Wednesday, November 30, 2022

25 must-read Arsenal books for World Book Day

In a classic case of ‘let’s not talk about last night’ we’ve decided to turn our attention to World Book Day…apparently it’s a thing.

We like reading. You like reading. We like Arsenal (not right now admittedly). You like Arsenal (yep, we’re taking liberties).

So here’s 25 books about Arsenal…they aren’t in any particular order.


So Paddy Got Up
Various / Edited by Andrew Mangan

Together: The Story Of Arsenal Unbeaten Season
Andrew Mangan & Andrew Allen

On Football
Herbert Chapman

Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger
John Cross

Invincible: Inside Arsenal’s Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season
Amy Lawrence

The Arsenal Shirt: The History of the Iconic Gunners Jersey Told Through an Extraordinary Collection of Match Worn Shirts
James Elkin & Simon Shakeshaft

Arsenal: The Making of a Modern Superclub
Kevin Whitcher & Alex Fynn

Rebels for the Cause: The Alternative History of Arsenal Football Club
Jon Spurling

Highbury: The Story of Arsenal In N.5
Jon Spurling

Geordie Armstrong On The Wing
Dave Seager (in collaboration with Jill Armstrong)

Forward, Arsenal!
Bernard Joy

The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football’s Most Influential Figures
Patrick Barclay

Stillness and Speed: My Story 
Dennis Bergkamp & David Winner

Thierry Henry
Philippe Auclair

Football Ambassador
Eddie Hapgood

Tony Adams & Ian Ridley

How Not to Be a Professional Footballer
Paul Merson

Robert Pires

The End, The: 80 Years of Life on Arsenal’s North Bank
Tom Watt

Safe Hands: My Autobiography
David Seaman

Life in the Beautiful Game 
Bob Wilson

Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen
Stewart Taylor

We All Live in a Perry Groves World
Perry Groves & John McShane

Arsène Wenger: The Biography
Xavier Rivoire

Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby


We’re bound to have forgotten a load, so feel free to use the comment section to make your own suggestions. Alternatively, feel free to share your reviews of any of the above.

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Curious Case of Arsenal Injury Records

Shad Forsythe


Red Letter Days: Fourteen Dramatic Events That Shook Arsenal is one of the better recent Arsenal books.

Can’t wait for the Rocky book out in May!

king henry

The BFG – Roald Dahl (2014/15 edition)

Northern gooner

Things fall apart – Achebe.

Sums up a lot of my feelings towards Arsenal right now.

I Miss Arshavin

LOL!!! I laughed out loud when I got to your comment in a public bus from work going home and everybody on the bus is looking at me and perhaps wondering if I’m losing my head. In fact, every line and paragraph of THINGS FALL APART becomes fresh in my mind immediately. Very good book!!

Northern gooner

Haha nice to know my attempt at humour caused a little amusement somewhere out there 🙂

Petits Handbag

Met that Andrew Mangan bloke at Astro a few times. Sound bloke but the Spurs jersey with Adebayor on the back was a bit distasteful.




Not a book as such, more a DVD, but very useful all the same –
Football Training DVD: How To Score Goals for Kids (UK) [DVD] [2010]


Heh. Exactly. Should be read by players.

Crash Fistfight

We All Live in a Perry Groves world was included in the membership pack in 2008/09. I hadn’t read it until last year, having cleared out a load of junk from a wardrobe. If you haven’t read it, I’d thoroughly recommend it. As much as I like Amy Lawrence, I wasn’t a fan of the style of her book. Stillness and Speed was ok, but it didn’t go very deep in my opinion, and at time it makes Dennis Bergkamp (AKA God) look a bit of a knob. For a non-Arsenal related football book, try the Miracle of Castel di… Read more »


The Miracle of Castel di Sangro is fabulous. Utterly improbably and stranger-than-fiction. Thoroughly recommended (you just have to get over him calling it ‘soccer’).


Fantastic book all right. I loved the naivete of your man, trying to tell the coach what to do, and being so unaware of the machinations of Italian football/society.

It’s superb.

Laurie L

My Story – Charlie George
To Cap It All – Kenny Sansom
Behind the Network – Bob Wilson
Seventy-One Guns: The Year of the First Arsenal Double – David Tossell
The End: 80 Years of Life on the Terraces: 80 Years of Life on Arsenal’s North Bank – Tom Watt
The Glory and the Grief: The Life of George Graham – George Graham
True Grit – Frank Mclintock
Proud to Say That Name: Arsenal Dream Team – Amy Lawrence
Cliff Bastin Remembers – Cliff Bastin
Footballer: My Story – Kelly Smith
Please Don’t Go – John Hartson

the only sam is nelson

“they aren’t in any particular order” – 10/10

the only sam is nelson

some quality affiliate revenue generation links, too… could this be related to 14th birthday reflections on the dangers of ad blocking? actually if i was looking for a collection of decent Arsenal stuff, from books to dvds to old programmes to merch, i’d be quite happy to come to a site where such quality items had been reviewed and given an editorial seal of approval and follow links from that site before making a purchase… just sayin’

any idea where i might come across such a site? it’d have to be fuckin’ excellent…


We’ll have a think 😉


Steaming In
Arsenal hooligan tales.
Great read… Out of print
But you can find copies out there


I read Going Great Guns: Arsenal from the Inside, 1986-87 by Kenny Sansom when I was about 12. I recommend it.


