Long time and all that.
May 13. The final day of the league season and the last time I wrote anything on this blog. Been a while, hasn’t it? I have to say, I never fail to be impressed by bloggers who manage to maintain a regular routine of reading, analysing and writing, without taking long breaks to recharge, particularly when so many do it for free. Some achieve a small modicum of income, others have ambitions of making it in the traditional journalism space, but the vast majority do it purely out of a love for the subject upon which they write.
You’ll see many of those to the left of this post – writers who keep us entertained even when there are merely scraps of news to discuss. Have a click, have a read – they are all worth it, I promise you.
As for me, well I definitely needed the break. Since last autumn I have been doing a mixture of long hours, side projects and mammoth commuting (getting up at 4am every day for six months is not something I particularly want to repeat). Work, family, and driving thousands of miles in a few months left precious little time for anything else, notably this blog, upon which my scrawlings have been seen just sixteen times this year. A little less than impressive, you might say.
Why do you care, I hear you ask? Well, you are here right now, which means you are either a reader from back in the days when I actually wrote regularly, or you are someone having a poke around for something new to read. Or, you are immensely bored. Whatever your reasons, I hope you stick around – from today, The Beautiful Groan becomes a daily blog. Yes, you read that correctly. Daily.
It is amazing how much extra time you get when you don’t have to drive five hours every day just to get to work and back.
So what can you look forward to, if you do return? Over the next couple of days I will be looking back over the season, the highs and lows, the success (or otherwise) of my pre-season predictions and do something of an analysis of the state of the club at this point in time. In addition, I’ll be looking forward to (and making predictions for) the European Championships, focusing on the Arsenal interest in particular. Whatever you may think of internationals during the season (and I despise them passionately) – the tournaments themselves are always fun, largely because the format ensures that shocks are likely, rather than the Champions League group stages, for example, through which the big teams always progress. What’s that, Manchester?
So what have I missed? Not a lot, it seems. Some clubs have signed some players. Some players have revealed themselves to be pricks. Some managers have abandoned their existing contracts to move on to bigger clubs, where they will presumably extol the values of loyalty amongst the playing staff. Harry Redknapp is still talking nonsense from his car window. Billionaires are still flagrantly ignoring Financial Fair Play. UEFA still have no backbone. Fans are in uproar that no progress has been made on transfers and contract negotiations involving players expressly banned from engaging in them until the Euros are over. And the transfer window hasn’t even opened yet.
Hop on. It could be a fun summer.