A thread for books about football

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I thought there was a thread about this already, but I couldn't find it in search. At any rate...

I got Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten Game as a gift last week, and I'm loving it. I am pretty sure Ismael has posted about it before. Wonderful descriptions of the myriad focal points of the game's development over here. I especially liked the reference to old-timey club names, like Massachusetts Catholic Total Abstinence Union FC. I'm just starting to get into the dark years for the sport, the way in which infighting and anti-immigrant sentiments combined to quash the early leagues is fascinating.

So, talk about your favorite football books.

dan m, Monday, 3 January 2011 21:17 (eight years ago) link

I dunno, all the obvious ones. Jimmy Burns' books on Maradona and Barcelona. Simon Kuper's Football Against The Enemy.

I heard this was pretty good:
http://www.amazon.com/Soccer-Sun-Shadow-Eduardo-Galeano/dp/1859842305

puff pastry hangman (admrl), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:23 (eight years ago) link

Also - "Roy Keane-My Autobiography". Hilarious.

puff pastry hangman (admrl), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:24 (eight years ago) link

Something about books on football doesn't sit right with me. I dunno why.

puff pastry hangman (admrl), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:24 (eight years ago) link

I read The Galeano book a couple years ago, a short but worthwhile read.

dan m, Monday, 3 January 2011 21:26 (eight years ago) link

I've scattered a few reviews on various threads, delighted to have a chance to bring them together:

The Anatomy of England - Jonathan Wilson
Really superb. It's a tracing of the national team's progress and setbacks through ten carefully-chosen triumphs and humiliations across the decades. Everyone's interested in the national team, even if we all hate them really for one reason or another. Half the games are new to me, and the other half have been treated with enough care that it feels like he's got a new angle even on England-Holland 1996, say. Most importantly, the writing and research is first-class - you can practically see the games unfolding as you read, which amazing considering footage doesn't even exist for the first couple of games he writes about (Spain-England 1929 and Italy-England 1938 iirc) and he's just pieced it together as best he could from contemporary accounts. I wish it had a more attractive title, it's the best book.

People rave about his Inverting the Pyramid too. It's a pretty in-depth analysis of the development of football formations across the world and through time, with loads of interesting vignettes of personalities from 30s Austria, 50s Argentina, etc - fairly novel fare, and to be honest you probably need to be a bit geeky either about tactics or (like me) about the sport globally to get the most from it. I think it would be tougher going for someone with a more normal interest in the game.

He's got a third book about Eastern European football that I've never seen anyone talk about, ever.

Soccer In A Football World - David Wangerin
as you suspected. Glad you're enjoying it and yeah, the names are the best. It's even on Google Books for real tightwads.

Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King - Philippe Auclair
Quite engaging, though Cantona himself doesn't really feature in close-up. It's more like studying him scurrying about under a magnifying glass for his younger career, then through the press for the English bit (though he's also sought some fan perspectives here for a more intimate feel). It's also got something I've noticed from a few Latin translations, namely a tendency to overwordiness or indulgent digressions, so that author becomes more prominent than subject. It's a little hard to deal with as I usually go for really tight prose.

Incredibly, I've just discovered that Auclair has his own ILM thread dating from 2004!

Why England Lose - Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski
Patchy - some really interesting bits, interspersed with stuff that's either too obvious to be interesting, or is just blatantly made up. I reviewed it here. It's a meld between pop-economics and sports, but it lacks the rigour that you'd want from the former or the punchy approach that someone like Michael Lewis brings to the latter. It's a pleasant enough read, but I can't really recommend buying it.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 3 January 2011 21:52 (eight years ago) link

invertin the pyramid in my amazon basket iirc

all i gotta do is akh nachivly (darraghmac), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:54 (eight years ago) link

Also - "Roy Keane-My Autobiography". Hilarious.

― puff pastry hangman (admrl), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:24 (30 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Something about books on football doesn't sit right with me. I dunno why.

