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u/jMz23 · 11 pointsr/Gunners

From 'Stillness and Speed', Bergkamp's Autobiography:

>IAN WRIGHT: ‘THE touch! The turn! They should slow that goal down with some classical music and put it in a museum. Yeah! And make people see that it’s a real bit of poetry in motion.’ Thierry Henry: ‘You’re talking about a great goal, but talking won’t do it justice, so just watch it.’ The two most prolific strikers in Arsenal’s history are talking about the goal voted by fans as the club’s best-ever, the one scored in a league match at Newcastle in March 2002. To recall the essentials: receiving a low, driven pass with his back to goal, Dennis Bergkamp conjures a neverpreviously-imagined turn to beat defender Nikos Dabizas, flicking the ball right, spinning himself left and meeting the ball goal-side before calmly opening his body to side-foot past the advancing goalkeeper, Shay Given. Arsenal officials hoped to immortalise the moment in bronze when they commissioned a statue of Dennis for the Emirates Stadium. Sadly, this proved technically impossible. As film-maker Paul Tickell observes: ‘It would need Boccioni back from the dead to sculpt that goal.’ ‘That goal at Newcastle is a genius moment, so people have to cast doubt on it,’ says Ian Wright. ‘But I’ve seen Dennis do stuff like that in training so when people ask: “Did he mean it?” I say: “Of course he fucking meant it!” He’s an architect of space, so I reckon he’s done the drawings, measured everything and built it all in a split-second. And if someone says: “But he couldn’t have done that flick on purpose,” I say it makes no difference ’cos the speed of thought was such that he was able to readjust and finish with aplomb.’ Thierry Henry rebukes doubters in a slightly different fashion. ‘When people ask me about that goal I just go: “Dennis Bergkamp.” And they say: ‘Yeah, but did he mean it . . .? Do you think . . .?” So I say it again: “Dennis Bergkamp.” That’s my answer. I didn’t play in that game. I was watching at home and my first thought was “What!?” But you have players like that in history. Like Cantona was Cantona and Zizou was Zizou and Maradona was Maradona. You don’t have to comment on everything. Sometimes you just have to witness. Only Dennis can tell you what happened and I will believe him. Most of his goals he thought about before he received the ball. That’s Dennis Bergkamp.’

