Merry Christmas and A Year In The Life

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Dec 24th, 2012

I’ve been a blogger for a couple of years but it has only really been this year that my blog, North London Is Red, has taken off and grown in popularity.

I am extremely grateful for every reader that I have had this year and want to take a moment to say thank you to you all and wish you a most wonderful Christmas wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

This year has been a huge journey for me as a blogger from starting the year with 7 twitter followers and about 100 reads of my blog (on the old domain) in 8 months to having over 3600 followers and 300k+ reads of my blog on this domain since May.

I’ve had a really good year in the blogosphere and a lot of thanks has to go to many of my fellow bloggers and tweeters for helping me gain so many new readers and followers to interact with.

It’s not only been a journey of popularity, it has also been a journey of emotions as following Arsenal always is so I thought I’d use this opportunity to take a look back at my journey through 2012 in blogs.

I didn’t blog in January or December 2012 in fact and thought about not bothering with it all. My last post in November 2011 didn’t go down well at all. It was a post about Santos and only 3 people read it and two of those took the time to tell me what a #@£$%! I am.

My first blog in February came after the 4-0 loss to AC Milan and I wondered where it all went wrong. A bit of a moan from me but it was the start of the new era of NLIR.

After the emphatic 5-2 win against Spurs I wrote about it just being one result and that we should use it as a platform to 3rd not consider it a done deal. I finished the month by pondering what was next for the team should they use the 5-2 as a platform.

March started for me with a blog about coping with being knocked out of the Champions League. I felt that our outstanding performance and almost-resurrection would give the team some pride and confidence that would allow them to push on rather than allow a bad result knock all the wind from them as had happened with almost every season since 2007.

I discussed the team needing minor tweaks and what targets we should be looking at however wedged between that was my first RvPrick face-palm moment as I blogged vociferously how “Capt VanTastic” would stay. What a deluded mug I was.

I finished March with a post about how great I felt the team spirit was and how I feel we make too many contractual mistakes with young players and put Ox’s reported pay-rise under scrutiny.

I kicked April with a post about wanting to be entertained first (& why Barca bore the pants off me) and how winning trophies would mean less if we played like Stoke all the time and wondered if signing someone like Drogba would bring back some winning mentality.

In the middle of April something snapped and I just couldn’t listen to the anti-Ramsey vitriol any more and decided to plea to my fellow Gooners to get off his back.

I finished the month with two Barca themed post. First discussing life after Arsenal having watched Cesc continually play out of position at Barca and have Alcantara start ahead of him when both Xavi and Iniesta were out of the team. Second, dreaming about Pep spending at year at Arsenal as Wenger’s number two, learning from the great man, passing on his Barca techniques and maybe even taking over next season.

May was a huge month for me. After picking up my first 20’000 readers on my old domain I decided to launch on May 3rd. It was also my biggest blogging month with 18 posts!

My first post wasn’t actually Arsenal related. It was about Hodgson being named England manager and sending my congratulations and commiserations all in one.

My first post on the new domain was Star Wars themed, discussing the team and looking forward to finishing 4th.

He was supposed to destroy the dark side not join them

My next post was a plea to the fans to make some noise and positive atmosphere at the ground and discussing how much influence we truly have when we chant at the ground.

My next two posts combined had over 20’000 reads and were by far my most epic and most researched blogs to date. I discussed finances in a blog I called Financial Foul Play and it’s sister blog talked about wages and transfer spend.

Two of my next four blogs, acquisitions and bargain hunting, actually resulted in me receiving a few death threats which I was assured mean I had “arrived” as a blogger. Yay me.

Sandwiched between those death threats were blogs about RvPenis which included this unfortunate video I complied like a love-sick teenager.

I finished my mega month on a Arsenal finishing 3rd high with blogs about Wenger still having it in the transfer market, wondering how bad our “dead-wood” really were and the curse of the number 9 shirt and its multiples.

I started June off with a lyrical change up of the “That’s the way it is” song asking if Arsenal fans really know what they want when they ask for “big” names.

