Everyone calm down

By Jonathan Blaustein, Chief Namaste Correspondent

This is a first, as I’ve never written two posts in one week here before, nor have I gone on record attacking the audience.

As such, I’ll be brief.

I’ve noticed a very negative, accusatory tone towards Tim in the comment section the last few weeks. He does not need me to defend him, and frankly, I’m not.

Rather, I feel it’s important to remind you that this blog, like much of the known internet, is FREE. Tim does not get paid to write here, and neither do I.

As a professional writer, who gets compensated for everything else I do, I contribute to 7amkickoff gratis as a way of re-paying Tim for the great content I read each week. (It’s karma, basically.)

So while you may find him grumpy or aggressive on a particular day, or you may not agree with his analysis, I think it’s not appropriate to give him stick in the manner I’ve been seeing lately.

If you don’t appreciate the hard work that goes into running a blog in one’s spare time, then go get your Arsenal information somewhere else.

Thankfully, gone are the days when nasty comment sections were the norm everywhere. And I ought to point out that this comment section, in particular, is the best I’ve ever read.

So many of our regular commenters, (you know who you are) add immensely to the value of the reading experience. I’ve perused poetry, critical theory, and geopolitical analysis down there over the years, all of a very high caliber.

In general, you guys rock.

Tim didn’t ask me to write this, and I might even get shit for it down below, but given the generally noxious tenor of the Arsenal community debate lately, I thought it wise to remind people that in general, you get what you pay for.

This, however, is an exception. It’s great, it’s free, so please don’t forget it.


    1. OK, Bun, next time I’ll give you props by name, instead of implication. My bad. I was just hurt that you didn’t chime in on my last post. I thought maybe you were jealous b/c I shouted out Shard, but not you…

  1. And here’s the rub. It’s a blog, not sworn testimony. It’s opinion. Delivered with feeling. Frisk the arguments, not the subject. Play the ball, not the man. The pushback over arguments that are unconvincing is fair game. The beatdown for supposed negativity not so, IMV. No one’s under any obligation to deliver feelgood. And loving this club and being seemingly morose in prose are not mutually exclusive.

    1. I believe Nick Hornby wrote quite a popular book which should just have as the subtitle “Loving Arsenal with morose prose”.

      1. The words “morose” and “prose” look like they should rhyme, but they don’t. (profound I know)

        Je Suis Tim

  2. I have no problem whatsoever disagreeing with my arguments. That’s what I’m here for. I don’t have people to talk to here in Tacoma, so I rely on you all for discussion.

    I also have no problem with you saying you no longer like my writing. I’m not a baby man like the President.

    But ad hominem attacks couched as argument will get you a timeout.

    1. “But ad hominem attacks couched as argument will get you a timeout.”

      Is that a new rule? I never noticed you stepping in on that before.

  3. I honestly don’t get the negativity towards Tim’s views. He is merely forming his opinion based on results and the quality of the perfomances on the field compared to our financial resources.

    Whether you are pro Wenger or anti Wenger, I just cant see how one can honestly say Tim is unjustifiably negative for no reason if you are even a casual Arsenal fan and watch very few games.

    Having seen almost all the televised top teams’ games, I can honestly say we really are the 5th best team but we seem to be regressing without being proactive whilst the others are rectifying their weaknesses.

    So like Tim, I’m ambivalent to anything that will occur next season or during this transfer window.

  4. Whoa, dudes (mostly, I think) but also any dudettes: like the J-man said, let’s all take a chill pill people. WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG???

    Seriously however: I have many times over the years sung my praises to 7 am/Tim. Same goes for the other columnists, Blaustein, Chary and Bunburyist, etc.

    This is a cool place to hangout most of the time and when it isn’t, I don’t. Thanks again for doing doing this more or less consistently AND consistently excellently for many years.

    Also, personal attacks and ad hominem arguments are puerile but if the discourse veers into that space here I recognize that it is the passion for the club that drives it. Doesn’t excuse it of course but if we all love The Arsenal well, those of us of a certain age will know how love can get totally out hand.

    “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
    – my man, John Lennon.

  5. Tim, I apologise if my comment on your writing style in the previous thread overstepped the mark. I didn’t mean it as a personal attack on your craft or yourself. It was more an attempt at expressing a perceived change of mood which, even if it is the case,is your right. It’s your blog and I appreciate the time and effort you put in to researching and writing these articles and giving us a place to talk about Arsenal.