>BUT HOW DID Dennis do it? And why do people still wonder if he ‘meant’ his masterpiece? Dennis: ‘The whole question is strange. What do they mean by what did I mean? Which part do they think I didn’t mean? Do I see it all in advance? Do I think: “I’ll put it there, turn this way, then push?” Of course not. The situation creates the move. A few years ago I asked myself: “How can you describe a good footballer?” and my answer was: “The best players are the players who adjust to the situation they’re given in the best way.” The question is always: “how do you adjust?” I want the pass from Pires to my feet, but it comes behind me. It’s not what I expect, so I think: “I need another idea here.” It’s like when Messi sets off on a run. The first defender moves that way, so he goes this way. Did he “mean” it before? Did he plan it? No, he’s responding, inventing. “There’s a defender here, so I go there. Oh, there’s another one there, so I drop my shoulder . . .” If people ask: “Did you mean the goal?” I say: “No, when I got on the coach to Newcastle I didn’t mean to score a goal like that.” The ball came in a certain way, so I turned and twisted and did this and that.’ When your left foot goes to the ball, surely the idea is to flick the ball one way and spin yourself the other? Your foot goes to touch the ball to the right but the rest of your body is already spinning left. ‘Of course. The pass is coming like this, but I want to go that way so the creativity in my brain goes: “OK I’m going to try this . . .” It’s the all-or-nothing part of my game. I could have gone for the safe way, control the ball and knock it back. Or maybe turn. But I know the defender is stepping in and the pace of the ball can help me. With a small touch the pace will still be there, so I can spin the ball and keep it within reach.’ Tony Adams thought you must have tried this kind of turn before. Was it a move you’d imagined ahead of time and practised, then executed when you got the opportunity? ‘No, no. It was nothing like that. If my first thought is: “I want to control the ball,” then I would never make that turn. But my first thought was: “I want to go to the goal and I’m going to do whatever it takes to go to the goal, no matter how the ball comes to me.” Ten yards before the ball arrived I made my decision: “I’m going to turn him.”’ Did you calculate Dabizas’s reaction? ‘Not that. But you know where the defender will be and that his knees will be bent a little, and that he will be standing a little wide, so he can’t turn. And he won’t expect it. The thought was: “I’ll just flick the ball and see what happens. Maybe the defender blocks it, or the flick is not wide enough, or he anticipates and gets two yards ahead. But maybe he’ll be surprised and I’ll be one or two yards in front of him.” As it happened, I still wasn’t in front of him, so I had to push him off. So you need some luck as well.’ So it’s a foul? ‘Never! You end up with the ball somewhere in the middle and you have to decide. Maybe you choose safety. Take it with your right and you open up the goal for yourself. Maybe the left is your weaker foot. It would have to be more of a good hit. You can’t really place it. But with your right foot . . . at the last moment I can go low, or high [he is pointing to the four corners of the goal]. And then you just open it and take the far corner.’ So you’re calculating at incredible speed? ‘It is more instinctive because you know from training sessions and from other games. You know how the ball will bounce, and how the defender will turn. You know when you push him where the ball will end up, and where the goalkeeper is. It’s not like you’ve done that for the first time, that shot and that push. You know from previous times.’ Thierry Henry observes: ‘You know my favourite thing about that goal? The way Dennis puts his body in front of Dabizas. Dennis makes the turn and then blocks the defender, and that’s what gives him all the time in the world to finish. Usually when you do something amazing you get carried away. How many times did you see a guy do a great control and then rush the finish? Dennis did something amazing but then he stayed composed. That’s the difference between great players and normal players. A normal striker would be so happy to have made the turn he would try to blast it in. No! Calm down. Calm down! You did the most difficult thing. Now relax. Watch Dennis. The way he put his body between Dabizas and the ball was just amazing.’

u/ElGeorgeo · 6 pointsr/Gunners

There are a few, depending on what you want really...

The best place to start is DEFINITELY Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, which is his autobiography as an Arsenal fan. It came out in 1992, so doesn't have any of the Wenger era, but really helps you to get a feel of what it's like to be an Arsenal fan.

[Highbury: The Story Of Arsenal In N5] ( (I hope I did that right, I'm very new to Reddit) is very good as a more informative history book covering the period up until we left Highbury in 2006.

Others to look for, although I haven't got around to reading either yet, are So Paddy Got Up by Arseblog, which is written by The Arseblogger and various other Bloggers and Journalists, and is meant to be fantastic.

[Arsenal: The Making of a Modern Superclub] ( is meant to be very good too, and covers more of the Arsene Wenger era.

I might go and buy So Paddy Got Up now actually... or re-read Fever Pitch (again!)

u/no1scumbag · 4 pointsr/Gunners

Not Arsenal related at all, but this is the single best football book I've ever read:

Great TRUE story about an American journalist embedded in a lower league Italian club as they miraculously progress up through the divisions against all odds. It follows the ins and outs of players, managers, and owners, and provides a really good picture of what life is like for footballers not playing at the game's highest levels.

u/barca786 · 3 pointsr/Gunners

I'd recommend reading every day. He writes every day and it'll help you get accustomed, I believe.

Perhaps do some digging into our North London rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur as well. The history behind, some of the big moments, that St. Totteringham's Day is the day we celebrate when we mathematically finish above them in the table, etc.

