Hello fellow Gooners. To celebrate this new year full of hope about glory and silverware, I’ve decided to talk about my favourite Arsenal books.
For the last number of years (a decade I must say), I’ve read a lot about this club. I’ve usually found my reading real quality pieces, but sometimes I have been left disappointment. But each time, my love and passion for this club grew up a bit further. Here is the first part of my books selection.
“Arsènal, the making of a modern superclub” by Alex Fynn & Kevin Whitcher
Definitely the best book about Arsenal I’ve ever read. Written by a very fine specialist of English football and British Premier League. Alex Fyne was a football consultant for several clubs (including Arsenal) and took part in the creation of the PL. Kevin Whitcher is creator of Arsenal fanzine “The Gooner”. Right through the book, they offer a large, complex and accurate description of Arsenal’s journey since the beginning of the 80’s, the central role played by David Dein, the decisive turn of the 2000’s and the way Arsenal Board members are ruling the club.
The quote : “… Here is the story of how a few dedicated men and one unique individual transformed a patrician institution into one of the world’s few genuine superclubs”
“Fever Pitch”, by Nick Hornby
I know a lot of GT blog readers will say “classic”. And fairly, Hornby’s lifelong Gooner testimony is a must-read for every Arsenal fans. It was my first-ever book about Arsenal, and I must be honest, I bought it in French. It was in the middle 90’s and my English reading was, let’s say, average. This book will stay as my favourite for a long time, firstly because it shows how deep a passion can settle in the heart of a fan, how it grows and evolves with years. In fact, Hornby’s lessons is about how to be the best fan on earth, by living as close as your club as you can, but also how to let go and live your own life.
“Thierry Henry, lonely at the top”, by Philippe Auclair
A complete portrait of a legend by a long-time fan. Born French, Auclair is almost British-minded. One of the most accurate French specialists of English football, and with a true passion of Arsenal. With such qualities, it sounds quite logical to see Auclair write a book about one the most famous Arsenal players of all time. And the result is a very interesting journey in Henry’s life, from his childhood to today, and more precisely, in Henry’s mind, through his relationships with his father and his managers, with on top of all, Arsène Wenger.
The quote : (after that goal against Leeds in 2012) “ Thierry beat his chest, his fist hitting he cannon crest sewn onto his shirt, screaming, abandoning himself to joy as we had never seen him do before. It was a fan goal and he was the fan”
That’s all for today. I assume this selection reflects my own view, so feel free to share in comment any books about Arsenal you may want to recommend.