  6. I am usually careful not to personally attack anyone here, just as I am in real life so I certainly hope I didn’t cross any lines in my arguments yesterday.

    Truth be told I’m almost as addicted to 7amKO as I’m to Arsenal. There, I said it.

  7. The five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

    We’re all grieving the demise of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. Some of us are further along than others. Based on yesterday there are still a lot in either the denial or anger stages.

    1. I agree, Tim is not being over negative at all, things are quite grim at Arsenal compared to how they should be right now in the club’s evolution. He seems a total gentleman to me calling it as it is. Those who want to bury their heads in the sand shouldn’t shoot any of the messengers telling us the bleeding obvious. Go to Le-Grove if you want to get feisty defending status quo, and you will get it back in spades there too.

      1. Don’t do that, man. I dislike it as much coming from people who are on my side of the argument.

  8. I think there’s been a general decline in civility in society as a whole that has been reflected on this blog.

    One could argue about deep and proximate causes, similarly we argue about who is more to blame. I’m not sure any of that would be useful.

    I think it would more productive to work towards an agreement on what kind of community we want here at 7am. Certainly Tim could just impose standards but it would be most effective if the regular commentators were all on board and the community could enforce standards through leading by example as well as calling people out in a “come on that’s not how we roll here”

    One thing that might help would be a specific set of guidelines, both for how we talk about each other *as well* as how we talk about other people. Calling Wenger names only raises the temperature. Calling Wenger critics names doesn’t help either.

    A second thing that would facilitate this would be the ability to edit comments, so that we might be able to reconsider intemperate comments.

    Or we can just declare it a free fire zone and let the chips fall where they may. The likely consequence is that 7am will become an ideological monoculture, much in the way Le Grove is.

    1. I like the idea of being able to edit comments. At least I’ll be able to fix my typos.

  9. Slighty off-topic, looks like Lacazette is on the way. A year late and likely at twice the price, but hey….

    Two down, apparently. How many to go, fellow goons?

    1. What makes you say he is on the way? I was checking online and I’m not seeing it. What am I missing?

  10. WOW! I am bloody impressed! Grown-ups acting like grown ups. Apologizing and making peace. Tim, as you know I’ve often used some of your pieces as examples of writing to my HS English students. I think, if it’s OK with everyone, I would like to take the whole thread and use it as an example of conflict resolution and as a further example of what blogs can do in a positive constructive manner- regardless of POV or position. I come here every day for the information, writing and the comments and am always better for it. I did get uncomfortable with the recent tone of comments but am chuffed to see it get resolved in such a mature manner. All of us know that there are some horrific things being said on-line and with equally horrific consequences. So thank you all for restoration – now, can we just bloody sign Lacazette and get things going?

  11. As I’ve told Tim, his blog is the only one I read because it’s the only one I’ve found that managed through the years to be both entertaining and objective. I do feel the objectivity has been replaced by more emotion lately, and no, I don’t like it as much as I used to. That’s fine, it clearly hasn’t stopped me from coming here. As I said yesterday, its his blog and he writes what he wants. Also as I said yesterday though, I hope the fantastic followership he’s accumulated through the years doesn’t change on account of that change. I think we’ve already seen that it is slipping downward, and to me that’s because of the tone that is set in the blogs themselves. I’ve argued the same arguments on here many times but I’ve never been personally attacked until a few weeks ago, and I’m not the only one who’s gotten that treatment. That never used to happen on 7am.

    I think it has to do with how the blog itself has changed. Where there used to be more cautious conclusions based on data, there are now more and more conclusions based on the odd quote or internet source, or, even worse, sweeping proclamations based on nothing at all. That bothers me. I do think the community here is going to become more and more divided if the tone that Tim has set of late doesn’t change. I’m not asking for a change of opinion, merely a less black and white, less concrete way of saying things that doesn’t exclude alternate possibilities entirely.

    1. Agree with this, and says, in more articulate, measured terms, exactly what I was trying to say yesterday.

    2. Ok, so first of all, I’m actually writing with a lot LESS emotion about Arsenal now than ever before.

      When Arsenal were in the title race against Leicester and I was doing the “objective” analysis that you praise me for I was actually a true believer. I truly believed that at any minute Arsenal were going to start winning all the games, that Leicester was going to drop off, and that Arsenal would win the League. That was the most excited I have felt about Arsenal in 10 years. It was like being taken back in time to 2010 when I was one of the leading voices in the pro-Wenger internet. I wasn’t objective, dude, not at all. I was fervently pro-Arsenal.

