Man vs Bookshelf

Man vs Bookshelf: Arsenal & MotD

This entry is part 66 of 75 in the series Man vs Bookshelf

Hey, isn’t it weird how fast time goes?

I know some of you out there will be grumbling “oh, he thinks it goes fast now, he’s only 28, wait until he’s 82, then see how quickly the time slips by.

Well, firstly, I’m 26, not 28 and, secondly, I get that, it’s all a matter of perspective. The older you get, the smaller percentage of your life as a whole each year is, so it’s going to go quicker.

That’s terrifying because here I am at 26 and it’s already flashing by. I just had a week off, I think.

I remember staring at it from the Friday evening before and thinking about all the things I was going to do.

Then I blinked, and it was the following Sunday, almost time for work.

I got loads done in the week off too, sometimes spending fourteen hours a day writing and still I look back and it just collapsed in on itself, vanishing.

Still, some things feel like they’re forever. You can’t imagine life without them.

When I was born, Alex Ferguson was manager of Manchester United. That was just the way it was. I didn’t question it. Didn’t need to.

Then, one day when I was 21 (Christ, was it five years ago already?), I was lying in a bed down near the South coast, and I looked at BBC and Ferguson had resigned.

For real this time.

Not only that but David Moyes would be taking over.

For me, as a fan of Manchester United who knew nothing about Ferguson hearing about that change was like waking up one morning and being told I was no longer English.

I was now Welsh.

It was horrible.

But life moves on, and it was five years ago now (five years ago!), and of course we’ve since then had the complete of another footballing monarch.

And by monarch I mean in terms of longevity rather than appreciation.

When Wenger took over at Arsenal, I was four, and I was 25 when he stepped down so the same 21-year span as Ferguson, so far as I was concerned.

And this was different because I’m not an Arsenal fan and because Wenger’s departure had been due a long time.

He wasn’t doing it anymore.

Still, it’s sad. The last untouchable manager is gone. The longest standing manager now is Eddie Howe, followed closely by Sean Dyche, both of whom will hit six years come next month (October 18), while the longest-serving manager in the Football league is Jim Bently at Morecambe with seven and a half years under his belt.


Arsene Wenger: The Biography

All of which is to say there’s no point in reading this book.

Because it’s bad?

No, it was a very well written account of Arsene Wenger’s career, from his time as a less than successful player all the way up to around 2008.

That’s the problem.

I think it should be against the law to release books about people whose careers aren’t over. It’s a half story. Like stopping Harry Potter 1 just as he bumps into Voldemort.

Pointless.

The time to buy a book on Arsene Wenger is now, but this is not the book.

Searching “Arsene Wenger” on Amazon brings up two results before this book – The Wenger Revolution: Twenty Years of Arsenal by Amy Lawrence which was published in 2016, a couple of years before his departure, or, even better, Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger by John Cross, which came out after he had left.

I might get it myself.

I guess it goes without saying I wasn’t paid to promote this particular book?


Match of the Day

Here’s a different story.

Match of the Day has yet to be retired, but that’s okay. Here is a book detailing every season from it’s inception to 2014.

Each season has information on who won the title, the key things that happened, the match of the season and the player of the season, as well as anything that had changed with Match of the Day that year.

This was a fascinating book.

It was refreshing to read about all the seasons involved and intriguing learning about the development of Match of the Day from showing one game a week – that had to be picked weeks in advance – to the way it is now.

With great insight from people as varied as Gary LInkear, Clive Tyldesley and Russell Brand, this would be a great gift from any football fan who knows how to read.

Which, I know, narrows down the list of potential recipients significantly.


Next Time

We will be looking at two books written and published by my grandfather – David Ayre. 

Namely, Kevin – Master of the Universe and it’s sequel.

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International worst selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). Recently he is taking the internet by storm with his Man vs Bookshelf Challenge where he aims to read the 210 books on his bookshelf in 210 weeks, reviewing them on his blog and Goodreads along the way. He is also publishing books on Amazon, his most recent being the family suspense novel, Poor Choices, which you can find here.

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