There are some good books and movies that can help you get acquainted as well, if you'd like. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one book, and there's a movie as well (not the Jimmy Fallon Red Sox one). Additionally, there's this book Arsenal: The Making of a Modern Superclub. It's a good look at the club and how it's changed since Arsene Wenger became manager.

u/atease · 2 pointsr/Gunners


According to Alex Fynn (author of a book covering the modern Arsenal era and conductor of several extensive interviews with Arséne), David Dein's one and only purpose in life was to provide the Arsenal with a winning team. So when the board of directors proposed a new stadium, Dein instead favoured bringing Kroenke onto the board in order to build (on) a winning team. He doesn't clarify whether that would've involved Kroenke flooding the Club with wealth but - seeing as he doesn't have a reputation for doing that with any of his businesses - I personally doubt it. At the end of the day, I guess Dein and the board just couldn't agree on what to do next.

Interestingly, Fynn also tells us that whereas David Dein wouldn't exactly have 'challenged' Arséne per se, he would definitely have been able to sway Arséne's mind on certain decision because, as Arséne himself stated, 'he (Dein) would do my dirty work.' In other words, David Dein very much enjoyed the cut and thrust of transfer and contract negotiations and haggling with agents etc., making it considerably more convenient for the Club to do that kind of business.

Fynn also quotes Dein as having said that the first thing he does upon waking up in the morning is look at himself in his bathroom mirror and see the words "Build A Winning Team" etched into his forehead. The Club was his everything so I doubt that he would just randomly sell his shares and bugger off.

u/c14kaa · 1 pointr/Gunners

Just remembered your post on Friday but didn’t have time to respond. Check out thisbook or better, audiobook .

Also have a read/audiobook of this and find out what works for you.

Audible usually have a trial period, should be easy to set up.

It’s not a good place where you are and may take time to get out but worth the effort.

Mind needs a reset. Good luck.

u/martineduardo · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Also, after watching Thierry Henry's goals, watch his statue unveiling (bonus: Dennis Bergkamps statue unveiling), Henry and Bergkamp are two of the most influential players from the past three decades in Arsenal who represent both attacking style and finesse, as well as having a big heart for the club. If you enjoy reading, maybe you'd like Wenger's biography and if you're interested in footballing history, Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson is a good read.

To get a bit of insight into why the matches against Tottenham can be very intense, maybe this can help you: "I Hate Everything About Them" - North London Derby

u/charzan · 3 pointsr/Gunners

> I have read every book ever about Arsenal


I'm a bit of a book junkie, I can recommend a few you might not have come across:

The End: 80 Years of Life on the Terraces: 80 Years of Life on Arsenal's North Bank

We All Live in a Perry Groves World

True Storey: My Life and Crimes as a Football Hatchet Man

Fallen Idle

Bob Wilson: My Autobiography - Behind the Network


Battle of London: Arsenal Versus Tottenham Hotspur

The Real Arsenal: From Chapman to Wenger - the unofficial story

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

Bob Wall - Arsenal From The Heart

Bernard Joy - Forward, Arsenal!

Steaming In

The Last Game: Love, Death and Football

... and for some proper old-school type stuff, have a look here where a very dedicated person has scanned full books that are out of print:

> Tom Whittaker's Arsenal Story
> Bernard Joy - Forward, Arsenal!
> One of the first books covering Arsenal's history. Published in 1952.
> George Allison - The Inside Story Of Football
> Arsenal Players' Souvenir Brochure for the 1947-48 Season
> Herbert Chapman On Football
> During the early 1930s Herbert Chapman contributed articles to The Sunday Express. This compendium of his articles was published shortly after his death.
> Joe Mercer - The Great Ones
> Jon Sammels - Double Champions-Playing The Arsenal Way

u/neuroticgooner · 1 pointr/Gunners

There’s a really fun Wenger v Ferguson documentary I watched on YouTube recently but I can’t recall the name but you should be able to find it easily.

I know you said that you already know a lot about the invincibles but I’d really recommend Amy Lawrence’s book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season . Also she’s my favorite journalist about Arsenal and I’ve been reading her since I was at least 10 years (32 now sadly :() and I always find it fun to read through her old articles when I’m annoyed or nostalgic. Also Ray Parlour and Tony Adams’ autobiographies are also fun nostalgic reads because they recall a time when the club was more “local”.

