This is the thing with novels that are ostensibly about football: the less of it they actually contain, the better. The active elements of the beautiful game do not translate particularly well to the page, and in this book the author strikes a balance that Giggs himself would be proud of. There is just enough action to perfume the reader's nostrils with the smell of grass, and no more. The real drama in this novel takes place in the head of the main character, Mikey Wilson.
Wilson is a one-time Manchester United trainee whose life has not panned out in the same way as his former team-mates, however much he tries to deny it. Maintaining that he is 'one of the lads' and constructing fantasies about being recognised outside Old Trafford or being asked to do media work, Wilson's existence is actually one of depression and unhappiness. The dichotomy between these two states create the main tension and thrust of the novel.
There are many layers of complexity to appreciate here: issues about class, family, sexuality, addiction and delusions all play a part as the reader is led through a myriad of flashbacks, match reports, newspaper articles and increasingly incoherent monologues.
A simple book about football this is not; rather it is a story of human drama, and unfulfilled dreams. Glass has created a compelling and engaging novel which will appeal to all readers, regardless of their footballing loyalties.