I've been reading The Secret Footballer's column in The Guardian for the last couple of seasons and enjoy it hugely. It's always the first thing I read on a Saturday morning, and has the advantage of being topical because he tends to write about issues that have come up in the professional game in the preceding week. Therefore, and let's get it out of the way immediately, the thing that did disappoint me slightly was the cut-and-paste nature of some of the chapters which had simply been lifted straight from the columns.
Having said that, despite what some of the other reviewers have said, I really enjoyed the book. He is very clearly a different cut to the majority of professional sportspeople and that comes out in his ability to construct a sentence, provide insight and make the reader laugh. Although the chapter focussing on 'Bad Behaviour' was at times puerile and toe-curling and will re-enforce much of the disdain that footballers are held in, it painted a picture.
Britain is still, whatever some will say, a deeply divided and class-obsessed nation and TSF's journey was brilliantly chronicled from council estate to ridiculously over-appointed mansion. The passage about his birthday celebration with some of his oldest friends was (Psueds Corner Alert!) written with genuine pathos. He had become a different person and there was real pain in his writing. Earlier in the book, he covers his time as a young professional the contrast between where he started and the 'Money' chapter is stark and, again I don't mind saying it, insightful.
It doesn't set out to be a seminal piece of sporting literature. It's not 'Beyond a Boundary', 'The Fight' or 'Moneyball' but it is a good read.