"At the time when we were regularly finishing in the top two in the league, it was commonplace to see outrageous skill. Sublime passing moves. Pace and power. But even when we started to drop off, after the Invincibles were disassembled and our position slipped to third and fourth, there were still unmistakable moments of class. That's what got me excited for every weekend and got me out of bed at god-awful hours to get myself down to the pub for early kickoffs, or an hour or more early to beat the crowd for the clashes with United. Those moments inspired the drawings in my blog.
"In some ways, these recent lean years are even more inspiration. Now the internet is a quite different place. A lot more opinion is voiced and far more vitriol. I myself fall into that category at times. In the last year or so it has reached a zenith. Coming home from a capitulation against a newly promoted side or throwing away a two-goal lead to the local enemy had a severe effect on my mood. Like many others, I vented on discussion boards and blogs, and ran into quite a number of keyboard warriors in my time.
"I spent too much time on the BBC 606 board, especially sparring with disgruntled Gooners and United supporters. The consensus seemed to be that despite the quality of football Arsenal have played these last several years, it will be forgotten because there have been no trophies. I strongly disagree. I remember these moments of footballing skill, and I draw them. I spend time on them, rendering them by hand, working them over for many hours. Drawing these players reminds me why I love football, and in particular, why I love the Arsenal."
Whether you give two hoots about Arsenal or not you'll want to see more from Brian at 11 Cannons.