      But Arsenal’s tactical woes continued and especially their defensive woes. Leicester meanwhile turned defense into a title. And I basically watched Arsenal’s title collapse in number form and in real time. I realized then that I’m not a reporter. I’m not a scientist. I’m just a dude who loves arsenal and who uses numbers, the convenient ones, the ones that I like, to sell myself the story that I want to believe about Arsenal.

      I’m not objective. Not in the least. I’m an Arsenal supporter and so are you. What you liked were my conclusions which supported your arguments. Now that I’m not supporting your arguments you say my writing is going downhill, that my tone has changed, that the forums have changed, and so on. I’m still the same. No less or more measured. No less or more objective.

  12. Imagine if this was happening in our house:


    Manager makes his frustration with the board over transfers public!
    Manager informs star striker he is not wanted via text!
    Star striker makes said text public!
    Manager is on vacation with his family during all this!

    You can give them a pass on account of recent success if you want but to me it just shows our problems are far from unique.

  13. Shout out to Blaustein for writing this and can I encourage anyone interested in visual art, photography or how iconic advertising/fashion images are put together to read his stuff over at aphotoeditor dot com.

    Wenger’s mantra in difficult times is “judge me in May” but the club provides no feedback loop for that process to happen. Places like this is where it happens, while the club shuts itself away and it all gets a bit Fight Club on this forum. Yes, I am blaming the club (mostly). We have no hard targets so we make stuff up as we go along – for example, no-one can tell me with any certainty that Wenger wouldn’t have stayed on if we’d lost the FA Cup final. I still can’t believe we experienced that funereal period after the Bayern defeat and the euphoric week after the FA Cup win all in one season. We’re just a weird, special club with a weird, special fanbase. We have to embrace it or go nuts trying.

  14. Doesn’t this seem like deja vu? Isn’t this why they call it silly season? Transfer window must be on the horizon

  15. As a regular reader i do often get annoyed by the negativity that seems to endlessly pervade, its also true that this blog offers some great writing and insight into the views of the fans generally,My particularly objections is that it is so clearly pointless and serves no worthwhile purpose,very few are rich enough to own the club so like it or not the “very” rich owner can employ who he wants, The manager is also a multi millionaire who has been in the job for over 20 years,clearly he is seen as competent by his employers, The CEO is another millionaire with similar credentials and the ground is full for 98% of fixtures, we can all sit and pontificate about why this is this or that way,who,why,what or when but the bottom line is the men at the top are happy with the progress and direction of the club, nothing good ever comes out of negativity,one of the main reasons none of the writers on here are millionaires is this common fault, then to fall back on it and view too many things from the wrong mindset.
    I will leave you with one thought, the next selfmade millionaire with a negative mindset you meet, will be the first!!!! because it does not happen, successful people are positive ambitious and open minded, the lessons are simple if you want to get on, see the good in things.
    Be lucky Phil x

    1. @Phil
      I see your point. Negativity can certainly be the enemy of ‘getting things done’ and can be counter productive.

      I would counter that refusal to acknowledge and engage with ‘negativity’, i.e. inconvenient truths, is how small problems are allowed to metastasize into huge ones. The prime example being the Japanese banking crisis. (Our banking/housing crisis also included a huge dose of criminal behavior so it’s a less clear example)

      Second, there are plenty of millionaires and billionaires who made their money through negativity. George Soros was negative on the British government’s ability to maintain the pound peg in European Exchange Rate System. He made over $1 billion shorting the pound when the BOE threw in the towel. There are more examples, John Paulson made about $4 billion shorting the subprime housing market. James Chanos shorted Enron successfully.

      Of course, I would also dispute the implicit assumption that wealth is the measure of success, much less proof that one is correct or wise, viz our president, but that becomes an extremely tedious ontological argument better left to other forums.

      All of that said, I prefer football analysis to negativity about the club. I’d rather read about what kind of players we need in order to play more successfully in our new system than how we’ll never sign them. I’d rather read about the subtle changes that Wenger made before going to 343 than how he is a jazz loving tactical dinosaur. And I’d much rather read about Tim’s daughter and his life than a rehash of the case against Wenger.

