Arsenal FC Blog 09/10 launch: Spanish Fry has left the building

Spanish Fry has left the buildingWay back on the 5th of June I announced that I was taking a little break from blogging until the completion of Emirates Cup. At the time I felt I needed to take some pressure off and have a bit of mental rest for while, although I admit I posted quite a bit over the past couple of months, I can now confirm that I am well and truly back on a day-to-day basis for what should be a very exciting 2009/10 season.

As today is the official re-launch, I wanted to take some time to inform everyone of my plans for the season ahead as well as the changes that have been made to allow these plans. I am well aware that we, as humans, are somewhat scared of change so before I do run through through these changes I want to make it very clear that every single one of them I have made are with the direct goal of improving the quality of the blog and the growth of the community who make it so successful.

As always, I’m very interested in what people think – in this case particularly those who are regular readers or subscribers and have been following the blog for a while – so be sure give me your opinions on the changes via the comments. Thanks.

Change #1 – Spanish Fry has left the building

When I started blogging about Arsenal just under two-and-a-half years ago at the age of 21 I had very little idea of where it would take me or what sort of long-term impact it would have on my life. But now, going into what will be the third season of writing about Arsenal I can safely say that the impact has been huge.

The Arsenal FC Blog has become a daily commitment (and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that!) while I will be launching my second blog (Football Nomad – a football-focused travel blog) in just under a month. I have begun to pursue blogging and related activities with the intention of making a full-time career out of it and as a result, have decided to shed the pseudonym of Spanish Fry for my real name. Using my actual name means that journalists will take me more seriously (I hope) and my mum’s friends will actually believe her when she tells them what her son does for a living. So here goes…

My name is Andrew Weber and I am the creator, editor and head writer of the Arsenal FC Blog. I’m 23 years old, have an undergraduate in Psychology and currently work four days a week in Community Mental Health. As well as football, travel and psychology, I like good music (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkeys and Yeah Yeah Yeahs amongst many, many others) and Johan Djourou. I’m from sunny Brisbane all the way down in sunny Australia and ‘yes’, that bearded, scruffy man in the photo on the left is me.

I have to say I’ve enjoyed being Spanish Fry for this long – but it had to end sometime and now is as good as any. As a result of the change I look forward to many insults about being related to Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as continual confusion when readers call me ‘AW’ in the comments and start mixing me up with Arsene Wenger.

Change #2 – Arsenal FC Blog joins Football Media

It gives me great pleasure to say that the Arsenal FC Blog has recently become part of the Football Media network. FM is a brilliant initiate which seeks to build communities and pool resources between football-focused blogs to allow partners to make big improvements on their blog. In the case of the Arsenal FC Blog, FM will be providing contacts (such as journalists and other bloggers) and networking opportunities as well as promotional and technical assistance with managing the blog. 

A few examples of the way that FM will benefit this blog are (1) providing inside information regarding potential transfers, (2) providing potential guests for the Arsenal FC Weekly podcast, perhaps rival supporters or even respectable journalists and (3) running a Fantasy Football competition for all partners and their readers with some really great prizes on offer (think digital cameras, football kits, even trips to Premier League games).

In short, it was a privilege to be asked to join the network and I am very excited about FM’s potential of assisting in making this blog a more interesting and informative Arsenal source going forward.

Change #3 – Weekend posts to return

One of the biggest changes for the blog will be the return of 7-day-a-week posting and the more consistent structure of the daily posts. Mondays will contain full match reports as well as the Arsenal FC Weekly podcast; Tuesdays will be for weekly guest posts; Wednesdays and Thursdays will be typical news posts or midweek match reports while Fridays will include detailed match previews as well as semi-regular preview podcasts when there is an important game.

The biggest change will of course be the weekends: Saturdays will include any late team news as well as a series of links to good articles I’ve read throughout the week while Sundays will simply include Video Highlights of the weekend games. I tossed up the idea of providing match reports the day after a game (usually Sunday) but I typically like to take some time out to analyse a game before I speak about it, so in that regard I think keeping reports until Monday works well.

Change #4 – Arsenal FC Weekly podcasts to be bigger, better

The Arsenal FC Weekly podcast – of which I released three episodes of towards the end of last season (including a season review) – will become a consistently weekly feature in 09/10. Each podcast will be around 20-25 minutes long discuss the week all things Arsenal with my brother (Panda Bear) and other appropriate guests (readers of the blog, opposition fans, journalists). 

I want to make the podcast as community-focused as possible this year – which means I’ll be looking to speak with regular readers as much as possible as well as discussing various comments and emails that people send in throughout the year. The first podcast of the season will be published on the blog next Monday and will include a full preview of the 09/10 season as well as an interview with a very special guest.

