Well as John Lennon said, ‘And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun.’ And when you think about it, what the hell kind of sense does that make? What calendar are you using there, John? It’s Christmas, but the year is over and a new one has begun? Should be shot for that kind of lyrical laxity. Oh . . .
Anyway, on my calendar the year is just about over (hello Aussie and Kiwi Gooners already in 2013 – in fact half the world, by the time I get round to posting this), and this post is just by way of a thank you to everyone who has read my blog – unless you hated it and left an insulting comment. In particular I thank those who have left non-insulting comments and added to the debate, particularly people like Big Al and Noel Conway, and even Wee Donald who never agrees with a thing I say. Also people who have given me information on blog post topics that I didn’t know – often this is Andy Kelly (see the link to his site in the blog roll). Whilst I’d still write stuff, it’s more fun when people read it and react to it.
I try and write a good proportion of blog posts that are useful reference information rather than the sort of ‘here today gone tomorrow’ things that Arseblog and Le Grove have pretty much cornered the market in. Nothing against either – they are both great (and very informative) writers (whether you agree with all their conclusions or not), which is partly why I set out to do something different to them, because I can’t really compete with them or what they do. I would like to thank both for their support, though, through their occasional links to things I’ve written as well as on Twitter. This time last year I had 500 followers on Twitter; after a link from Arseblog to a piece I wrote on Arsenal finances in January, that number doubled overnight, such is the power of the mighty Mr Blogs. One thing I’m proud of is that that finance piece still gets read by new people every day. I’ve also had The Sun print my ‘Which Premier League Team Should You Support?’ flowchart, as did SovSport in Russia. That also gets read every day. Google ‘Which PL team . . ?’ and I’m the first result. Which I take as a trophy.
Just this week the BBC website linked to a piece I wrote about Ruud Gullit nearly joining Arsenal – I noticed 1500 people had suddenly read that very old post and thought Gullit must have died!
Various people have written guest posts for me this year, including the above mentioned John P and Squid – thanks to all those, and if you want to write me a post feel free to offer. If it’s interesting, well written and in keeping with the general tone of the site I’ll be happy to consider it.
Back to Twitter. People who have supported me tirelessly there include Michael from @YouAreMyArsenal, Darren Epstein (@DarrenArsenal1), @KeithThe Gooner (his name’s Keith and he’s a Gooner. Obviously), Tim Stillman (@LittleDutchVA), Akhil Vyas (@10Akhil), @TimPayton, the Northern Engelbert-loving knob-gag maestro Andy Wood (aka @YorkshireGunner – who somehow remains one of my favourite tweeters despite his blindingly obvious failings), Sameer Shah (aka @TheSquidBoyLike), and most of all John Pickford (@theN5er). John particularly likes anything that makes fun of Spurs; I think that’s why he approves of much of my stuff and even voted me ‘Funny F***er Of The Year 2012’ (are you reading this Debra Morris and Andy Notman?). There are many others who constantly RT me and FF me, too many to mention but I’m grateful to you all. I now know many people that I’d regard as friends purely through the twin worlds of Twitter and blogging, and as I’ve always been someone who likes to mind his own business (anti-social, some say), I’ve surprised myself there.
(Incidentally, if you’re wondering why I don’t follow very many on Twitter, it’s mainly because I’d never keep up with a timeline bigger than the one I’ve got. I try and read everything on it, and if I’ve got time I’m happy to engage in conversation with whoever tweets me directly about anything interesting.)
I should also mention Nigel Phillips, Simon Hill and Glyn Taylor, some of my colleagues on the Board of the AST, all of whose expertise (in finance, shares and the law as well as Arsenal) I use liberally and freely (in both senses of the word). No links for them, as Twitter is beneath them.
Okay, I’ll stop now before I come over all Gwyneth Paltrow. If you’ve read this far, thanks. I toyed with thanking you by posting a picture of Sylvie van der Vaart in her pants, but instead here’s a joke from 2001 (printed in issue 116 of The Gooner):
Brooklyn’s birthday is approaching and Posh decides they must hire some entertainment for the little darling’s party. “Can we get clowns?” says Becks, “I like them.” “We’re not inviting the Neville brothers,” says Posh. “We’ll get a ventriloquist, it’s more classy.”
So the big day arrives and the ventriloquist starts his act. Posh and Becks are watching from the back of the room and the ventriloquist, a Man City fan, can’t resist having a bit of fun himself. He starts cracking jokes about ManUre then, while drinking a glass of water, sings the City standard:
“Old Trafford they say is a wonderful place,
but I know it’s really a f**king disgrace,
and as for United they should be,
shovelling shit on the Isle of Capri.”
Becks notices nothing amiss – he even joins in – but Posh is not amused. She says, “David, aren’t you going to do something about that?” “What, princess?” says the hapless one.
“He’s taking the mickey out of you and swearing in front of the children.”
“Oh, it’s just a laugh,” says Dave, “nothing to worry about.”
The ventriloquist sees the lack of reaction and tries another approach: “What do you call a Spice Girl with two brain cells? Pregnant. How do you make a Spice Girl laugh on Friday? Tell her a joke on Tuesday. Why are Spice Girls jokes so short?So the band can understand them.” “Right, that’s it,” says Posh. “He’s not getting away with that. David, go over there and tell him to stop right now.”
Over goes Becks: “Look mate, I don’t mind you doing jokes about football, but there’s no way I’m letting you sit there and take the piss out of my wife.” “All right, sorry,” says the ventriloquist. “I was just having a laugh.”
“I’m not talking to you,” says Becks, “I’m talking to that little bastard on your knee!”
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