Queen of Cups Parts 1 & 2

by Dave Faber, Goonerholic

You may recall the first two books by the same author: I Am Sam and ITV 7.

Researching for the final part of the trilogy unearthed so much material about the Arsenal, particularly in the era in which I was supporting the Gunners home and away every week that the result was a work that had to be split into two parts.

If you read the first two books then you will be familiar with the rather enjoyable fusion of fact and fiction. At this point I should declare an interest as one of the very minor characters. Don’t let that put you off! In fact, if you are familiar with Arsenal social media you may well recognise a number of familiar names. A clever touch that and clearly James is a salesman as well as an author.

The main fictional character remains Lee Janes around whom the tales of his business successes, his complicated relationships, and his not-all-fictional colleagues are woven. As ever his work brings him into contact with an interesting Arsenal character. Alan Hudson has contributed a lot to this tale and the revelations about the club at the time, warts and all, make for gripping reading …unless you are Terry Neill!

Lee and wife Emily’s lives have developed in the trilogy and hers is a prominent role in the fictional tale. Lee’s character has moved on over the trilogy too and he is a less flawed diamond in this tale, but I suspect some will be more interested in the real-life goings on at The Arsenal in the seventies.

I don’t want to give too much away but the main Gunners thread is obviously Huddy’s brief but memorable spell at Highbury, and the deterioration in the relationship between the player and the manager who signed him. Read Alan’s side of a very highly publicised tour of Australia at the end of his first season which ended with him and Malcolm Macdonald being sent home early.

That isn’t the only period covered though and older readers may notice some of the flashbacks to the sixties in the book which supplements and adds to the content in the first two tomes. The tales of who we signed, or nearly signed, will raise a smile or two, I’m sure.

Certainly, if you enjoyed the first two books then you really do need to buy these to complete Lee’s remarkable rise, and bone up on the bits of Arsenal that you may or may not have heard in years past. What is does contain is a litany of deals we failed to get over the line for one reason or another. Jim Baxter for example and the fact that Arsenal had agreed the fee for Peter Reid but he asked for £1200 per week and they sent him back. There are lots of those in the book/s.

Enjoy the books. I certainly did

Queen of Cups Part 1

Queen of Cups Part 2