― puff pastry hangman (admrl), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:24 (29 minutes ago) Bookmark

yeah i don't see anything wrong with it but i haven't read any so...

nonetheless i will read roy keane's book one day

max bro'd (nakhchivan), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:55 (eight years ago) link

you really should, it's as if he out-ilx'd himself in 'noel gallagher' mode iygwim

Course, dunphy egged him on too

all i gotta do is akh nachivly (darraghmac), Monday, 3 January 2011 21:59 (eight years ago) link

on that note, dunphy's 'only a game' is v refreshing. Not autobiography, more a diary/snapshot of a thinking journeyman at the end of his career in a very different time, football-wise

all i gotta do is akh nachivly (darraghmac), Monday, 3 January 2011 22:01 (eight years ago) link

Very fond of My Father and Other Working-Class Football Heroes by Gary Imlach. For sentimental reasons as much as anything.

Michael Jones, Monday, 3 January 2011 22:06 (eight years ago) link

The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer - David Goldblatt

Please fetishize responsibly (Michael White), Monday, 3 January 2011 22:07 (eight years ago) link

Inverting The Pyramid is the most fun i've had reading non fiction.

irish xmas caek, get that marzipan inta ya (a hoy hoy), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 11:12 (eight years ago) link

Is the lack of great football novels a surprising thing or not, I wonder? I do like The Damned Utd despite my reservations about Peace as a writer, but I get little sense that he loves or really understands football. I haven't read Glanville since my teens but what I remember isn't enough to make desperate to re-read him. Am intending to have a look soon tho, out of curiousity. Wd be fun to check out El Tel's They Used to Play on Grass.

I've just discovered there's a David Baddiel think piece about this in the Times Online but from the cursory scan I've given it he's got no more clue than I have. I'm not saying that a football novel even could be great but there's a lot of subjects of much less social significance that have got endless literary works devoted to them. Does the world need The Great Football Novel do you think?

Shanty! Shanti! Shanté! (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 12:01 (eight years ago) link

Simon Kuper's tuppennorth: http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-literature-literaturematters-nov05-simonkuper.htm

Did not know that JL Carr had written a football book!

Stevie T, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 12:17 (eight years ago) link

Interesting enough overview and analysis but I don't think I agree with the assumption that a great football book needs to be social(ist) realism of some form. I dunno I think there's a lot, an awful lot, you could do within the world of pro football. General rule of thumb is "whatever Nick Hornby thinks, do the opposite".

Shanty! Shanti! Shanté! (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 12:28 (eight years ago) link

Are there any great sport novels though? Like one about cricket or baseball or aussie rules or darts or whatever?

irish xmas caek, get that marzipan inta ya (a hoy hoy), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 12:30 (eight years ago) link

the cricket stories that I've read of the ones that Kuper lists are pretty great, I suppose you could argue they're minor. there is a lack of great sports fiction in general I think, altho again Kuper is right that the high school sports star is a big thing in post-war American fiction. I shd probably have read Underworld at some point so I can't comment there. I'd argue that Fred Exley's A Fan's Notes is a reasonably great book that revolves around sport.

but I still think the paucity of great sports books is a little odd and a lot sad.

Shanty! Shanti! Shanté! (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 12:38 (eight years ago) link

"full time: the secret life of tony cascarino"

the Chinese firewall of the heart (Michael B), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 15:43 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...

enjoyed this review of some new freakonomics-style sport book in the LRB. do read if you hate freakonomics:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n13/david-runciman/swing-for-the-fences

joe, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:42 (eight years ago) link

That's a terrific article.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 18:41 (eight years ago) link

Currently traipsing through Anthony Clavane's Promised Land: The Reinvention of Leeds United, which I'm finding a bit fascinating, though that might be cos it's as much about the city (where I live) as the football. Making me think I need to see/read Billy Liar and read one of them books about Revie/Revie's Leeds next. The Don seems a rather intriguing character.