Change #5 – Community changes

The thing that I believe sets the Arsenal FC Blog apart from most of the other football blogs online is the quality of the community that has developed. I’m proud to say that the community on this blog is a completely international one where readers from every corner of the world are allowed to give their opinion without any fear of being unfairly criticised. The respect that people show on the Arsenal FC Blog is immense and I sincerely hope that it stays the same way this season and beyond.

Community is perhaps the most important aspect of this blog and I will be looking to grow things not only online, but offline as well in 09/10. Being from Australia I am going to be actively participating with Arsenal Australia to promote game day (night or early morning over here!) events around the country for Aussie supporters via the Arsenal FC Blog’s Facebook Fan page. I strongly encourage supporters who are hosting events around the world – be it Malaysia, France or Kenya – to get in touch with me and use this page to promote the event and help grow the worldwide Arsenal community.

Additionally, if you ever want to chat to me one-on-one via Facebook or Twitter you can do so by adding/following me. I’ll still go by the name Spanish Fry on these accounts to avoid mix-ups with my personal account but I’m always delighted to speak with Arsenal fans from all over the globe. Just click the Facebook/Twitter links above to get in touch.

* * *

And that’s it really. Before I go I just want to reiterate how much I enjoy running the Arsenal FC blog and how much I enjoy the interactions I get to have with you guys, the readers, both via the comments on the blog and direct conversations via Twitter and Facebook. All your kind words and support over the past couple of years has been most appreciated and I sincerely hope things will only get better in 09/10 and beyond.


PS. There will be a more football-focused post in a couple of hours. I’ll be talking about the Emirates Cup and various transfer possibilities so stay tuned.

Let me know about the Arsenal FC Blog’s re-launch and changes by leaving a comment.



  1. *chants to the beard:* “We are not worthy!”

    Glad to see the announcement at last. All the best with some very exciting developments.

  2. Top notch, Andrew. 🙂

    Very much looking forward to the evolution of AFC blog and admire and appreciate all that you put into it. The blog is absolutely MUST READ for all true Gooners, and the podcast should soon rank right up there with Arseblog in entertainment value. It’s going to be a fun ride!

  3. @ Jammathon – Thanks mate. I really, really, really need to shave my beard – and will do so soon.

    @ TheSKAGooner – Thanks mate. It’s going to be weird getting used to me calling me that, even if it is my actual name.

  4. G’day AW. So, what happened to that song? ‘It’s my time, it’s my time’?? 🙂

  5. good luck the fly that has left the house,fully enjoy the benefits of proper identity!
    Boy,you look so hairly!!! like the guy in the movie—“into the wild”,am loving it. He was adventerous,guess you are!!!
    You know,i grew up in Africa,i have good memmories of white tourists that came over,let free of everything,allowed their beards grow long,hairly body,won shorts and slippers,hugged and kissed on the streets yet for us,we were expected to be neat,smart with ironed clothes and tucked in shirts.I dreaded this,i always wanted to be free,now living in a foreign country,am totally free but still scared to wear a beard like yours!!! Good luck my bearded friend,great you are leaving the house but not into the wild!! You have to forgive me for not talking about football here but i check about the blog several times a day!!!

  6. @Spanish Fry

    I know what ya mean. After two years of military service and 4 years of uni it took me a really long time to get used to people saying my real name instead of my nickname. For some reason, the name “Barn” (short for Barney Rubble from the Flintstones cartoon) doesn’t inspire confidence in clients when you’re asking them to spend a couple million dollars on an IT project.

    Too bad that. I rather liked the nickname Barn.

  7. You may be coming out of the closet… But, hell! I’m not.
    Panda Bear will remain.

  8. Good to read a good blog from Australia their all manc fans over here

    c’mon the aussie gooners

  9. Nice work AW. Just don’t excpect us to start calling you “the professor” or “le boss” just yet!

  10. Interesting move, hope you’ll succeed.

    And the Football Nomad blog seems a very promising idea.

  11. Oh and you’re one middle name and one letter away from having a 100% name, hehe.

    I effing hate musicals.

  12. Yes, you really, really, really do need to shave that beard – as does Panda! All the best Andrew, I’m very proud of you.

  13. Props to Michael for his comedy effort at self-censorship. I think you missed a word, Michael.

  14. @ atglance – Hahah, I should make it clear that the beard I have only takes about a week and a half to grow. I’ll be back on here soon with a mod look, you’ll see. Heh heh. Also, those tourists sound like awesome fellows.

  15. Are you related to David “Wolfman” Williams of Manly Sea Eagle fame by chance 😉

    A new blog reader, but very happy I stumbled upon the place!

    Bring on the launch.

