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End of the Rainbow: England's Quest for Glory in South Africa [Hardcover]

Oliver Holt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Sep 2010

It started in Baden-Baden and ended up in tears. England's 2010 World Cup odyssey had its roots in the off-the-field circus in a German spa town during the 2006 tournament. Reacting to public and media disdain for the antics of superstar players and their shopaholic partners, the Football Association began looking for a disciplinarian 'winner' to banish the aura of under-achievement left by the laissez-faire regimes of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren.

The search led to Fabio Capello. With a no-nonsense style, hailed as a throwback to a time before cash and the cult of celebrity transformed the national game, the Italian guided England through a near-perfect World Cup qualifying campaign. The FA, it seemed, had found their man of destiny, who could exploit the talent and curb the excesses of the "rich young boys", as Capello termed them, that wore the Three Lions.

Then, with the finals looming, cracks appeared in this brave new world. Capello stripped John Terry of the captaincy for his alleged affair with a teammate's ex-partner. Replacement captain Rio Ferdinand withdrew, injured. And as England started falteringly in South Africa, strained relations between "Don Fabio" and certain players compounded the sense of a squad ill at ease in their isolated, Wag-free retreat.

Award-winning sportswriter Oliver Holt was an outsider on the inside throughout England 's quest for global supremacy, witnessing at close proximity the roller-coaster of recrimination and redemption. End of the Rainbow, brimming with authoritative analysis, is the definitive story of the drama and intrigue behind Capello's war.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (16 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144471595X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444715958
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 14.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Holt's desire to tell the truth as he sees it make for a riveting read." --"Independent"

Book Description

The inside story of the 2010 World Cup by the award-winning sports journalist, Oliver Holt.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading 28 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
An incisive, scornfull, incredulous, hilarious and rivetting book. Yet a heartfelt one also, written by a genuine football fan for genuine football fans (such as myself) who feel utterly kicked in the teeth by the game they once worshipped.

Yes, it begins with the sideshow shenanigans of the paparazzi and the Wags at Baden-Baden during the 2006 tournament, and goes on to describe the desparation, hopefulness, anger and the outright eccentricities of the Capello years, culminating in the farcical performances at South Africa this year. Yet the book is so much more than this; it is also an angry expose of the damage that the cult of celebrity has done to our national game and those who play it, together with the alienation felt by those who have devoted their lives to following it. Here's a piece from chapter 3 that could have been penned from my own heart:

"In England, the old sepia model of Sir Stanley Matthews travelling to the ground on a public bus with football supporters had been replaced with an unpalatable version of a young millionaire footballer at the wheel of a Baby Bentley with tinted windows - untouchable, remote, impossibly rich and keen to avoid contact with the people who worshipped his celebrity.

AS footballers' wages went up, so did ticket prices. Even with the tens of millions earned for them by increasingly lucrative television deals, many Premier League clubs blew an unhealthy proportion of their budgets on the salaries of their superstars...........In the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, ticket prices rose and rose, and English footballl moved out of the financial reach of it's traditional working-class base.

It passed into the hands of a new breed of football fan,.........
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good analysis of a bad team....... 12 Nov 2010
By JUDE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I always enjoy reading reviews of international football tournaments, just to get someone else`s take on things. Oliver Holt is a well known football writer and his book is well written. He touches all the necessary bases, England`s rather stuttering build-up up to the shattering defeat against Germany. One of the best chapters is the one detailing the goings-on in Baden Baden,four years previously, where the atmosphere was more package holiday than serious attempt at winning the big one. In fact, it is a pity Holt didn`t write a book about Germany 2006, (although Harry Harris did a very good detailed account). Naturally he concentrates on England and although his opinion of John Terry is at odds with mine he does a pretty good job. If you are an England fan this book will let you know why the national team failed, yetagain, at the World Cup. Of course, you might be totally cheesed off by the whole sorry debacle but this book is well worth the read.
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