Originally published to coincide the with the club’s centenary celebrations, this book has been regularly updated since then. This edition covers the first season at The Emirates.
Historical fact can often be a ‘dry’ subject for authors to tackle but Soar and Tyler convey an enthusiasm for the club that prevents the book from being laborious. The format helps. The narrative is a mix of fact and the authors’ opinions, the text split into smaller paragraphs for each subject set within the era under discussion.
Interspersing the timeline, there is a series of articles on topics such as ‘Derbies’, ‘Arsenal Ladies’, ‘The Emirates Stadium’ and ‘Beyond 1971’, that document the achievements of the players and club with an analytical eye.
As you would expect, the data is comprehensive. Each season’s record is recorded dutifully with fixtures, line-ups and goalscorers split by competition. There is enough to satisfy the requirements of everyone within these sections, except perhaps those who want to know the results of pre-season friendlies.
Accompanying the thoughtful prose, the selection of photographs is well-researched capturing the pivotal moments in time. The authors maintain a balance that is hard to achieve, with the good and the bad moments in the club’s history treated with equal import. For supporters, new and old, it is this that makes the book required reading.
By clicking on the book title, you can purchase The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal 1886-2007