East Lower is 10. What now?

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Amidst all the excitement and palpitating hearts of yesterday, it dawned on me that today is worth noting (for me, at least). So that’s what I’m doing below.


Welcome to East Lower, an Arsenal site for men who have recently waved goodbye to their twenties and are dashing headlong into their Grumpies. If, like me, you err on the side of caution – bordering on pessimism – then this blog might just be of interest to you.

So I wrote on May 20th, 2003 – my first ever East Lower blog post. And there you have it. Ten years of writing this blog. Bloody hell. It was as matter-of-fact a start as could be (and PS – what was I thinking aiming it only at men? It’s not like this blog is 40 years old. Womankind, please accept my apology). Back then I was but a stripling, and now I’m gone forty. Then, I had neither children, nor grey hair nor a bad back. Now I’m juggling all three.

I kicked the thing off just after we’d beaten Southampton in the FA Cup – our third consecutive final – and just in advance of perhaps Arsenal’s best-ever season. Good timing! Like many people I was an avid reader of stalwarts like Arseweb, but the let’s-blog-a-bit thinking came of course from Arseblog, who’s still at it hammer and tongs. How does he do it?

So in these ten years I have had the pleasure of a league title and another FA Cup in 2005, two lost European finals (2000 and 2006) and two defeats in the Milk Cup final (2007 and 2011). A good haul for ten years? Probably is, if you look at Arsenal’s history as a whole. But given where we were in 2004, and all the way back from there to about 1987, then I suppose it’s been pretty frustrating too. Since ‘Charlie’s final’ in 1987 until 2005 we never waited more than four years for a pot. We’re now on a niner. When you’re used to caviar and all that…

My live archives only go back to 2005, thanks to a monumental tech balls-up, but I do have the archived content sitting in a zip file (thanks to Arseblog Tom, so thanks, Arseblog Tom). Maybe one day I’ll get round to including them here. But given it’s taken me eight years and I’ve done nought – maybe not, too.

There have been some big moments though. This was quite good, which I wrote on 26th April 2004:

I, for one, have never seen an Arsenal team so rich in talent, so spirited, so great to watch as this one. We have played football that I have never seen played before. It’s been a stupendous season, a record-breaking season, and one which we must savour while we can. This kind of joy does not come along on buses.

Then the cup, against the run of play to be frank, in 2005:

To anyone offended by a profanity-screeching flat-capped lunatic, it was me, and I apologise.

There was the disappointment in Paris:

It was one of those days you’re just not going to forget. It’s taken us this many years to make a European Cup final, and now, having been there and experienced it, I can see what all the fuss is about.

And to continue a theme, the nadir of the Milk Cup in 2011:

It was a big test, and we failed it.

Thierry’s comeback goal was good, we’ve had non-stop European football, but now I’m plucking stuff from nowhere. As is the way with football, it’s a decade that has been peppered with both the glorious, the ignominious and all the stuff in between.

So what now?

Ten years is a long time and it’s fair to say that my enthusiasm has waned. Not for Arsenal – though the groundhog seasons do grind – but I’m definitely writing fewer and fewer posts. I started out with almost daily guff, but now fortnights come and go and I write nothing at all. So I did think about going out with a bang today, stopping right now, ten years thanks very much and goodnight.

But I’m not sure I’m ready to drop it completely – we shall see.

So anyway, enough of my self-flagellation. Thanks for reading (regularly – or a bit – or just the once – even by mistake).

Ten years. Blogging for 7.87% of Arsenal’s history. It really has motored past.

*puts on party hat*


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. DarkUFO

    Here’s to the next 10 years 🙂 and hopefully a fcking trophy before that milestone passes lol

  2. Goonerista

    Congrats man, been reading you for almost a decade. Cheers.

  3. East Lower

    Not sure I will manage another decade… but agree with the trophy sentiment!

  4. Luke Davis

    When you think about the decade in those terms it doesn’t look TOO bad but in a couple of years if nothing’s changed in our cabinet the noughties will go down as a pretty vacant space. Great effort on the ten years blogging! Having started my own blog at http://shootsyscores.blogspot.co.uk/ around seven months ago you’ve inspired me to try and keep it up for as long as I can!

  5. Zero

    Who wants trophies, when we can read your blog! Cheers & congratulations!

  6. disqus_o6kTZIn6bN

    Have been reading since near the beginning. I believe I followed a link from Arseblog all those years ago.

  7. disqus_o6kTZIn6bN

    Congrtas on the 10 years and try to keep it going. You’re often a life buoy of sense and calm when things are going to sh*te!

  8. East Lower

    Sounds about right. Gawd bless him and his links.

  9. PDDD

    Well done mate. Quite an achievement. Fair play to you for keeping your standards up over the years. Shame the manager & his team haven’t done the same……

  10. East Lower

    Well, it’s been a bit up and down. Both my writing and the team… but thanks!

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