The Away End by Dean Mansell Published by CreateSpace June 2012Â Â£6.95 ISBN: 978-1477654262 Our
Book Reviews Week draws to a close with regular contributor Craig Telfer providing his thoughts on
a book brought to us by Chesterfield fan and blogger Dean Mansell along with a preface from that
doyen of Yorkshire and North Derbsyhire football correspondents, Alan Biggs.
Last summer I heard rumours that Paul Gascoigne was dead. Unlike the rest of the rubbish that
circulates the ether, sadly this had the ring of truth. He had been looking more pale and drawn
than ever and the stories more bizarre, if that were possible.
Gazza stopped being daft as a brush years ago but the nation kept on laughing.
Dead easy, this interviewing malarkey. Turn on the recorder, sit back, arrange the gems in some
semblance of order and there you have it. At least you do when you speak to someone with the
infectious enthusiasm of Martin Cloake. A leading authority on Spurs in print, many books written
alongside co-author Adam Powley, his ardent passion for the club as journalist and fan remains
Looking back, Gilly almost ruined things, just as it all began. The impeccable touch, leaping
headers and sharp finishing even as a teenager I knew this was class. Trouble was, unconsciously I
compared everything that followed with this benchmark, little realising that what I took as a
wide-eyed youth to be the norm was [.
Imagine sitting, say, on a train or in a pub. You're having a relaxing chat about football with one
of your best mates. He's brought along a couple of other people, you're introduced and get on
really well with them. The conversation and the beer flows, a good time is had by all. It's a [...]
Book Review: Joe Fagan - Reluctant Champion by Andrew Fagan and Mark Platt
There are two iconic images that seem to perfectly sum up Joe Fagan's time as Liverpool manager.
The first has him lounging by a pool in front of two Italian carabinieri and the Champions Cup, won
the night before, besides him.
It could be my impression but 2010 hasn't been a particularly good one as far as football books are
concerned; especially if like me you don't happen to be particularly fond of biographies. Meaning
that selecting what has become my annual roundup of best books read during the year was a bit
tricky. But, having jogged my memory a bit to see which books I've read over the past twelve
months, I've managed to draw up a list of four must read books.
Pay As You Play by Tomkins, Riley and Fulcher - Book Review by Roy Henderson
Before We Start - Full Disclosure
It's only right to disclose that I had a small involvement in the book, having been one of the many
bloggers and writers who contributed to its second part. I would hopefully have been more involved
too, had I not been involved in a few other extra-curricular activities over the last few months.
As the year comes to a close, it is appropriate to think of what has gone on during the previous
twelve months. There are many others out there analysing Liverpool's best game of 2009, the most
spectacular goal as well as the highs (and, undoubtedly, the lows) of the year so I won't bother
you all by going over those matters.
Book Review: When Football Was Football by Peter Hooton
This was love at first sight seeing that on the back cover there is reproduced one of my favourite
Liverpool images. It does not show a famous game or triumph but simply Bob Paisley sat down sharing
a joke with some of his old friends and with the Champions Cup in front of them.
As a self professed comic book nerd I can appreciate the concept of alternate realities and
multiple universes. That being said I'm generally not a big fan of sports fiction so this soccer
book is a bit of a departure from the other efforts reviewed here. Michael Maddox's "The Ten Shirt"
sort of made me feel like I was reading one of the possible alternate reality stories that I
encounter after picking up the new weekly stash of reading material on Wednesday afternoons at the
local geek store.
A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Beau Dure's "Long Range Goals". Both Dure's book and Gary
Hopkins' "Star Spangles Soccer" cover the growth and expansion of Major League Soccer but Hopkins
expands his reach to include the growth of the game in America as a whole. While Dure focused on
Major League Soccer's history, Hopkins reels in the development and future growth of the American
game in economic, social, and athletic terms.
For those of you interesed in reading good soccer related material I suggested reading Soccernomics
a few weeks ago (Sam also previously recommended it in a post a while back). Since soccer related
books seem to be popping up with some frequency, mostly due to World Cup excitement, I've been
searching for US and MLS related material to share and I've found a few good ones.
Will You Manage?: The Necessary Skills to be a Top Gaffer by Musa Okwonga
Everyone thinks he's a coach these days. There's no way you can watch a game without coming across
someone overly eager to instruct the manager what he should do and tell all those who will listen
that he got hs tactics wrong.
I can still recall my fascination when I first came across a copy of When Saturday Comes magazine
sometime in the early nineties and saw that it dedicated two pages to listing the contact details
of all the fanzines that were around. All clubs had at least one of these home-made magazines that
gave a voice to fans who at the time were still considered as little more than a nuisance.
Those who have only been following football only over the past two decades will find it hard to
believe, such is the hype around the game, but there was a time when it was significantly harder to
follow your team. Football fans were treated as louts whose working class background automatically
meant little or no intellectual faculties.
First off, a confession: I don't like biographies. In particular, I don't like player biographies.
Too often they're pretentious, ego-massaging,bank account boosting exercises in self-promotion that
offer little in the way of genuine insight. Unless, of course, you consider tales of lads' nights
out or those of puerile banter as falling under the category of insightful.
Confessions of a Football Reporter...another Biggs at Large By Alan Biggs Published by Vertical
Editions, August 2011 Â£12.99 ISBN: 9781904091516 In the second of three book reviews we should be
publishing this week, we welcome back Ian Rands of A United View on Football. Ian was lucky enough
recently to secure an interview with football journalist Alan Biggs - the BBC's go-to guy for South
On my daughter's mantelpiece sits a photo of her son, then aged about 3, walking along the beach
with his father. Taken from behind, they are unaware of the camera's presence. Their stance and
gait are identical. Size and stature come from shared genes, the rest, the bit that matters, just
If nausea happens to be your initial reaction upon seeing what this book is about, then it would be
understandable. These days everyone remotely involved in the game of football seems all too eager
to write down his life story irrespective of what comes out.
There are a lot of footballers out there, and there are a ton of writers as well, and for the
most part, these are separate spheres. There's usually not much overlap. You never hear of how
James Joyce scored a hattrick for Celtic or how Baggio wrote a dissertation disproving Freud's
Book Review: Great Face for Radio by John Anderson
It is hard not to envy John Anderson. For years his job involved travelling all over the world to
watch some of the top sporting events of our lifetime: Olympics, World Cups, major championships,
big boxing fights, you name it and he probably was there.
Barney Ronay is a difficult one to pin down. A senior sports writer for the Guardian, he is often
the one to pick up ackward stories - a recent piece went by the title 'Should Sepp Blatter Lock
Himself in a Cupboard - and in all fairness he rarely writes anything that isn't interesting.
There is something exciting about the thought of moving to an exotic new country and leaving
everything behind. Even the most breathtaking of sights can be rendered unremarkable through
familiarity. It is this desire to break free from the hold of everyday life that makes the dream of
a drastic change seem so enticing.
Every two years, managers from across the continent seem to join forces in their criticism of that
which has become the most despised competition in European football: the African Cup of Nations.
Being deprived of some of their best players for up to a month in the middle of the season can have
a highly unnerving effect on managers, particularly if results start going against them during that
Some years ago, I accepted to write some Liverpool player profiles for a site, foolishly thinking
that this was going to be an easy job. After all, how difficult could it be to write a couple of
hundred words about players you knew inside out?