So comprehensively has Arsene Wenger rebranded Arsenal Football Club that it is possible to forget the 100-plus years of history that came before him. Yet there remain curious parallels that glue together the club's past and present: just as the modern team is built on outsiders, born far from the confines of N5, so too was the original side of 1886, created by economic migrants from the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland, looking to prosper in London. Now for the first time in paperback, and using photographic and written archives of the "Daily Mirror" (including rare and unseen material), "When Football Was Football - Arsenal" takes us on a nostalgia-packed journey through the club's evolution from its beginnings as a south London munitions factory team, through the nurturing of some of the game's fabled characters. From notorious chairman Henry Norris to the great innovator Herbert Chapman, and the players from Brylcreem Boy Denis Compton, wee Alex James, Charlie George and Frank McLintock, up to the fresh-in-the-memory figures of Tony Adams and Ian Wright (perhaps the last bastion of a pre-modern Arsenal).
Key images that will engage and delight readers include: 1930 - Arsenal win their first trophy, the FA Cup at Wembley; 1968 - Pat Rice working on a fruit stall; 1982 - "Champagne" Charlie Nicholas living up to his nickname. The book draws a line in the sand at the advent of the Premier League, when Arsenal, and football, were carried along on a wave of ruthless commercialism. Packed with evocative, atmospheric photos depicting bygone eras, "When Football Was Football - Arsenal" reminds us of how things used to be - and leaves the reader to decide which they prefer.