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The Football Books Thread

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Just reading "Tor! The Story of German Football" by Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger. It's not brand new, but it provides a fascinating German perspective on their clubs and national team, and how German's think their football is viewed by others.

 

I like these books such as John Foot's book on Italian football history ("Calcio!"), Phil Ball's brilliant Spanish football history ("Morbo"), and David Winner's story of Dutch football ("Brilliant Orange"). I'm thinking of moving on to Alex Bellos Brazilian history "Futebol" next.

 

I also like to collect books specifically about foreign teams, and have already got

 

White Storm - The Story of Real Madrid (Phil Ball)

Barca!: A People's Passion (Jimmy Burns)

Spartak Moscow - A History of the People's Team in the Workers' State (Robert Edelman)

 

and would like to find similar stories in English specific to clubs like Juve, Milan, Inter & Marseille, as well as Boca Juniors and River Plate (or at least a book about Argentinian football on a par with the histories outlined above).

 

You may not like some of the teams or football outside of England, but these books are a superb read.

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where did you get that sparak book?

 

You can get the Spartak book on amazon. It came out a couple of months ago and covers the period up until 1991.

I was browsing through some American equivalent of Waterstones in San Diego last month when to my great surprise I came across it in the sparcely-populated soccer section - turns out the author is a professor at UCSD. He's written a couple of papers on the subject before and it looks pretty in-depth from footballing as well as sociological point of view (just glanced through it so far - it's in the queue of books awaiting attention).

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Couple I didn't see mentioned (did skim through the threa rather quickly, though):

 

David Conn's The Beautiful Game?: Searching for the Soul of Football - about the state of the game and its finances. Absolutely superb.

 

Harry Pearson's The Far Corner - a football season in the North-East in the 1993/94 season. To describe it as absolutely wonderful would be an understatement.

 

Andrew Jenning's Foul! - lays into corruption at FIFA - Blatter, Warner et al.

 

Someone mentioned Lars Leese' "The Keeper of Dreams" - it was translated some years ago, actually, and is a very human and touching story. Would also thoroughly recommend it.

 

One football book I'd recommend people to steer clear of is "Comrade Jim" by Jim Riordan, an English fella who lived in the Soviet Union and claims to have played 2 games for Spartak Moscow, going into some detail in describing the games he took part in. Being a Spartak fan from my days back in the USSR I thought - ah, interesting, and did some research and it turns out that his claims are complete and utter b*llocks - the games he claims to have taken part in never happened, the Spartak formation is all wrong, etc. I actually phone the publishers, asking them how could they possibly print this sh*t w/o checking if any of it was true. "We did..." "Yeah, right..." And that's just the chapter on his football escapades, so I can only imagine how much of the rest of the book is actually true.

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Kopaloadofthis: as far as I am aware there aren't any specific books on Italian sides. In fact, there aren't any really good book about Italian football in general. If you haven't read them as yet, I would suggest Futebol (Brazilian football) and Feet of the Chamaleon (African football), both of which are great.

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he says he did play for them.

 

I'd like a book on Boca if anyone can push one my way.

 

Yes, I know; however, all evidence points to the fact that he is lying.

 

I remember rooting around for some English-language books on Argentine football and couldn't find anything. Some great-great stories out there too. With all the material could be better than Futebol, I reckon, whenever someone gets around to it.

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I bought Peles book off play.com for 4 quid the other week.

 

Can anyone recommend Forza Italia and MAradona's book? I can get them for cheap enough too.

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Just finished Soccernomics: Why England Lose, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey and Even India are Destined to Become the New Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport: Amazon.co.uk: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski: Books

 

Picked it up in Houston Airport for the plane. Not a bad read, good for the most part, but boring in places and ignorant in others. Wouldn't recommend buying it but if you can lend a copy then do. IIRC the crux of the argument is that experience, GDP and population are the key to being successful as a nation, whilst the maths behind it holds up, I think it can still underestimate culture. It talks of the USA being a dominant force in the future, but it neglects to mention their amateur set up and how the length of their seasons is much shorter than their European counterparts.

