I have been a friend of Total Arsenal, the Major Domo of Bergkampesque, for approximately three years, since we first chatted and spectacularly fell out in a misunderstanding over nothing at all, while chatting on another respected blogsite we then both frequented.
After this uncertain start, we soon formed a strong and lasting bond and discussed football, and Arsenal in particular from dawn till dusk, and quickly realized that we had similar, if slightly nuanced views, on the best club in the world.
That, however, did not stop me from being entirely provocative, on occasion, like other fiery, forthright bloggers nowadays. I sometimes, for example, claimed to give credence to certain controversial matters just so that I could argue with TA, because his agile mind and brilliant grasp of English fascinated me, and enabled me to cross verbal swords with him without fear of it offending either of us.
TA’s grasp of Arsenal’s strategic and tactical team innovations together with his superb football knowledge is, as you know, second to none, and quite confounded me on many occasions, though he would always deny this in his usual unassuming way.
He was the author of many excellent Posts for the other blog site, on these and other matters, as well as writing first class match reports, and when he did there was no more avid fan than me in wanting to read his latest musings, and this desire to read the views expressed in his Posts has continued on to BK, and I know you all feel the same way.
Somewhat uniquely, he also engaged with me in discussing non-footie related matters too, primarily in the lulls when international matches were played, and the resultant discourses on poetry, science, mathematics, philosophy and humour were wonderful interludes, stretching the mind and enlivening the interests of many of the other good guys when the ‘dreads’ (boring disaffected, miserable gits) were belching out their unwanted, misanthropic views on everything and anyone associated with Arsenal.
It is now the first anniversary of Bergkampesque, this fantastic website, and from a quiet start it has quickly found its own unique place in Arsenal blogdom, with a brilliant bunch of bloggers from all over the world, who ‘own’ the site, and not only engage in some wonderfully insightful comments, but also help TA by writing some of the very best Posts that can be read anywhere.
Indeed, the repartee, the cut and thrust of the comments, the amazing footie knowledge of so many of you, leavened with the wit of some of the most amusing scallywags that were ever born or hatched, has produced an amazing forum for people with respectfully differing viewpoints based on the platform of each participant’s deep love of the club.
So, what has transpired in footie over the turbulent time line since the birth of BK?
Well, last September, after what had been a stunning summer Olympic Games in London, surprise, surprise, after a shaky start to the Premier League fixtures for us following the summer departure of RvP to Manure, a halt was called to the fun and games so that the bloody footie Internationals could mess up our real football enjoyment, and new boss Woy Hodgson was being exalted by the Media to show ex-boss Capello just how England should play. Hmmm.
Sadly, some dirty washing was also being done in public when John Terry was called to account for alleged racist comments made to the younger Ferdinand, with comparisons being drawn with the odious Suarez and Evra race row! Urggh.
In October, Moyes was being bummed up as a great manager amid forecasts that Everton could finish in fourth place and bounce Arsenal out of the top four, while the Balotelli bandwagon ground on with even more naughtiness from a gifted but flawed footballer.
Oh, and Serbia were accused of racism for their disgusting antics against black England U21 footballers. Oh dear, when will people learn that this behaviour is totally unacceptable?
In November, Mark Hughes was under the cosh at Fulham, and Di Mateo was shown the red card by Abramovich with Benitez apparently lined up as the ‘Interim’ manager. While back at the ranch, West Ham, Leyton Orient and the execrable Spurs were squabbling about the now unneeded, white elephant Olympic Stadium.
Meanwhile, in the background, the ramifications and discussions regarding the implementation of the FFP rules were quietly bubbling away. Ho hum!
December saw the announcement of a new sponsorship deal for the Emirates naming rights, followed by the first mention of a £70m transfer war chest for the upcoming transfer windows, and which was then widely dismissed as bollox by many, on the grounds that RvP would not have left Arsenal if he knew they were going to splash serious dosh in the coming summer, and implying that Gazidis and Wenger were lying.
How wrong they were!
January, February and March were uncompromisingly dreary months starting with ‘Arry Redknapp blowing transfer money willy-nilly on every Tom, Dick and Harry in the wheeler dealer frenzy he is infamous for, followed by Rio Ferdinand getting shirty with John Terry and being given the boot from the England team – or was he?
Oh, and Red Nose Fergie put out the first feelers for Bale to Manure – RvP, Rooney and Bale.
Ho, Ho – Manure were lucky to hang on to Rooney in the final analysis.
April saw England wetting themselves as their chances of getting through to the World Cup finals started to totter, and Suarez became vampire-like in his taste for Ivanovich’s blood.
But hold on – the FA showed some balls, to the amazement of some of us, and dished out a 10 match ban to Suarez for cannibalism – yet according to Brendan Rogers it was just a love bite between mates. Where was the FA’s sense of romance?
May dawned and – well bugger that, I am not going to tell you who won the EPL, The CL or the Europa Cup – you already know, and I don’t give a stuff.
The summer saw a drawn out and very angst driven, frustrating game of ‘will he, won’t he’ over player transfers, and you know what transpired at the last knockings – we bought the best bloody No. 10 in the whole world – Mesut Ozil!! Just go and ask the self named ‘Special’ One, if you don’t believe me. Maureen now claims that having signed Ozil we are serious competitors for the EPL — as if we needed his say so!
Now in September, a year later, we are back into the month of the flipping football Internationals, again, and the only games worth watching involved the Germans and our man Ozil.
Quite a year, one way and another, and all you guys were part of it with your great Posts, your incisive comments and your burning passion.
In that respect, what makes the BK bloggers different, which in turn makes the essence of BK different from other sites?
From my perspective: as Gooners, it does not mean that we think everything is prefect with our team or our management, what it does mean is that we have decided to look beyond their imperfections, and we still love the Arsenal!
So let’s look forward to many more, happy blogging years on BK, this special site set up by TA and with its great bunch of bloggers!
Here’s to TOTAL ARSENAL, to BERGKAMPESQUE, and to all YOU LOT!!
Written by: Red Arse.