      1. I don’t equate negativity and inconvenient truth at all. An inconvenient truth may be to say that Arsene has probably not been a very good defensive organizer throughout his career. Negativity would be to say we will never with the title with Wenger because he can’t organize a defense. There’s a big difference between the two statements in my book. To me it’s about how you say it; do you leave room for doubt, and therefore, a difference of opinion, or do you phrase your claim in a way that leaves no room for discussion? The “always” and “never” statements belong in the latter camp.

      2. “I prefer football analysis to negativity about the club.”

        Leaving aside the fact that those two things can exist in one package, how do you define “negativity about the club?” Tim frisked Wenger tactically and found him to be not a good coach. That was both analytical and less than positive.

        “I’d rather read about what kind of players we need in order to play more successfully in our new system than how we’ll never sign them. I’d rather read about the subtle changes that Wenger made before going to 343 than how he is a jazz loving tactical dinosaur. And I’d much rather read about Tim’s daughter and his life than a rehash of the case against Wenger.”

        Sound to me like you’d rather not hear the tough stuff about the club, and the manager. No blog you read is under an obligation to deliver feelgood, just because — honestly speaking — some readers here bristle at any criticism of the manager and the club.

        Now and then Tim drops an article that doesn’t grab my fancy. So I wait for the next one. Here’s hoping, perhaps vainly, that contributors here stop hoping for an upbeat tone and engage on argument. Upbeat and positive is not where the gooner fanbase is now. As ever, I include the caveat/admission that these things are hard to measure with precision. You may not like the tone of some things said, but it resides squarely in the mainstream, IMO.

        1. Again, it’s not about the slant of the blog, it’s about the style of writing. Exclusionary “never” and “always” statements were not Tim’s meat and drink in years gone by. Quoting Adams and Dixon doesn’t pass as analysis for me. It’s about the tone most of all and the content to a lesser degree, but it’s not his view on Arsene that matters to me.

        2. @claude

          If you look at my second and third paragraphs again, you’ll see that I am in fact singing the praises of ‘negativity’ to the extent that it *reflects* reality. You could argue, as Dr. Gooner does, that this is not true ‘negativity’ and I would agree.

          I agree that there’s a big difference between negativity and reaching a negative conclusion based on analysis. It’s the difference between saying “we suck” and “here’s why we lost”. There’s a big difference between saying “Xhaka sucks because he’s slow and a red card magnet” and “Xhaka lacks foot speed, playing him as the midfield shield to the back four leaves him exposed. He’d do better at the base of a midfield diamond with three defenders behind, as this would reduce pressure on him to make last ditch tackles and allow him to play to his strengths.”

          Now let’s be honest. That’s a bit of a strawman, I don’t think Tim has ever said “Xhaka sucks” and I think the second idea is his. On the other hand, these kind of blanket generalizations are put forth all the time in the comments.

          I could define negativity as “irrationally defeatist attitude.” The kind that leads to cognitive distortions such as jumping to conclusions, e.g., “If we aren’t playing perfectly after the first 30 seconds of a game I’ll often say to my girlfriend, “that’s it, Arsenal are going to lose this match.”

          Again, let’s be fair. Those are Tim’s words. They suggest he is well aware of the dangers of negativity to cloud analysis and yet he has succumbed to it at times. His expectation for next year is “nothing” and to finish better than tenth place, despite having the fourth highest wage bill, winning 7 of our last 8 matches including both City and Chelsea in the FA Cup. Sorry, that’s not realism. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to bet me that we finish below 5th place, I’ll give you 2:1 and Tim can hold the money.

          I would also argue that saying I’d “rather not hear the tough stuff about the club, and the manager…” and I’m looking for “feelgood” is also strawmaning. What I’m looking for is balance and thoughtfulness. Writing that acknowledges that at this level there is no perfect knowledge and there are no guaranteed outcomes. Rather than assume that a choice you disagree with is stupid, try and understand why it was made and what calculations went into it, then judge it.

          And if it’s not already clear, well written thoughtful analysis is and has been the meat and potatoes of this blog and that’s why I’m here.

          1. Balance, you say. But you listed the things/topics/stories you don’t like hearing about. That’s not “balance.” You want your meal served a certain way, and don’t care for too much pepper sauce. You said so.