William Bloody Swygart, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 19:38 (eight years ago) link

that runciman piece was thoroughly enjoyable. made me think of this fave article from ages back (now with added delicious dark ironies) which turns out to have been by him as well -

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,,2002869,00.html

r|t|c, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 20:08 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, great. I didn't know much about Pardew - interesting that he's scouring France for value at the moment, it's most unNewcastle.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 21:01 (eight years ago) link

i remember those OSM pieces, loved them at the time. you can see how poor aidy boothroyd missed the point, changing the subject to malcolm fucking gladwell at the first available opportunity. a postscript, courtesy of wiki:

currently unemployed... Boothroyd is a consultant, and honourary manager, to the England Writers Football Team. He has been helping them since May 2009 when he took them for a two day training session. His work with them is on-going as they pit themselves against writers' teams from around the world.

joe, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 21:40 (eight years ago) link

"Take West Ham. 'I firmly believe that in the development of any team there is a tipping point,' Alan Pardew said at the beginning of 2006, citing the influence of Malcolm Gladwell" - thought I was reading some ILF parody thread for a second there, and Ian Holloway, David Moyes and Big Sam were about to out themselves as New Yorker subscribers and devotees of the lapidary prose of Nicholson Baker.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 21:46 (eight years ago) link

I'd love it if Andre Villas Boas uses his first press conference to troll about Paulo Coelho

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 22:28 (eight years ago) link

Currently traipsing through Anthony Clavane's Promised Land: The Reinvention of Leeds United

Me too. Good read.

in an arrangement that mimics idiocy (Michael White), Wednesday, 6 July 2011 14:04 (eight years ago) link

Have now finished it, and yeah, basically great. Jacket majorly overplays how much it's about the team rather than the city, though; a lot's about the football, but it's how it ties into the city itself is marvellous. There's holes, but the scope of what he covers is kind of awesome, and it's a great thing to jump off into loads of other things from. Even people with no investment in any sense of Leeds would get something from it, I'd reckon.

Am now having a crack at The Unforgiven, Rob Bagchi and Paul Rogerson's history of the Revie regime. Thus far, much Jack Charlton dickery, which is never not fun.

William Bloody Swygart, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 22:18 (eight years ago) link

The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer - David Goldblatt
--Please fetishize responsibly (Michael White)

Just starting this. Begins at the beginning with the ancient historical antecedents of soccer/football as one might expect from a book of this great length, giving one fears of a dry as dust, indigestible tome, but actually seems to be really well written.

Safe European HOOS (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 7 July 2011 00:28 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Do we have a thread for football blogs worth reading? Someone posted a link to a good one during the world cup but the name escapes me. I'm sure many of you know it. It had a nice, slick design and a snappy name. What was it?

Patrice Leclerc Delacroix Poussin (admrl), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:48 (eight years ago) link

Run of Play?

http://www.runofplay.com/

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:49 (eight years ago) link

Yep, that's it! Do you like it?

Patrice Leclerc Delacroix Poussin (admrl), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:50 (eight years ago) link

Not a devout follower but the writing generally lives up to the design imo. So yes.

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:51 (eight years ago) link

What else do you read? You seem like a pretty discerning fellow

Patrice Leclerc Delacroix Poussin (admrl), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:51 (eight years ago) link

as a Football Manager junkie tho Zonal Marking is seriously my thing

http://www.zonalmarking.net/

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:53 (eight years ago) link

Ismael is yr man for Run of Play tho, and probably a go-to guy for this kind of question

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:55 (eight years ago) link

Oh man, I miss FM =( Once I get a steady job, I will be on it again. I haven't played in three years or more, who knows how addictive it is now

Patrice Leclerc Delacroix Poussin (admrl), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:55 (eight years ago) link

i read ilf and f365 but f365 is admittedly rubbish.

I should read runofplay more.

Are fourfourtwo online?

Anything else ppl recommend? Cos yknow i'm too productive at work/home as is

CH3C(O)N(CH3)2 (darraghmac), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:56 (eight years ago) link

nv and a hoy hoy the fm heads iirc, tho pfunkboy gave me a few tips on the latest one iirc. Dont play it anymore so i have a girlfriend.