  16. Yeah, sorry for being such a plonker myself.

    ignatz, I didn’t miss anything, I rather used a word that’s not quite top drawer. 😉

  17. @ Gruggy – Good to have you on board. I must admit I’m not a relative of Wolfy, neither I am a relative of Max Rooke from the Geelong Cats. Indeed, my beard is only a baby compared to those cavemen.

  18. Good luck with all the new changes, mate. I think AW20 is a suitable moniker after the Djourou-meister. Confusion avoided!

    Panda’s first name has to be ‘Spider’, right guys?


  19. Very happy to see your picture Andrew . The changes make this blog best blog in the universe.BEST OF LUCK.

  20. Aha, good to see the relaunch, and good luck making a career out of it – would be superb to succeed there!

    As ever, congrats on the constant improvements, yours is certainly a fast riser 🙂

  21. @ enemyairships – Thanks man. AW20 is OK, let’s just hope he doesn’t become JD6 when Senderos goes…

    @ Pete – Thanks man, I’ll try my best.

    @ SOBIN – Cheers for the kind words.

  22. I have only been sending comments to your blog for a couple of months but I have to say it is head and shoulders above any other – maybe aided by the eclectic mix of Gooners from around the globe. I really enjoy the banter with other bloggers and hope the site and new initiatives are successful for many years to come. Wilshire is the new Gazza and should be played regularly – start a campaign now!

  23. Nice work Drew (can i call you that?), i love the new ideas and wish you all the best in your blogging career.

  24. Doina gr8 job keep it up cant wait to see whats commin sounds awesome well done sf oops sorry AW!

  25. Anddy-Web,
    Nice to read about ur progression story,I am really happy 4 you. My little advice for you is that you should keep it at the back of your mind that Change comes with a lot of twist and prices,you might hit brickwalls on your new found love but keep your head as usual and stay focused.Do not forget your label.Best of luck

  26. Mr WEB pls note that the web has long been designed by God for you as a tool to showcase your tallent.
    So use it xtra well for us bro.

  27. I Love Arsenalfcblog…My favourite blog of all, thanks to u.

    Keep up with the good stuff, u got many fans back here in Nairobi (Kenya). If u like travelling then u should visit here – the beauty is stunning. cheers!

  28. @ KURUPT / MYWAY – Thanks for the kind words.

    @ knightman – Will take the info on board. It’s definitely in the plan to get traveling as part of the Football Nomad project.

  29. when the time comes i may be able to help you out with a certain country for football nomad. i live in the states now but i go most summers and have plenty of information that could be helpful…

  30. @Spanish Fry Well done on joining Football Media. You deserve it mate. I must have commented maybe once before but thats because I mainly read your blog from my phone. Keep up the good work!

  31. Change is only constant. Keep the movement. Its nice to have you back. Live free! In Arsenal we trust!

  32. Congrats! am super proud, am presently wearing my new gunners tee,the result is most pleasing. I would say a 5-0 win to AW,I believe you will find it a most rewarding transfer 😉

  33. Don’t really post much on here due to me reading your blog on my “blower” (phone) so it takes a while to write any comments. Would just like to say that I think you are doing a fantastic job and your blog is by far the best, certainly keeps me entertained at work. Keep up the good work geezer!

    Took me an hour to write that 😛

  34. Its exciting to see that changes that will happen to AFCblog Andrew (its going to be weird calling you that after a habit of SF and Spanish)
    Top Post yet again! Since the blog started to the last 6 months. The blog hadnt been very interactive excpet posting your thoughts. But with facebook and Twitter and Podcast and guest post weekly plus any other thoughts in your arsenal mind, it feels you really want to get to know your readers and that is a very warm feeling.
    2 stars of the Emirates Cup – Wilshere and Arshavin. Rosicky back too and Traore played well not to mention Clichy returning but Arsha and Wilshere are both proving to be top class players although one is 11 years the others senior.

  35. Nice changes Andrew.

    I just want to suggest polls.

    Like “do you think Chamakh is good enough for Arsenal ??” “Arsene have to re-sign Vieira??” and stuff like that.

    I love polls (I dont know how difficult is to make it) and it will be very nice to see a poll everytime that a good subject is hot.

    -Ohh and I like the same good music but certainly not Johan Djouru.

  36. Spanish, I got to get used to your formal name. May I suggest you reveal your middle name so that we have a TLC(Three Letter Acronym) for you? You know, like ALW(Andrew Lloyd Weber) Oh well, the scruffy look happens to all of us one time or another.

    The blog is always excellent and thoroughly enjoyable. Keep it up!

  37. Andrew,

    Is this why you don’t stop long enough to drop in for coffee. All now revealed 🙂

  38. i think apart from the above, you should also consider redesign the blog. I personally think that it needs some improvement especially to handle your planned expansions.

  39. you know JUMANGI you look like that guy in the movie.youve done great man biiiiig uuuuup’

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