NLIR then flashed-back to the days of Swap-Shop and looked at swap-shop-esque deals for Arsenal. After that I indulged myself with a tribute to my childhood hero, Ray Parlour. My Ray Parlour piece was sadly one of my least read blogs of 2012 and not befitting the man’s legend in my opinion.

I finished the month by giving our deluded neighbours a history lesson and then discussed how Giroud et al could smash it up in a 3-5-2/WM formation.

Prior to THAT statement I wrote a few blogs around RvPrick but we’ll skip over that as I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough.

July was very much my tactical month as I discussed the idea of Santi joining to play on the wing to allow Theo to move central. I also did an epic piece on Mertesacker which was widely ridiculed at the time but I’m glad to see how valued Mertesacker has become since. I finished the month with a huge defence of our defence which made it onto the official website, a proud moment for me. My greatest pride actually came from the amount of discussion that piece generated because that’s why I blog.

August started with a lyrical waxing of Wenger’s ability to pick up sensational players for pittance after the arrival of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla for less than Carroll cost Liverpool. It then led on to a plea to Gervinho to stop playing like a soggy biscuit. It was a very unpopular post and so many jumped to his defence and pull out the “top-scorer” card. I wonder how many would still defend him?

I said goodbye to Robin with some help from Oscar Wilde and said why I felt we’d score more without him. I also welcomed  with my favourite guest post to date.

September was the biggest month of my life to date. It was the month that @PoznanInMyPants finally wiped the floor with me in terms of twitter followers and deservedly so and it was also the month that I tied the knot. I only wrote two blogs myself and neither are really worth a mention but I did enjoy the debate that this Theo piece generated.

October was another quiet month for me. Business was busy and I’d just come back from “mini-moon” so I didn’t blog much but I did manage to start a twitter war over my dislike of international football and wishing that our squad was full of Arteta’s and not just because the twitter was so lame. With the news of Adidas circling Ashburton Grove I took a day to talk about our German connection and also started a new war with my Ashley Cole blog. Oh dear.

November started with my claims that we could beat United and then a good old groan about priorities and lack of effort when the team didn’t beat United. My good friend @_ArmchairGooner calmed things down with a timely and wise blog about supporting the club instead of getting angry.

I snapped again in late November and couldn’t handle the twitter-insania claiming that overseas fans weren’t real fans or the asinine anti-Ramsey stuff so jumped to the defence of overseas fans and attempted to share my odd humour with a jokey #BlameRamsey post.

December has been a low-activity month for me. This is only my third blog this month and let’s be honest, it’s a lazy mishmash of my other works of art (modest much… hell no! ;-)).

I spoke earlier in the month about paying Theo what he wants and the statistical importance of Jenkinson and had another lame play on words with my Armageddon piece on Friday.

It’s been a funny old year and I’ve had periods where my positivity was boundless and other times when I just couldn’t defend the performance of the team no matter how hard I tried.

Well my dear readers, that’s all from me this year I think and I want to thank you for taking the time to relive this wonderful year with me. Without you this blog would be nothing.

Here’s hoping 2013 is another golden year for NLIR but hopefully tinged with a bit of silver.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading and for all your support this year! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan).


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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

10 Responses to “Merry Christmas and A Year In The Life”

  1. Frimponged says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too, Daniel!

    Keep up the great work!

  2. ciansblogs says:

    Well done mate,deserve all the plaudits you get for your great work throughout the year.

  3. Well done mate. You’re always an entertaining read and have salvaged my Met Line commutes back to Uxbridge on more than one occasion. We need to get you along to a few games in the new year and I’m always knocking around the rocket when you are, so make sure you buzz me.

    You’ve managed to challenge my own thoughts on some players and for that I am most certainly grateful.

    Keep it up buddy.


  4. G says:

    All the best for 2013 , keep up the great work on NLIR !!!!!

  5. HaHaHerbert says:

    Well done Daniel…..I may not always agree with your posts but they are both very readable and amusingly mundane…..Season’s Greetings and keep up the great work!

  6. I thought that ‘Armchair Gooner’ piece in November was a fucking disgrace.

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