How I managed to provide maximum assists to manically misfiring men – Mesut Özil, 2016


you forgot one:
Get Out If You Can
How To Escape An Abusive Relationship And Be Happy

Celia John

and now spurs…


Tom watts’ the end is a great read. I didn’t get over from Dublin often enough to see the arsenal but some great visits to the north bank are fondly remembered. Highbury was such a classic ground and the north bank great fun.
Tom watts goes through the ages of the NB. Well worth a read and one you get dip in and out of. Actually I must dust it down. Remind myself why arsenal are so good. Try and forget our present troubles & remember we are the arsenal.

David C

Apologies to Arseblog for not getting those books yet!

The Amy Lawrence book is fantastic; I’m currently reading it.

A new book could be:
Fourth Place is Like a Trophy: The Trials and Tribulations of Arsene Wenger.

John Sowman

Perhaps you would like to add ARSENAL: The Long Sleep 1953 – 1970 recently published by Hamilton House, with a foreword by Bob Wilson. It is available by going online to also available as a Kindle version through Amazon

jim james

The complete record, all the results 1886-1995, should be added


For a moment I thought blogs compiled a list of 25 books Arsenal should read to get over their drop in form/mental fortitude/ etc/etc/etc.

Crossed one off of the list though. ‘Together’, the list is good. Maybe one day will cross all off.

Henley Gooner

True Storey by Peter Storey is worth a read.

Martin Finley

Profit and Me – Stan Kroenke


I’m an English teacher, so I have a vested interest in world book day. Even though we’re a secondary school, we had a charity day today, where the pupils pay a couple of quid to come in in literary fancy dress. I had a kid come to school today in an Arsenal shirt, in homage to Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. I don’t give a shit that he’s normally a pain in my arse, he’s getting nothing but full marks from now on, the glorious little bastard.


And I didn’t even capitalise ‘World Book Day’. I’m a shit English teacher.


I read the Peter Storey Autobiography; True Storey a few years ago and reckon the only reason somebody wrote it was for the play on words in the title.

dr Strange

“The TGSTEL” by Tgstel is a must.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

By TGSTEL, lool

dr Strange

“The Bottle Kid” by Feo Walcott. A tale of running in fluffy, pink clouds.


I rather enjoyed reading Simon Page’s Herbert Chapman: the first great manager.


Best Arsenal book…. When The Arsenal became l’Arsenal by Fred Atkins.


Just making up books isn’t funny, guys. Satire is the art of subversion, So, for example, the Chinua Achebe referencing comment above is an example of good satire. Making up some contrived profit related book penned supposedly by Gazidis is to misunderstand the entire endeavor of satire.

That will be all.


Making up names of books is funny actually.
I’ve read some of these comments and they have made me smile, and that’s surprising considering I’m in fucking terrible mood!


Made me smile aswell and I’m a miserable old bastard.


How about “Sand in my Vagina – how to be irritating” by aberinkula


Why do you assume that all the posts are aiming to be satrical.

Many posts here are actually quite funny,made me chuckle on my train journey home.


Heroes and Villains, The Great Divide, both By Alex Fynn – both compare and contrast Arsenal and the Spuds.


Arsene Wenger by John Cross.


Oops – you already mentioned the Cross book.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

1) Make Arsenal Great Again
2) Mountain Interval
3) Road not taken


“The Twits” Roald Dahl.

“The Wizard of Özil” L Frank Baum.


Bottling It : A dummys guide
By AW, bonus Q&A chapter by Ivan

Gooners & Roses

“Pun Intended”

By Francis Coquelin

“The Curious Case of Amaury Bischoff”

By Park Chu Young

“Talk to the Mirror”

By Amaury Bischoff

Andy Kelly

Everyone has missed the best Arsenal book by far.
Tom Whittaker’s Arsenal Story.

Also missed out (and I have to admit I am biased):
Woolwich Arsenal – The Club That Changed Football by Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly & Mark Andrews
Different because it is a book that is researched using contemporary sources rather than secondary sources and tells a more accurate of Arsenal’s history between 1893 and 1915.

The Man in the High Cross -A. Oxlade Chamberlain
The Curious Incident of the Fog at Penalty Time by Henry Pires.
Celtic Tiger by Emmanuel O’Boue
How much Wood? by Tony Woodchuck (oldie – out of print)
The Men who stare at Götze by Mark Ronson

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