CH3C(O)N(CH3)2 (darraghmac), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:57 (eight years ago) link

i guess i read a lot of the broadsheet stuff on line. i'm not too crazy about some of the more whimsical or sociological football writing but that doesn't attest to its quality, i just prefer a more focused analysis.

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:58 (eight years ago) link

Yes, there needs to be more analysis. That Cannavaro thing on run of play was quite good

Patrice Leclerc Delacroix Poussin (admrl), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:59 (eight years ago) link

this makes me laugh until i get that funny feeling in my head where i worry that the heart attack's about to kick in

http://backofthenet.wikia.com/wiki/No-Nonsense_Players

i'm sorry for whatever (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:01 (eight years ago) link

Not really xps, I've had a couple of pieces up on Run Of Play myself (inc the 'Roy sacked!' piece, which I was quite proud of) but I don't have enough time to keep up with blogs. A Swiss Ramble is incredible, but you've got to be into finance really.

A hoy hoy knows his stuff iirc. Pete W's a proper writer, with any luck he'll spot this and share a bit of wisdom.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:02 (eight years ago) link

http://santapelota.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/Santapelota

http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/user-comments/Roberticus

This guy hardly ever posts to his blog, but I think his twitter and comments on Guardian articles are some of the best stuff going. Emphasis on the South American game but touches on most top leagues regularly.

boxall, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:10 (eight years ago) link

seriously tho, if you ask a question of ilf and include any encouragement for long answers i think you'll be well served by the likes of IK NV chris pandemic the frothing gooners and the reasonable ones like er n1ck pete w the french the usa lads obvs the scotchish contingent and the benelux boys about their respective teams/leagues before a hoy hoy and i spoil it then nakh or mattdc take us to task then ronan gets disgusted. All of ilf is there imo.

CH3C(O)N(CH3)2 (darraghmac), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:12 (eight years ago) link

Most of the ones I read are US-centric. Of those Soccer Insider is probably the best despite its DC United slant.

keillor can folk anything. and he will, and has. (dan m), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:13 (eight years ago) link

heh xp, if board descriptions were at all accurate I'd be having that one

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:21 (eight years ago) link

i got mad lyrics but no substance, nahmsayin? I'm on the next teen publishing ting, slept through vampires

CH3C(O)N(CH3)2 (darraghmac), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:31 (eight years ago) link

the santapelota site boxall linked to is good iirc

nakhchivan, Thursday, 4 August 2011 01:09 (eight years ago) link

Swiss Ramble (financial/business side of ting)
Run of Play (although iirc it is american so you can get confused by americano sport references)
Zonal Marking (does that great Jonathon Wilson in depth tactics thing better than any other site, and regularly. a must read imo.)
Left Back in the Changing Room (can cover cricket and does lots of scottish football, but don't let that put you off. covers anything that interests him so i can't just say 'read it if you are interested in [x]'. but i <3 reading it, for example his latest article starts:

One of my favourite Sir Alex Ferguson quotes was him decrying various football journalists questioning Veron's ability:

''He (Veron) is a fucking great player. And you're all fucking idiots''

This sums up my feelings about Alberto Aquilani. )

I am Louise Boat (a hoy hoy), Thursday, 4 August 2011 08:06 (eight years ago) link

seriously tho, if you ask a question of ilf and include any encouragement for long answers i think you'll be well served by the likes of IK NV chris pandemic the frothing gooners and the reasonable ones like er n1ck pete w the french the usa lads obvs the scotchish contingent and the benelux boys about their respective teams/leagues before a hoy hoy and i spoil it then nakh or mattdc take us to task then ronan gets disgusted. All of ilf is there imo.

― CH3C(O)N(CH3)2 (darraghmac), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 23:12 (Yesterday)

will this fit as a new borad descrip?

I am Louise Boat (a hoy hoy), Thursday, 4 August 2011 08:07 (eight years ago) link

Football Manager blogs and message borads are a hell not worth delving into. bookmark yrself a list of best frees to pick up when you are at a lower league club and what the achievement bubbles actually mean and leave it at that. maybe a guide to club finances if you are a rookie.