Sorry I know you asked for documentaries but I couldn’t resist throwing my recommendations in

u/boneykingoflimbs · 1 pointr/Gunners

Obviously not a direct answer to your question, but there's a book coming out dedicated to the Invincible season, written by Amy Lawrence. She knows her Arsenal, and it's got a foreword by an ITK, so it'll be worth a look when it comes out.

u/ErrantGunner · 2 pointsr/Gunners

You're confusing Pace and Acceleration. Bergkamp was one of the faster (top 5) players in the squad over 60 Metres. That's how he was involved in many counter-attacking build up plays. This is a fact said by Arsene Wenger from time to time.

Watch a couple of highlight reels during his playing years. He catches up to everyone but Thierry Henry or Ashley Cole during a counter.

People don't magically reach their top speed instantly... He should have 80s pace, maybe 70s acceleration is baked into the engine. This is why I don't take video game stats seriously.

EDIT: If you'd like a source, feel free to buy a copy of The Italian Job. He was third in the club's 60 metre race during the Invincibles season (2003/2004). At 33 years of age.

u/mistermygo · 4 pointsr/Gunners

Amy Lawrence wrote an excellent book about the Invincibles, it's a great read.

Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season

u/rsu1806 · 72 pointsr/Gunners

the perfect game even though they obviously conceded lmao

u/DTGG · 18 pointsr/Gunners

Has to be Philippe Auclair imo, wrote an award winning book in English too so you don't have to worry about how comfortable he is with the language.

u/cjrarsenal · 7 pointsr/Gunners

Fever Pitch

Amazed no one has mentioned it. Really helped me see fandom in a different light. Great Arsenal book!

u/ArsenalOnward · 3 pointsr/Gunners

Surprised I haven't seen this one yet...

Rebels for the Cause

Great book about the history of Arsenal, from the very beginning.

u/NinnyBoggy · 4 pointsr/Gunners

I read this a while back and greatly enjoyed it, I suggest it strongly.

u/eoinnll · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Here you go. It was a BBC documentary. That documentary took a lot from the RTE radio series. There is a great book on the same subject.

The documentary. There are 2 parts an hour each.

The radio series there are 12 parts half hour each. The book. All highly recommended. I love a bit of history me. Makes me pissed off I did economics first time round, but we follow the money!

u/Linquista · 1 pointr/Gunners

I've heard the shirt is kinda baggy and loose like this. Is that true?

u/rko281 · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Read Fever Pitch for one. Also Arsènal: The Making of a Modern Superclub is helpful. Going back through Arseblog's archives and the matchday threads on r/gunners couldn't hurt either.

u/Mein_Bergkamp · 1 pointr/Gunners
A great book, especially useful in showing the ridiculous transformation since the Prem happened. I have the original edition that ends with us all set for world domination, sadly just before Abramovich used his cheat codes.

u/ph0be14 · 4 pointsr/Gunners

Someone asked for recommended reading instead of watching the match. Badly wanted to send...

Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season

u/derphighbury · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Read this book; it's not bullshit. Wenger was quite close to leaving.

u/Searocksandtrees · 4 pointsr/Gunners

This one is authorized - other covers have the subtitle "the authorised biography"

Interviews with the author all mention that it is authorised

And just fyi, here's a thread from when it came out last spring

u/vin_unleaded · 3 pointsr/Gunners

Making Of A Modern Superclub

An excelent read and written by someone with very close ties to Wenger.

u/ResplendentDreamer · 11 pointsr/Gunners

T.J and the hat-trick is about a young man who scores a hat-trick from an offside position.

u/tjnsn · 3 pointsr/Gunners

maybe this one: Arsenal: The Making of a Modern Superclub(haven't read it myself yet)