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The Football Books Thread

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Where do I start. Futebol about Brazilain footbol is excellent. Likewise Tor about German football.

 

Then there are Jonathan Wilson's two books Behind the Curtaind and Inverting the Pyramid where he manages to make two difficult topics (football in Eastern Europe and tactics) seem fascinating.

 

Liverpool related, far foreign Land by Tony Evans hasn't received the praise it deserves.

 

Non football, the definite winner has to be Moneyball.

 

 

 

Very similar list.

 

All the WSC series on foreign football are excellent: Morbo,Calico,Tor & Futebol have been mentioned.

 

Inverting the Pyramid was a good read: The understanding of tactics in this country is so backward (the 1st 3 football stories in today's Guardian are based on press conferences given by GinSoak,Wenger & Hiddinck followed by a PR interview with Carrick & a ludicrous piece on the BS which ignroes wages & uses gross spending; nothing at all about tactics) & this is a start in the right direction.

 

Lots of other great shouts in this thread:

Briiliant Orange, Football Against the Enemy & 'Full Time - The secret life of Tony Cascarino'

The Damned United is good but i like all David Peace's books.

 

Broken Dreams by Tom Bower is absolutely essential. The chapter on 'Arry bankrutping Bournemouth & then West Ham is history repeated as tradegy & then farce so fuck knows what it is now when he is trying to take down a 6th business?

 

The Glory Game, Hunter Davies account of Spurs's 1972 season has an access & honesty that would never be allowed now.

(edit Sir Rog has since mentioned this whilst i was writing)

 

Eamon Dunphy's Only a Game diary as a pro at Millwall is brilliant.

The scene when the manager somehow thinks it is a good idea to treat grown men with the training performance graph his teenaged son has produced which they promptly deface is a classic.

 

A season with Verona, Tim Parks account of a year following Hellas Verona is a fantastic account of the regional differences in Italian society.

 

1 that hasn't been mentioned but is utterly superb is Joe McGinniss's "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro" where he followed a very small town's season in the Italian 2nd division in the mid 1990's

An American who fell in love with our football whilst working in Italy he also writes brilliantly about Italian society.

The team have an extraordinary season with some parts that would seem unbelievable in fiction but whcih actually occured.

The ending is incredible & a wake-up call for anyone who isn't cynical abbout the game & causes the author vast bitterness.

Fantastic.

 

I would also include MoneyBall.

Although it never mentions football as it is about baseball it could almost be written word for word about the modern PL with just a few name changes.

Salary dominates, the media is full of ex-pros who spout illogical shite in support of their own & hate an outsider who analyses the game properly using modern IT & financial theory.

Ring any bells?

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Am not a big reader but when I was young me old man had thse big black books which contained , i think , weekly issues from through the seasons past and diagrams of the best goals and every result and a review for each game , i think they were called " Book of Football " im not sure but they were brilliant , must of been around in the 70's / 80's like . . .

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I just copied this of amazon as I couldn't be arsed to type out a load of stuff this morning.

 

My Recommendation goes to:

My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes by Gary Imlach.

 

41YWYP1325L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

 

 

If you can get past the fact his Dad was a coach at the BS, its a great book about 50 and 60's football and how players, clubs, contracts and conditions were.

 

winner!

 

and an honourable mention for The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. The story of a village team who nearly made it all the way to serie A

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I've just borrowed Tales From The Travelling Kop from my Dad (which I bought him). It's a collection of fan's tales about travelling away to watch the Reds and half way in, I'm enjoying it a lot.

 

Oh and it's for the Ray of Hope charity, so an even better reason to get it.

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Stan Collymores book is very entertaining

 

currently reading Dynasty by Paul Tomkins, I am up to Joe Fagans chapter, its OK so far

 

Ive read most of the books mentioned here like The Damned United, El Macca, 43 years WTSB & Provided you dont Kiss me, all great reads

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43 Years with the Same Bird.

 

I'm half way through this, stayed up too late last night as I couldn't put it down, one word FANTASTIC!

 

Brian Reade has a superb writing style, humour and just captures the essence of why we all love this fantastic club, and how it takes over your life.

I don't agree with all of his ultra socialist ideals, but hey what the heck!

 

I couldn't recommend this book more highly.

 

 

 

That's the last footy book I read a month or so ago. All I can do is echo the above - if there's actually anyone left on here that hasn't read it yet, you should get onto it without delay.

 

I'm working my way through David Peace's Red Riding quartet at the moment so it seems logical that after that I should take Paul's advice and get The Damned United.

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Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football by Jonathan Wilson is one of my favourite books. Some of the things that happened in football under Communism were truly unbelievable.

 

Tor! and Morbo (books on the history of the German and Spanish games respectively) are both interesting too.

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Up until now the only football books I've read are Liverpool related, except for a Maradonna one I read. I'll definately check out a few of the recommendations on here.

 

Great thread by the way.

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Very similar list.

 

All the WSC series on foreign football are excellent: Morbo,Calico,Tor & Futebol have been mentioned.

 

Inverting the Pyramid was a good read: The understanding of tactics in this country is so backward (the 1st 3 football stories in today's Guardian are based on press conferences given by GinSoak,Wenger & Hiddinck followed by a PR interview with Carrick & a ludicrous piece on the BS which ignroes wages & uses gross spending; nothing at all about tactics) & this is a start in the right direction.

 

Lots of other great shouts in this thread:

Briiliant Orange, Football Against the Enemy & 'Full Time - The secret life of Tony Cascarino'

The Damned United is good but i like all David Peace's books.