            A column can simultaneously be both thoughtful and trenchant. Where’s the dividing line between thoughtful and overheated? Seems to me it’s a conclusion and strength of argument that one doesn’t like.

          2. Rather I don’t care for cardboard slathered in pepper sauce, i.e., blind assertion, often a caricature, not backed up with facts, not built on logic, that rather than their argument slather on the “pepper sauce” of personal invective.

            If, on the other hand a nice piece of meat is sliced and diced, properly balanced with a vegetable or maybe some rice, then I’m more than happy to have it with chili sauce.

            To be explicit, bring evidence, be logical, be fair in considering alternative interpretations, then I’m more than happy to engage with negative conclusions.

            To be even more explicit. Saying, Wenger doesn’t do tactics, he sucks, we’ll never win while he is manager is cardboard with pepper sauce. Tim’s piece that our results with a back three might flatter to deceive because we were still giving up lots of shots and big chances was choice* ribeye sliced paper thin, grilled up just right. Whether you dip it in spicy ssamjang or savory samgyeopsal is a personal choice, it’s still delicious.

            Now you may be one of those true pepper sauce aficionados who claim that it rescues even shoe leather. Perhaps you own an interest in a pepper sauce factory or perhaps just can’t get enough of it. Then I would understand why you would relish cardboard au poivre. Perhaps it has even become an article of faith, a version of veganism if you will. You simply can’t stomach anything that doesn’t have pepper sauce, can’t cook with pots that have touched unpeppersauced food, can’t even break bread with people who don’t put pepper sauce on everything. In that case it wouldn’t be surprising if you looked askance at them, wondered if maybe they have one of those pretend allergies.

            If that is the case, have I got a cookbook for you.

            *not a prime beef because the sample sizes were too small for the differences to reach statistical significance.

  16. The freedom in intellectual discuss should never be restricted but at the same time it should never be taken as a license. Every one should be able to speak his truth, but caged in decency.

  17. Yeah, I’ve noticed the unpleasantness also. The blog may have become a little erratic lately, but the spiteful comments are completely uncalled for (and apparently unmodified), so back off & give Tim some room please.

  18. I dont comment that often but I am a regular reader of Tim’s. Best Arsenal blog out there. Better than Arseblog in the sense that, Tim’s blog has stats and more literary value !
    I also read the comments regularly and I wonder how old would everyone be and whether they would comment the same way in the real world or just do so because it is the internet.

  19. The thing that I have most admired in this blog is Tim’s willingness to accept that he could have been wrong and that he doesnt stick to one particular opinion. He most definitely does not sway with popular opinion.
    This season has been the toughest because a measure of indifference has crept in towards the arsenal. I couldnt care less about the outcomes of the games. There were times when I missed weddings or left early to catch Arsenal games but not anymore. Cant blame Tim for feeling the same way. If you dont like the way the blog is veering towards the negative, then head for untold arsenal !

    1. I don’t know if this is addressed to me, but I will address it regardless: I think you miss the point entirely. It’s not about the angle the blog has taken on Arsene and Arsenal; it’s the way arguments are being wrought. I’ve never been to Untold because I’m not interested in an echo chamber. I’m interested in objective football discussion. This blog used to be about that much more consistently than it is now.

  20. Thanks Jonathan for your contribution.
    I am very grateful for your hard work Tim.
    The writing is exquisite, enlightening and evocative on many levels. The emotion that comes through packs a real punch and over the years that roller coaster has been a great ride.
    Recently I personally have perceived a move toward more melancholic musings at times and seemingly indignant articles and posts at others. That is of course just how it reads to me and you can and should and will continue to write however and whatever you wish but over the past year or so I have become genuinely concerned about how you are doing generally based precariously on the snapshot I see from your writing here and my own fallible perceptions gleaned from it. I truly hope that your writing about Arsenal in particular is carthartic rather than unhealthy for you.
    As ever I look forward to the next piece of writing and once again thank you for your great work. I hope that you can find happiness and hope in Arsenal in the future and in life.

  21. “Tim used to be more positive and fact based in his opinion and I liked it a lot more when he was that way.

    The new Tim is too negative and is bringing the blog down, and his negativity invites other contributors to disrigard polite society’s debate rules blah blah blah blah!”

