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Putting together 'Queen of Cups'

As with I Am Sam, ITV 7 has a great tempo, emotional depth and no little humour, which allied with strong plot-lines makes it both engaging and absorbing and subsequently difficult to put down. The author also writes in a very visual style which could easily translate to mediums of television and/or film.
It is a winning formula that James Durose-Rayner has established and therefore readers should eagerly anticipate the final part of the trilogy, Queen of Cups.  

Paul Hatt, Football Book Reviews

Front Cover: The 'Prince of the Road', Alan Hudson and 'Supermac', Malcolm Macdonald.
To be published May 2017.

Transvision Vamp - Baby I Dont Care.mp3

Queen of Cups: The Story

The plot

Get ready for it.

I Am Sam was complex, ITV 7 beautiful, Queen of Cups something else....

High-flying sports media mogul and David Beckham doppelgänger, Mr. Arsenal otherwise known as Lee Janes is still living every football fans dream. Or is he?

Fast forward to July 2015, and Lee takes a brief look at what has passed since the start of ITV 7, before embarking on what is to come. 
What has passed is fairly rangy - from the duplicitous nature of his best friend and the unwarranted hatred of his ex-wife's boyfriend through to tales of his past and the current problems that he faces. 

In between he gets cajoled into doing a job on the side - a football documentary that covers the Terry Neill Years - from the summer of 1976 to the beginning of his downfall in the late summer of 1980. The lies and deceit from inside the club, the failed transfers and indecisiveness that stopped Arsenal competing at the very top, along with the underhanded nature of the ex-Arsenal player that only a couple of years earlier had been facing the sack as manager of Hull City. 
It is a subject so interesting that he wonders why he had never done it before - a hard-hitting documentary which includes facts that have never been aired or dare mentioned  - so much so he seeks clarification an ex-player - the candidly spoken and extremely forthright Maverick and erratic genius  that is Alan Hudson - Neill's £200,000 signing from Stoke City and a person that he ends up befriending.

‘Queen of Cups’ will fill a lot of the holes from ‘I Am Sam’ and 'ITV 7', with part of the narrative told by his ex-business partner and best friend Sooty, and Abi - his No. 2.

However that doesn't even scratch the surface of the story that is 'Queen of Cups'.

The Trilogy
The story so far

The Queen of Cups is the follow-up book to both I Am Sam (No. 1) and ITV 7 (No. 2) and forms the final part of The Arsenal Trilogy

The fiction

The main character. Mr Arsenal - 
Lee Janes, head of ITV 7

The Queen of Cups and "wicked stepmother".
 Mrs Arsenal - Emily Janes

Sammy a.ka. 
Horrible Herbert
House No. 2. Hamilton Square, Birkenhead

House No. 1. Frederick Street, King's Cross

The fact: Arsenal. The Terry Neill years


Terry Neill was certainly not the first choice to manage Arsenal. Possibly around tenth if we are being honest.
The list of candidates looked at the job and saw a poisoned chalice. Nobody really wanted it. It was the same with top-drawer players. Arsenal just couldn't attract them.
Mee had run the club into the ground come 1976 and failed in his pursuit to get one of the most exciting wingers of his era - yes, his continual quest to find a replacement for George Armstrong. However the player, after thinking long and hard about it, turned Arsenal down. He would go on to win the biggest trophies in England and Europe; however, one thing he wouldn't be doing, was going to the 1982 World Cup - Armstrong's eventual replacement would, though.


There were similarities with Billy Wright - The Arsenal manager that had made Neill captain.

Both captains of their country; both who plundered the transfer market to announce their presence by buying a top class striker; both who kicked or froze out players who they had previously played with; both who hated big name players and moved them on; both who made possibly Arsenal's best ever signing; and both of who never had a clue about man-management.

Terry Neill plundered the transfer market in his first six months getting possibly the most exciting striker of his era in Malcolm MacDonald for £333,333 and some months later splashing out for one of the most cultured midfielders of his generation in Alan Hudson for £200,000 and a player who had been twice runner-up for the Player of the Year in 1970 and 1975, had broke the British Transfer Record on his move to Stoke City and who with MacDonald and current Arsenal captain Alan Ball - had just 18 months earlier ripped the current world champions West Germany to pieces in one of England's finest ever performances.
It appeared that Neill was building a great side; however, that was not the case.

Alan Hudson and Alan Ball. 
Post England 2, West Germany 0. 1975 
(Below) Arsenal's £333,000 signing - The 'Roy of the Rovers' of his day - Malcolm MacDonald.

During these four years Arsenal could have been the most successful club in both England and Europe.
What happened. A lack of ambition.
The 'Queen of Cups' will take you behind the scenes to what could have been.

Terry Neill partly blamed Arsenal's failure post-1980 of not being able to replace Liam Brady. That's not true.

Terry Neill stated "We sold John Radford because we could not hold Frank (Stapleton) back any more."
Rubbish. Radford and Stapleton was on their way out as Neill wanted funds for his failed bid for Phil Boyer.

Kenny Sansom. Make no mistake about it - when Arsenal bought him, he was a truly magnificent player.

Neill's  signing of Alan Hudson in December smarted of ambition, however selling Alan Ball did not.

Graham Rix. He played in the shadow of Liam Brady and Alan Hudson at Arsenal.
Terry Neill punched the player in the face during a training session.

Terry Neill bottled the summer of 1980. Clive Allen was a brilliant signing. What happened afterwards smarted of a lack of ambition and defined Arsenal's next seven years. 
There's much, much more to this story.


1975. England 2, West Germany 0.
Alan Ball, Malcolm MacDonald and Alan Hudson - the latter getting the Man of the Match award, all played in what is widely regarded as England's best performance of the era. All three would be at Arsenal in December 1976, but Terry Neill had other plans.

23rd August, 1975. Alan Hudson's only ever goal at Highbury and summed up the Arsenal side that Bertie Mee had destroyed. Stupid back pass by Brian Kidd - Lousy defensive work by Sammy Nelson.



21st August, 1976. Arsenal 0-1 Bristol City. Malcolm MacDonald makes his debut and puts 10,000 on the gate.

25th September, 1976. Ipswich Town 3-1 Arsenal. An own goal is about as good as it gets.

23rd October, 1976. Leicester City 4-1 Arsenal. A second half capitulation by the north London club. The writing was on the wall. The defence was a big problem.

4th December, 1976. Arsenal 5-3 Newcastle United. MacDonald faces his former club and hits a hat-trick

12th November, 1976. Al Nasr (Dubai) 1-3 Arsenal. Friendly match.

18th December, 1976. Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United. Arsenal are sixth place in the table.

3rd January, 1977 Arsenal 1-1 Leeds Utd. Alan Hudson makes his debut.

29th January, 1977. Arsenal 3-1 Coventry City. a Hudson assist for MacDonald. The only highlight as Arsenal stuttered into a lousy sequence - only winning one out of 13 games.

12th February, 1977. Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal. A bad tempered match.

19th February, 1976. Arsenal 2-3 West Ham United. It started off well with a Hudson assist for Brady to make it 1-0, but the defence was always the problem.

5th March, 1977. Arsenal 1-4 Ipswich Town. Neill's "set of morons" comment about his team caused a stir. Arsenal's defence was a joke.

22nd April, 1977. Liverpool 2-0 Arsenal. Out fought and outplayed. Something had to change.

FA Cup 1977-78