REVIEW: The Official Illustrated History Of Arsenal 1886-2009
This book continues to go from strength to strength. Twenty three seasons on from the original version, updated to include last season – 2009/09, it remains the authoritative encyclopedia of Arsenal Football Club, almost a family member such is its familiarity.
Whilst the tinkering is now around the edges, Soar and Tyler capture each new year of Arsenal’s existence with a dispassionate eye, bringing a good balance and helping maintain the authoritative air about this book. Others have brought forward more in-depth histories of the club, officially and unofficially but few can match the breadth of topics captured. The authors continue to make salient points, an impressive feat especially as there is no evidence that either has a fan’s bias to the events covered.
This is an essential book for all supporters, mixing the facts of line-ups and results in all competitions with their own interpretation of the history surrounding them. The only absence from this is pre-season friendlies, perhaps an addition for future volumes.
The format remains split in timelines, specified periods documented and then supplemented by the statistics. Perhaps this is an area to look at refreshing in the future.
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