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frank worthington: one hump or two - the title sums up the book, classic chapters

 

- when he is first called up by england and turns up dressed as a cowboy to don revies horror

 

- the reason why he failed his medical and didnt sign for liverpool

 

- the conversation between jim smith and mandy rice davis

 

great book

 

also liked:

 

behind the iron curtain

fowler (as long as you can read in scouse)

john barnes

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I must admit I'm a smacked arse when it comes to football books.

 

I've only really ever bought Liverpool books, but after reading some of the reviews on here I think I'll broaden my horizons.

 

However, Fowler's book is by far the best of the Liverpool autobiographies I've read. To me, it's like he's sat there actually telling you his story.

 

Gerrard's was good as was Carra's but it just didn't have that spark. Haven't got round to reading Torres' yet due to having my head stuck in Frankie Boyle's book.

 

Here We Go Gathering Cups In May is a great read too. A really fascinating insight to fans experiences in getting to all those European Cup finals. The Heysel chapter does make for uncomfortable reading though. The only real downside to this book though is because it's written by Liverpool fans from Liverpool, (I always feel uncomfortable referring to Liverpudlians as Scousers.) it does get a bit of a feel of OOT bashing. Tony Barrett always seemed like a sound bloke to me and I dare say he is but after reading that book I get the feel he'd have no time for a supporter like me who doesn't come from Liverpool.

 

Anyway, by the by, it's definately a good read and well worth it.

 

I got lent Beckham's book a while back and it's incredibly sickly. A bit too sugar coated for my liking.

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I bought Peles book off play.com for 4 quid the other week.

 

Can anyone recommend Forza Italia and MAradona's book? I can get them for cheap enough too.

 

I can recommend Maradona's book highly, thought it was great. Some great stories in there.

 

I also recommend Fields of Glory, Paths of Gold - The History of European Football by Kevin Connolly and Rab Williams.

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Guest PurpleNose
Just finished re-reading Cascarino's book.

 

Its boss. Forgot he's a red.

 

anyone reccomend any other good uns with xmas on the horizon?

 

What sort you into?

 

Autobiographies? Football Culture? Tactics?

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Guest PurpleNose
Culture but I'm not adverse to the odd autobiography

 

Read all these?

 

Tor, Brilliant Orange, Calcio, Italian Job, Morbo, A Season with Verona.

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Read all these?

 

Tor, Brilliant Orange, Calcio, Italian Job, Morbo, A Season with Verona.

 

I've read Brilliant Orange, Morbo and a season with.

 

I'll check the others out, ta chief.

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I read Tom Finneys autobiography a couple of years back and thought it was excellent,Shanks said he was the best hes ever seen.

 

Its a throwback to a bygone age and very enjoyable.

I think he spent all his career outside the top division in English football too.

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I read Tom Finneys autobiography a couple of years back and thought it was excellent,Shanks said he was the best hes ever seen.

 

Its a throwback to a bygone age and very enjoyable.

I think he spent all his career outside the top division in English football too.

 

Finney played his entire career in the top flight. Never won a major honour and was never booked. Preston were relegated from Division 1 in 1961, the season after he retired.

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Finney played his entire career in the top flight. Never won a major honour and was never booked. Preston were relegated from Division 1 in 1961, the season after he retired.

 

I stand corrected,it was a few years back.

 

I think I was amazed that such a top player never really won anything despite being one of the best English players of his generation.

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Just started Michael Calvin's book The nowhere men

All about Scouting in football. One one chapter in but quite interesting in a few ways.

Mel Johnson the former Spurs and Liverpool scout has appeared alot early on(was our scout at the time). One thing stood out to me though and probably a reason England are so fucked at International level

 

At the England Czech Rep youth game all the scouts are watching and the Luton youth scout is shouting to anyone that will listen he is sick of all this Barcelona football crap,how we need to play to our strengths in this country. Just shows why we struggle when most teams are still just looking for this old style hood the ball and hard tackling bullshit. No wonder teams don't like loaning players to the lower leagues when most won't benefit from playing down there. Also no wonder we are always crying about foriegn refs giving freekicks for things that would  not be a free kick in England. We seem to think that all teams should adapt the 'British' approach not we should be adapting to how football is played round the world,

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