I am Louise Boat (a hoy hoy), Thursday, 4 August 2011 08:12 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...

Short piece on books by insiders

Anybody read any of these? The Glory Game sounds like the business, yet I've never heard of it.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 10:26 (seven years ago) link

The Glory Game's a classic - does a fantastic job of taking you inside the club. Only A Game? is a brilliant book, too - Dunphy before he had assumed the role of Eamonn Dunphy. One he doesn't mention in Joe McGinniss's The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, a season with a lower division Italian club, from the perspective of someone completely new to football. That means there are surprising insights, though sometimes the blindingly obvious is treated as if its a novelty.

An unusual man, McGinniss - he was the youngest author apart from Anne Frank to top the NYT bestseller chart with The Selling of the President (1968), one of the classics of the New Journalism. He was the subject of Janet Malcolm's The Journalist and the Murderer after his own book about the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case saw him sued by MacDonald for concluding he was guilty. He fell hard for football in the 90s. I stayed a few nights at his home once on a holiday to the States, and he really was obsessed with football. When we arrived, he showed off his latest purhcase: a statistical history of Potteries derbies.

Viva Brother Beyond (ithappens), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 19:35 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Anthony Clavane's Promised Land: The Reinvention of Leeds United

I was browsing his Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here? earlier. Looks a smashing read, I'll be picking it up soon. A little disconcerting at first glance how it starts off with sketches on old players and ends with chapters on modern moneymen, but he's got to write it as it is I suppose.

I actually went in to check out Red Or Dead, David Peace's new Shankly book. It looks a real slog at first - I suspect there's a zone you can get into with it, but I also suspect I'll not be going there. It's just irritating, the "Bill Shankly put on the kettle. Bill Shankly made a cup of tea. Bill Shankly took it to the table. Bill Shankly sat down. Bill Shankly put his head in his hands. Bill Shankly wept." 'He' is an excellent word imo, Peace should give it a shot.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 23 August 2013 17:36 (six years ago) link

Started The Nowhere Men, Michael Calvin's book about scouts. It's shaping up to be something very, very special. Also flag up to oppet - there's quite a bit about Brentford's youth recruitment system, including this one dizzying passage with (I think) the club's director of football where he rattles off the questions he asks himself when analysing the kids in their system. It's really rather thrilling so far.

William Bloody Swygart, Sunday, 1 September 2013 22:26 (six years ago) link

(it's the book where that passage about Moyes' scouting hub at Everton got quoted from on another thread, can't remember which one)

William Bloody Swygart, Sunday, 1 September 2013 22:27 (six years ago) link

Re-flag for rtc, cos I've just got through the bit where it turns out Gary Penrice is a secret genius.

William Bloody Swygart, Thursday, 5 September 2013 21:12 (six years ago) link

I ended up buying both Clavane books thanks to your eulogy upthread. This scouting one sounds intriguing too - 'thrilling' is quite a word to use.

Ismael Klata, Thursday, 5 September 2013 21:21 (six years ago) link

I still haven't bloody read Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here? - got bought shortly after I moved last October, is now somewhere in the packing from when I moved a couple months ago. But yeah, Promised Land is a corker.

Nowhere Men is amazing just for the density it packs in. Calvin's done serious yards as a journalist (I remember when he was chief sport writer on the Telegraph nearly 20 years ago), and you can really feel the craft. He's a serious knack for fleshing out his characters and settings in just a few words, and is great at just letting the people he meets speak for themselves. His biases are never hard to guess (he prefers the old-school fellers to the stats blokes), and he can be prone to sentimentality, but it's so engrossing I can tend to put that to one side. I've recommended Family, his year in the life of Millwall, elsewhere on ILF, too. They're both worth your time.