 

Broken Dreams by Tom Bower is absolutely essential. The chapter on 'Arry bankrutping Bournemouth & then West Ham is history repeated as tradegy & then farce so fuck knows what it is now when he is trying to take down a 6th business?

 

The Glory Game, Hunter Davies account of Spurs's 1972 season has an access & honesty that would never be allowed now.

(edit Sir Rog has since mentioned this whilst i was writing)

 

Eamon Dunphy's Only a Game diary as a pro at Millwall is brilliant.

The scene when the manager somehow thinks it is a good idea to treat grown men with the training performance graph his teenaged son has produced which they promptly deface is a classic.

 

A season with Verona, Tim Parks account of a year following Hellas Verona is a fantastic account of the regional differences in Italian society.

 

1 that hasn't been mentioned but is utterly superb is Joe McGinniss's "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro" where he followed a very small town's season in the Italian 2nd division in the mid 1990's

An American who fell in love with our football whilst working in Italy he also writes brilliantly about Italian society.

The team have an extraordinary season with some parts that would seem unbelievable in fiction but whcih actually occured.

The ending is incredible & a wake-up call for anyone who isn't cynical abbout the game & causes the author vast bitterness.

Fantastic.

 

I would also include MoneyBall.

Although it never mentions football as it is about baseball it could almost be written word for word about the modern PL with just a few name changes.

Salary dominates, the media is full of ex-pros who spout illogical shite in support of their own & hate an outsider who analyses the game properly using modern IT & financial theory.

Ring any bells?

 

Agree - an absolute must-read - shows Bates up for the absolute shit he is too, and Ridsdale must be the biggest clown ever involved in football

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Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski's new book with a somewhat silly title of "Why England lose & other curious phenomena explained"

 

This is an a attempt to do for football what Bill James started in baseball with his sabermetrics approach which eventually led to Billy Beane, the star of Michael Lewis's "MoneyBall", comfortably the best sports book of the decade.

 

It isn't quite as good as the high-standards set above with some weak chapters in there (better editor needed??)

 

But parts of the analysis in there are excellent (the chapter on how wages determine 90% of finishing position & transfers are almost irrelelvant, the one on penalty kicks & game theory, how poor the selection process for managers is, the decline of the FACup).

 

Worth reading even if you violently disagree with the whole approach....

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All Played Out: Full Story of Italia '90: Amazon.co.uk: Pete Davies: Books

 

This is the greatest book about football ever written.

Pete Davies followed the England squad and fans around Italia 90. He had complete access to Bobby Robson and the players. Cracking chapter with Digger as well.

 

I agree, although anyone reading it today would probably question some of the effusive tributes to Sir Bobby Robson we’ve heard in the last week.

 

On the same subject, Kevin Allen’s video diary following England around Italia 90 was a fantastic bit of TV as well.

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Off the top of my head:-

 

Calcio: A History of Italian Football by John Foot.

 

ye this is a good book i knew italian footie was corrupt, but this opened my eyes even more.

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Currently reading Pele's one (titled...you guessed it..'Pele')

 

Was posted through the letterbox yesterday morning and i'm already half way through. It's good, the stories are very shinny, mentions his faith a lot and it's without controversy (what you'd expect from the man) but I am enjoying it a lot. He comes across as a really grounded, nice man.

 

The book is the exact opposit of El Diego (Maradona's one)

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I've just finished my last book and I'm considering Ajax: The Dutch, The War by Simon Kuper as my next read. Got loads to pick from but that's taken my fancy.

 

It is rather good Jules. I'd definitely get into it.

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Great thread this, I am just at the beginning of Morbo and haven't had time to read it. I have a few others lined up from this thread such as Calcio and Tor.

 

One I would recommend is the book by Simon Banks - Going Down: Football in Crisis. It is aimed at those who take an interest in the business side of the game and paints a very bleak future for the English game. It uses the examples of Leeds, Chelsea and Bradford of how your fortunes can change quite quickly and the fail line between success and failure. It highlights how one small error or misjudgement can have dire consequences.

 

If any of the lads from footy want to borrow it let me know.

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paul mcgraths book is good. its about as honest as they come

 

I think Roy Keanes book should be mentioned aswell - great read. Found it on a beach in Malaysia back in 2003 - couldnt put it down.

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I bought the Gordon Strachan biography for £2.00, and what a great read it is. It talks about his dislike/distrust (not surprisingly) of Ferguson and hardly talks about United. Bargain.

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51VWDP3YDNL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

 

Agree with a lot of the titles mentioned, and would add The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw: Robin Friday Story by Paul McGuigan (ex Oasis bassist, randomly) and Paolo Hewitt. I'd never heard of Friday myself, but it's an absolutely fascinating story. For those that have never heard of him but happen to like quirky Welsh indie pop, he's the guy on the cover of Super Furry Animals' 'The Man Don't Give a Fuck'.

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Great thread this, I am just at the beginning of Morbo and haven't had time to read it. I have a few others lined up from this thread such as Calcio and Tor.

 

One I would recommend is the book by Simon Banks - Going Down: Football in Crisis. It is aimed at those who take an interest in the business side of the game and paints a very bleak future for the English game. It uses the examples of Leeds, Chelsea and Bradford of how your fortunes can change quite quickly and the fail line between success and failure. It highlights how one small error or misjudgement can have dire consequences.

 

If any of the lads from footy want to borrow it let me know.

 

I have Football in the New Media Age (Amazon.com: Football in the New Media Age (9780415317900): Raymond Boyle: Books) that you might be interested in. It's academic but covers stuff I think you'd be interested in.

 

Drop me a PM if you are.

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