a rippling of no applause. Not sure what way this thing is going to go, it has no plan, no direction, no aim, no purpose – simply a tool for me to ramble on about all things Arsenal and maybe some other stuff instead. Anyway, I shall crack on.
Here we are. I have cracked on. At times it feels like I have also cracked up, but I guess that will happen over the course of two decades.
TWO DECADES. Holy cow.
That I am sitting here this morning still doing it makes me equal parts proud, surprised, bewildered, amazed, flabbergasted and so incredibly grateful that this is actually what I do for a living. If you’d asked to me to describe my ideal job back then, I don’t even think I could have conceived of what I do now, because it simply didn’t exist.
To write and talk about the football club I support every day is genuinely a blessing of some kind. I’m not a religious man, but in this I give thanks to whoever is pulling the strings out there. Up there. Wherever. Cheers big man/woman.
To say we’ve been through a lot together during these 20 years, on and off the pitch, would be an understatement of epic proportions. There have been good times, bad times, fun times, sad times, births, deaths and marriages – and that’s barely scratching the surface of it. All I can say is that whatever has happened, and whatever happens in the next 20 years, it has been an honour to share it with all of you.
There are now too many people on the Arseblog team to mention them all by name, but I’m sure they know and understand how much I love them and the work they do for the site. To get to know and to work with so many talented writers, talkers and Arsenal fans has been amazing. At some point when the world is closer to normal than it is right now, we’ll toast that together. I also hope they know they are not just colleagues to me, but friends.
I do need to just give a shout to Arseblog Tom who has been on this ride for almost the entire duration of the 20 years. From early technical advice and building our comment system (the Arses), he has helped so much to ensure that as Arseblog has grown, so too has its ability to, you know, just be there every morning. Right now we have a server set-up so complicated that I barely understand it, but he does and it works. Thanks Tom.
And to you guys out there. Readers, listeners, subscribers, Patreon members, emailers, commenters, social media followers and all the rest – I genuinely can’t find the words to express my thanks. Without you, this wouldn’t be anything at all. Just know I never, ever take it for granted, and I understand my responsibility to bring you the nonsense every day on the blog, the news, the podcasts, and all the rest. You are the engine that drives this blog.
Finally, this website, based on the shared love of this mad football club we follow, has allowed me to make some of the best friends of my life. It’s incredible to think that not long after Arseblog started I worried about meeting up with one of the early readers for a beer in Barcelona, because meeting people off the Internet was weird and strange back then. Now it’s normal, and it’s wonderful because in the end when people are drawn together by something like this, what they have in common helps forge a positive connection.
To mark the occasion, I have a present for you. To celebrate 20 years of Arseblog, I’ve made 20 podcasts. Free and available to everyone. In fact, there are 21 (there’s a bonus episode at the end). Each one covers a calendar year of Arseblog’s existence, from 2002 to 2022 – chatting about the ups and downs, the successes and failures, good stuff and bad stuff, and everything else that football gives us.
My sincere thanks to all the guests for chatting with me. It’s taken some time to put together, but you can find all the episodes right now in your favourite podcast app, ad-free over on Patreon, or just play via the web on 20.arseblog.com. Hopefully this will keep you going in an Arsenal free week.
So, in conclusion, I love you. This thing is incredible in every sense of the word. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Here’s to the next 20.