In ten years time we’ll all be laughing our heads off

Of course you could all be laughing at me (if you remember me at all) but the fact is that in ten years it will be possible to go back and look at the blogs and commentaries of a few years before, and look at how stupid all the commentators were.

At the risk of making myself the laughing stock, here’s my prediction.

In nine or ten years people will go back and find all those anti-Denilson pieces of one year ago (the time when you might have been mistaken for saying that his name was “Lightweight Denilson” – every newspaper from the Sun to the Independent used to phrase, and laugh and laugh at the crass idiocy of journalists.

There he stands, the captain of Brazil, one of the greatest players ever to grace the famous shirts, and they read what British journalists said about him.  And to be truthful, what some Arsenal fans said about him.

This site has always been pro-Denilson and I see no reason to change – but it is only now in our history that we have this chance of looking backwards and seeing just how people saw the world in the past.

What did the average fan think of Woolwich Arsenal 100 years ago?

Bottom of the league, on the edge of bankruptcy, the only good thing we had going for us was the simple fact that we had just managed a 1-1 draw away at Sheffield Wednesday, and now in mid November had six points after 13 games.

One of our many problems was a lack of centre forward.  Our opening choice HG Lee had managed 2 games before injury and ended the season with six appearances and two goals.

After that we had tried the big centre half in the number 9 shirt.  And now the word was out – for the next game it was going to be another newcomer.  MT McKeller.  In the league McKeller played 3 and scored 1, and that was it.  He played in the two FA Cup matches of the season and scored one there.  And that was it.  He came from Kirkintulloch Harp (anyone got anything on that club?) and according to the records I can find, never played for anyone else ever again.  At least not professionally.

Oh what it would be like to know the commentary of the supporters of the day.  One unknown player follows another into the club, plays a few games, and then goes again.  What did the man on the terrace say?

My suspicion, which I have voiced here before, is that the club simply allowed men who had moved from Glasgow to the armaments factory and who had played for someone in the north, to turn out for a game.  I also think that Arsenal were desperate.

The names of these players don’t live on – they are just names in the record book from now on, although I am trying to piece together little bits of their lives, and where I do find something I have on occasion added it to the biography of players.

But how wonderful it would be to know more.

So there we are. 100 years ago to the day, the unknown McKellar was training with the lads, ready to make his first ever appearance for the Arsenal in his short lived career.  The game was to be at home to Bristol City at the weekend.

Where did he live?  Did he have a wife, a lover, children?  Was he a drinker and smoker, a God-fearing man, kind-hearted…

All these people who have graced our club over the years, and their details lost for ever…

I have tried to bring some of the spirit of the age back to life in MAKING THE ARSENAL, and the reason I wrote it as a novel and not as a dry history book is because it allowed me the chance to give a little life to some of the characters I came across.   If you haven’t seen the book, and if any of this seems like fun, you can buy it direct from the publishers at – or via Amazon (although they seem to have run out of stock today).

Meanwhile on UNTOLD ARSENAL at the moment is the issue of what we should do about UEFA.

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