So I purchased this book, thinking I’m just getting a book rammed with stats and facts, something I enjoy looking up from time to time, but I got so much more for my money and that’s before I mention the huge 595 page count, coincidence (?)
As a kid I would waste away the time sat on the Central line travelling home from games reading the match programme from front to back, so it feels very comfortable that each seasons stats are laid out like they are in official programme. You get to see who played, who scored, who was subbed for every game and it just feels like second nature reading it.
This isn’t the type of book you are going to take away to relax to on holiday, even the biggest statto in the world could never consume the huge amount of information that has been collated here and to be honest, get yourself up the bar ! But what makes this special is that on every season there is a write up on how it went and a write up on a player who was relevant to that season, so if you want a softer read then those very enjoyable sections are just for you.
This however is the type of book that is a must to put on your shelf or coffee table and consume at your own pace. Everything you would want to know and much more. I have found myself reading the book from the back to the front, as odd as that seems I’m just getting to the mid-90s and the memories keep flooding back.
As a bonus at the end of the book there’s tables for literally everything you would ever want to know, players appearances, goals scored, complete records Vs other clubs, overseas players, it has everything you could need for a brain teaser to mates in your Whatsapp groups or in the pub before games.
Now we are in an age where you are often only a google search away from finding the most obscure fact or stat on The Arsenal, even if often you can’t trust the source, but Josh James, Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly have painstakingly gone back to the very start in 1886 and collated it in what must be the definitive bible for all on field matters of The Arsenal.
If I hadn’t jumped the gun this book would be top of my Xmas wish list from the kids and I will be buying another copy to give to an uncle who I know will be eating up all the information in the same manner he does his pigs in blankets.
I would urge you all to buy it, this book isn’t just for Xmas!
Arsenal – The Complete Record by Josh James, Andy Kelly & Mark Andrews is available from Amazon now for £19.49.