William Bloody Swygart, Thursday, 5 September 2013 22:34 (six years ago) link

In October 2008, Penrice joined Stoke City as a European Scout. Tony Pulis was eager to add Penrice to the Stoke scouting network to utilise his knowledge of the European transfer market.[5]

not a single european player was signed in this period

r|t|c, Thursday, 5 September 2013 22:49 (six years ago) link

that europe that they have now

гір кривбас кривий ріг (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Thursday, 5 September 2013 23:04 (six years ago) link

Book does deal with that, oddly. Penrice is said to have recommended them Cheick Tiote (Pulis put off after a call to Steve McClaren) and Demba Ba (the knee thing), as well as Nzonzi (three years before they went for him), Llorente, Javier Martinez and Koscielny (on a free transfer, he opted to join Lorient instead). Doesn't go into too much depth about Stoke's rejections.

Penrice seems to have carved himself out a freelance job lying somewhere between scout and agent, a sort of uber-middleman type affair. And seems to be doing alright at it. I mostly just remember his tache in the old Merlin annuals.

William Bloody Swygart, Thursday, 5 September 2013 23:39 (six years ago) link

He's also responsible for hooking Gillingham up with Paulo Gazzaniga, which then leads to Paulo ending up with us (not a Penrice doing - Gazzaniga crops up a few times, turns out he was on the radar of quite a few people before Saints snapped him up).

William Bloody Swygart, Thursday, 5 September 2013 23:42 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

bergkamps new book available on kindle for 49p

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stillness-Speed-Story-Dennis-Bergkamp-ebook/dp/B00DJWA1IM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

idk if this is a fuckup or what but there it is

midwife christless (darraghmac), Saturday, 9 November 2013 12:18 (six years ago) link

bergain

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Saturday, 9 November 2013 12:36 (six years ago) link

meant to be very good.

the new dunphy book sounds interesting enough too.

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Saturday, 9 November 2013 12:37 (six years ago) link

Thanks D

Ismael Klata, Saturday, 9 November 2013 12:42 (six years ago) link

I picked up another footy-related book second-hand yesterday, Awaydays by Kevin Sampson. I had it then lost it when I was a student, and remembered it as a pretty good read, plus I saw the film recently (fine, but comically underbudgeted), so I thought I'd give it another try. First chapter rolls along nicely, good bit of colour, one or two promising characters.

Ismael Klata, Saturday, 9 November 2013 13:19 (six years ago) link

Arseclenching stuff from adams

golfdinger (darraghmac), Sunday, 10 November 2013 01:00 (six years ago) link

Oh god: The Anatomy of Liverpool

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 12 November 2013 12:46 (six years ago) link

everyone needs to read that tony cascarino book if they havent already

subaltern 8 (Michael B), Tuesday, 12 November 2013 20:37 (six years ago) link

Bergkamp's book is really good, so refreshing to have a footballer talk about football: favoured positions and formations, how some work for him and some don't, spaces between players and lines, how he worked on technique, etc.

You can see he is genuinely interested in how others assess his difficult period at Inter - where he was something of a pawn in a religious war between Catenaccio and Sacchi's revolution at Milan - rather than just blaming failings on poor coaching or poor relationships with players.

I had just about given up on football autobiographies with all the usual shite about contracts and booze and how they carry on the fine tradition of bullying apprentices but Bergkamp may have kept me on board for one more self-indulgent tell-all.

^stop that^ (onimo), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 20:34 (five years ago) link

otm

best bits def as you describe- his on-pitch spatial reasonings broken down, and the back-and-forth nature of the inter discussion

also- blessedly short.

30 ch'lopping days left to umas (darraghmac), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 20:50 (five years ago) link

I got it for 49p thanks to your link upthread btw, so thank you (now £9.49).

^stop that^ (onimo), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 20:56 (five years ago) link

yeah idk what went on there but

30 ch'lopping days left to umas (darraghmac), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 21:03 (five years ago) link

everything Jonathan Wilson does is great,though i habent had a chance to read the outsider.

The ball is round by David Goldblatt(?) is a great history of football.

I really,really want to read soccer nemesis by Brian Glanville as any excerpts of it have always piqued my interest. Another on my wishlist are dunphy's a strange kind of glory.

tell it to my arse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 23:47 (five years ago) link

haven't
Is

tell it to my arse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 23:47 (five years ago) link

have you

i'm banging on about it now

read only a game from dunphy?

