Given the volume of material available on the unique history of Liverpool Football Club, it was difficult to imagine that a book celebrating 50 years of `Shankly's Liverpool' could offer such a fresh view of the goings-on at the club throughout that period. This idea of the book is not simply to discuss the many, many events that helped shape the `Dynasty', but to focus on the main people involved, and how each of them have contributed in their own way, to compare and contrast the reigns of each of the eight men in charge, but also to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the rivals at each time and put the successes and failures into their historical context.
Each of the managers are analyzed in an extremely comprehensive manner in several different categories, including the strength of the team they inherited, their record in the transfer market, their record on the pitch and, ultimately, their legacy. In order to help contrast the transfer records of the managers, he uses what I found to be a superbly detailed scoring system which helps to rank the best and the worst of each manager. Also on offer here is key information relating to spending power of the club as well as that of their rivals during each reign which leaves the reader with no doubt as to the difficulties facing each manager, without ever stopping to use the greater financial power of other clubs as an excuse for relative failure.
Another key point of the book is that none of the men under discussion are ever glamorized. While the strengths are discussed, so too are the weaknesses, none of which slip under the radar in a bid to compare one manager favourably against another. Despite the large quantity of data and statistics on offer in this book, it's main strength is in the narrative. Never does the reader feel weighed down by the data coming their way, rather, the facts and figures come in a manner that is extremely easy to follow and at times utterly fascinating. The structure of the book leads to a very comfortable read that I would recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in football.