Book Review: 'European Clubs in European Cups - Arsenal FC'

Last updated : 21 February 2005 By Brian Dawes
The publisher's intention is to produce a series of books entitled “European Clubs in European Cups” which will cover in depth the history in European Competitions for every important Club in Europe. So it's rather nice to see that Arsenal are afforded the honour of being volume one.

The 180 pages of this large format paperback book are divided into three main parts. The first part being a match by match section which shows every Arsenal line-up in Europe. Far more than that though it gives the full line up for both teams, how many matches each individual had played up to and including each particular match, the referee and his nationality, the venue, date, attendance, stadium, time of the goals, how the scoreline progressed, goalscorers, the mangers, red cards, substitutes and the time of the substitutions. It also includes a neat little diagram to show the two teams colours, although it does not take into account the away strips. And there's more: This section is set out season by season and shows each player's stats along with their running total. This includes games started, appearances, total minutes on pitch, goals scored, penalties scored and for keepers goals and penalties conceded. Each Competition in which Arsenal competed has the entire season's results fully listed for that particular season.

In part two each players individual record is comprehensively listed. Strangely while these listings give the full name for Edu (Eduardo Cesar Gaspar Daudi) they only give a first and last name for most players. So it fails to mention Robert (Bob) Wilson's middle name, not that I imagine that he'll mind too much being as how his middle name is Primrose! This section even lists all the players and mangers who've played against us more than twice. Such as Johannes Cruyff, whom you may be amazed to hear failed to score in any of his four matches against the Gunners. Research would also tell you, if you needed to know or cared of course, that it was Pat Rice who replaced David O'Leary when Bettega attempted to break his leg in the 24th minute of our 1980 home tie with Juve. Incidentally although I clearly recalled that Bettega got away with that horrendous tackle, I'd completely forgotten that he also conceded an 85th minute own goal in the same match.

The final and smallest section called Statistics analyses all the figures every which way, I don't care how many Italian refs have done our matches but the information is here if you need it. As are lists of most appearances, penalties scored, own goals, goals conceded by keepers, most goals scored in a match, youngest players, oldest players, youngest goalscorers, oldest goalscorers, goals scored ratios, stats on opponents by club, country, competitions, highest and lowest attendances, biggest wins and defeats and top scorers against us – since you ask they are Andzej Juskowaiak, Isias, Geradus Muren and John Carew who have all score 3 against Arsenal but not one of them did it in the one game. Whereas there have been four Arsenal hat tricks, quite apart from Alan Smith who once bagged 4 against Austria Wien. If you ever need a pie chart of the times we've scored or conceded goals you are also in luck.

This neat book has to be a statto's wet dream and was up to date at the start of this, the 2004-5, season. Rather than list the contents it would have been far easier for me to list the European data that is not included, but quite frankly other than the failure to list yellow cards I can't think of a single thing that's not in this tidy and impressive little publication.

The book is priced at 16 Euros and was published in December 2004 by:

Soccerdata SAS
Via Ciccotti, 6
20161 Milano
Telephone and fax: +39 02 6480397

As yet I have no information as to who might be stocking this title in the UK but will keep you informed if information comes to hand.