30 ch'lopping days left to umas (darraghmac), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 23:49 (five years ago) link

I only really started reading football books last couple years but living in fucking hockey land it's a bit difficult to get anything that is remotely old or esoteric. might get myself a crimbo present off yon internet.

tell it to my arse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 23:53 (five years ago) link

It's just irritating, the "Bill Shankly put on the kettle. Bill Shankly made a cup of tea. Bill Shankly took it to the table. Bill Shankly sat down. Bill Shankly put his head in his hands. Bill Shankly wept."
Shocked that there is this kind of repetitive writing to be found in a David Peace book.

Skatalite of Dub (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 27 November 2013 11:05 (five years ago) link

I enjoyed Inverting the Pyramid. David Winner's Brilliant Orange and Those Feet are excellent, although Brilliant Orange is as much a book about the Dutch psyche than anything lese.

Flowersdie, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 13:36 (five years ago) link

four months pass...

I just finished The Nowhere Men by Michael Calvin, as recommended by Swygart upthread. It's fantastic - packing in the detail, never wasting a word is right. I've read four other footy books this year - Bergkamp's, Zlatan's, The Glory Game, Dunphy's autobiography - and they're all good, but this is the best. Highly recommended.

Ismael Klata, Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:11 (five years ago) link

Just finished the Zlatan book. It did nothing to change my firm belief, based on years of fitba biogs, that footballers are mostly arseholes. Ten years of annually collecting league trophies at every country he passes through and it's all agitating for transfers and head-butting team mates and carrying grudges against every cunt who dared to look at him sideways.

pick it up for ripple laser (onimo), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 07:44 (five years ago) link

It's amazing how in awe of his agent he is. Everything else in life he's the big boss; but when it comes to doing a deal, he's snuggling up to daddy while the grown-ups talk.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:32 (five years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Pirlo's book is out in paperback in English translation. Good stuff especially on free kick technique, being tapped up by Pep, torturing gattuso. The gap in behaviour between English pros and European ones not so great judging by his strict Milan training regime of arrive a training for 9am, one hour of FIFA vs Nesta, train for 2 hours then more FIFA until 4pm!

pandemic, Thursday, 23 April 2015 12:31 (four years ago) link

He also p much accuses Depor of doping wrt the game they overturned a 1-4 deficit to knock Milan out of the CL.

pandemic, Thursday, 23 April 2015 19:53 (four years ago) link

His free kick technique is based on Juninho and involves striking the ball with only the last 3 toes iirc.

pandemic, Thursday, 23 April 2015 19:54 (four years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Just finished Ronald Reng's Matchdays. Really enjoyed it a sort of history of the bundesliga through the playing and management career of Heinz Höher (someone I had never heard of). By the end when he's training Juri Judt by himself and encouraging him it's p sad.

pandemic, Thursday, 7 April 2016 14:44 (three years ago) link

About 1/3 of the way thru Michael Calvin's 'Living On The Volcano'. Between Shaun Derry,Ian Holloway and Mark Hughes there's plenty of good QPR stuff including Julio Cesar advising Derry to buy a helicopter instead of commuting for 2 hours into training. The Martin Ling stuff is scary as is the Brendon Rodgers stuff though for completely different reasons.

pandemic, Sunday, 10 April 2016 14:58 (three years ago) link

He sets the scene in a style worthy of a local garda novel when describing his first meeting with John Still....

"in a rain lashed Portokabin in the garden suburbs of Luton, where a black plastic dustbin asking for donations 'for Africa' contains a solitary football boot."

pandemic, Monday, 11 April 2016 11:49 (three years ago) link

also chronicles an aside from Sean Dyche - these guys are going to be regarded as rock legends (on Kasabian)

pandemic, Monday, 11 April 2016 11:51 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Poch book is really good

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Friday, 10 November 2017 01:07 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

revelatory stuff in the p crouch book... james mcclean puts hp sauce on the majority of his meals up to and including rice pudding!

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 20:16 (four weeks ago) link


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