    Grow a thicker skin and enjoy the possibility to tell him he’s talking out of his a$$ when you feel he is , without being told by him to piss off if you don’t like his writing, which is exactly what you would be told on any other Arsenal blog by their proprietor.

    1. I was told just that. Instead, I gave him a donation. My comment addressed the topic of the day, which is that posters are Shidding themeselves and each other these days. That’s my 2c for why. You’re basically telling me to shut up and enjoy how good I’ve still got it, which is ironic because that’s often been my message others, including you, when you complain about the way the club is run. This has nothing to do with the thickness of my skin. I’m not offended. I am, perhaps, nostalgic for a time when we weren’t at each others’ throats.

      1. I’m not at all telling you to shut up, but I am saying make your argument against his views without whining about the blog itself.

        I’m a voracious reader- something you probably could not tell from my poor way of expressing myself, and the two most profound articles I’ve read this year anywhere, were both written by Tim.
        Granted, neither one was about Arsenal but that’s besides the point. I guess what I’m saying is take the good with the ‘bad’ And if the ‘bad’ becomes intolerable for you then stop reading and partaking in the discussion.
        Which would be a shame because I like your commentary, minus the whining.

        1. I’m not at all telling you to shut up, …. And if the ‘bad’ becomes intolerable for you then stop reading and partaking in the discussion


      2. Does it bother you when people tell you to shut up and enjoy the content? Which is the same message you give to others about the Arsenal?

        As for the nostalgia, I get that. However, as the club starts to fade in power (which is has) people will start to lash out at whatever they can. You telling people to shut up and enjoy the Arsenal is part of the problem of being at each other’s throats, isn’t it? If you want civility, you must project civility. Be the change you wish to see in the blog.

  22. Me and Jonathan are of a similar mindset- I started occasionally writing for Tim way back in 2008 as my small payback for the free content he gave me here.
    His blog is a reminder that on the Pacific Northwest coast there is a corner that is forever north London.

  23. I follow this blog more than I follow Arsenal.
    In fact, I’ve lost a bit of love for the club. And professional sports altogether. We’d be just fine if we stopped paying people millions to kick or throw or catch things. In the time I write this comment children will have died of malaria and starvation.
    But this blog has helped shape my own writing, has provided numerous hours of quality reading, and has ventured into wonderfully fascinating off topic directions.
    You are what you read.
    I’m more interesting when I read interesting content.

    My favorite fallacy (which I see in our political climate far too often here in the US) is petitio principii (or begging the question).
    In case anyone is unfamiliar, the writer or speaker assumes the statement under examination to be true. In other words, a statement using a premise to support itself.
    It’s our human nature to do this. It even has its benefits.
    But fallacy is poisonous to healthy dialog.
    This blog post is a good reminder, to myself included, to be more mindful and logical when debating.
    I appreciate greatly the author(s) of this blog.

  24. There ought to be a Godwins law relating to Untold Arsenal. It should never be referred to on an independent blog such as this without certain penalties.

  25. Although I’m a regular reader of this blog, I rarely comment partly because I’m not as erudite or articulate as some of the commentators here, partly because of laziness and partly because I’m not very insightful or analytical concerning football tactics.

    I used to be a fairly regular reader of another fairly well known arsenal blog which has consistently taken a Wenger Out stance for a fairly long time. I was trashed and hounded out of the comments section of that blog by the blogger himself and his faithful followers for daring to disagree with the author of the blog. The degree of nastiness, and poor quality arguments was staggering.

    I really love 7 am Kick off and tim’s writing and this is probably the only fan blog where I try to read as many comments as possible because the comments are so insightful, erudite and delivered in respectful and civil manner. I was a bit surprised to see that Tim took offence to some of the comments in the previous blog post and perceived them of launching personal attacks. I thought this was a bit unfair as some of the commentators were only putting forward opposing views. In any case, people still held onto their civility and continued to debate and argue in respectful terms with the occasional apologies wherever needed. so, hats off to all of you guys.

    Let us agree to disagree and continue to love Arsenal. Cheers guys.

  26. I have been online in some form for over almost 2 decades. Considering it’s about football(I have had reason to discuss 7am with at least 4 people without the slightest interest in football), the quality of content here – from everyone – is second to none, in my opinion. This is thanks to you, Tim. If you never wrote another piece here on, and I wanted to write my life’s story,it wouldn’t be complete without giving you a mention. And I very only been here about a year.

    Having said that, I don’t think you consciously cultivated this environment – forgive me if I am wrong. I think it is down to what you write and how you write it. Likewise the ‘slight’ change in contributors’ tones may be traced back to you and the ‘slight’ change in what and how you write of recent (This is made worse by the fact that we are all ‘victims’ of Arsenal’s failings). By ‘recent’ I mean about 2 to 3 months: that is when I started to notice the change and it started from your comments then your articles . This is more to make you aware than to blame you. Much like Arsene, you have created an environment.

    I am not sure but I think it’s partly because you have switched off from Arsenal, which has made the labor more pronounced than the love in this labor of love with respect to the situation at Arsenal. I think you have some decisions to make as I don’t think things will change soon.

    Whatever you decide, you have my heartfelt thanks.

  27. On Irish Tv the pundits were pretty critical of the Video Referees and how it was conducted.
    There’s problems for sure but I think it’s expected that there will be teething problems and mistakes. As far as I’m concerned it’s not about getting all calls correct, it’s about getting more calls correct than now.
    There does need to be better communication with the tv audience and the fans in the stadium. It’s not enough to just disallow goals. We need to know what’s being investigated and the reason for the final decision as it’s happening.
    Bound to be teething problems.

  28. Serious Q: What’s a “namaste correspondent”? Namaste is just a greeting like “hello!”.

  29. <3 Tim.

    Write your book already. I want it ony bookshelf. Don't care what it's about.

    1. ^This

      Dear Arsene Wenger,

      I have a friend who would like to follow you and the team for a year. He has been writing the best, most heartfelt Arsenal blog for the past nine years as well as a weekly column for Arseblog. The goal would be a book along the lines of Pep Confidential. If we crowd fund him and he signs a non-disclosure agreement not to publish anything during the season, would you give him access in your final year?


      The fans

  30. Hello All, another word for an avid reader who usually does not contribute comments. And I don’t, usually, contribute comments because I lack the analytical content, because I’m not a English native speaker, because I’m intimidated by the quality of most comments and feel I don’t have much to add. If I decided to post a comment this time, it is because, like a few others, I feel that, after a few harsh comments, Tim needs to be thanked for the work he does, for free, and the pleasure he brings in our lives (mine at least)I suppose that the iron discipline needed to support a blog of such consistent quality could start faltering if the tone of the comments becomes too hostile. And, for one, I would hate it if Tim was to give up! So for the record, thank you so much, Tim, for writing this blog, researching thoroughly, gathering a high level group and bringing it all to a higher level thanks to your writing talent.
    As far as the occasional disappointed undertone of some of Tim’s comments are concerned, I think it is perfectly acceptable. I put this under “editorializing”, under “sharing moods”. He does that when he speaks about topics other than Arsenal and I love it. And I don’t expect him to support every affirmation with an analysis. Nobody does really. It is just enjoyable reading! Also, to be honest, conveying that AW is no longer the man of the situation is a rationally acceptable position that does not explaining every single time. The arguments have been developed at length and I suppose that at this point in time, one can express this position without having to justify it in details every single time. The AW out camp has been fed in its position by a series of facts that finally lead to a conclusion which for these people becomes an opinion. Those facts are the results, the results against strong teams, the weak streaks, yes, the comments of former players, tactical changes, statistical facts, financial comparisons,… you name them. It is all there and a post which assumes that these are known and expresses a mood, a disappointment are totally acceptable and not necessarily irrational or lacking analysis.
    Anyway, thanks to you Tim. Keep writing!

    1. Great comment dude.

      One of the things that so difficult when discussing Arsenal these days that doesn’t really compare to another club is the length of time Arsene has been manager which means that discussing aspects of the team in detail and the state of the club in general usually necessitates talking about 20 years of achievements/results and the changing face of football worldwide in that time.

      Whether we’re happy with Arsene or feel he’s no longer the best man for the job I think most of us are tired of having the same disagreements about the same things every year.

  31. Hey Tim, not to put more on your plate, but since it really is silly season, I was wondering if you had any plans to take a look at some of these new proposed rules?


    I’d be interested in what folks like, what they don’t like, and how they think particular changes would impact the way we play. I imagine some things would suit us, and others wouldn’t.

    Hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!

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