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Flawed Genius: Scottish Football's Self-Destructive Mavericks
 
 

Flawed Genius: Scottish Football's Self-Destructive Mavericks [Kindle Edition]

Stephen McGowan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Review

The term, Flawed Genius, should be the sole copyright of Scottish football. --BBC Sport online

Racy but also insightful read...it is a thoroughly stimulating book. --The Times

Product Description

As Rangers manager Walter Smith once put it, Scottish football supporters have always liked their footballing superstars to come complete with very human flaws. But what is it that makes the seriously flawed footballer so intriguing? From Hugh Gallacher, the Wembley Wizard who died of shame, to George Best, Hibernian's ageing lothario, to the Three Amigos - Celtic's trio of wayward overseas mercenaries - the great entertainers have always come with baggage. Never before have the individual stories of these mavericks of Scottish football's past been collated and told in one place. "Flawed Genius" does just that. Through the words of the men themselves - allied to testimonies from friends and close colleagues - McGowan recounts the in-depth stories of Gascoigne and Goram, Best and Baxter, Charnley and Cadette and the equally wayward figures of Paolo Di Canio, Andy Ritchie, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Willie Johnston and Willie Hamilton. Here, together for the first time, the colourful contributions of each and every player in the Scottish game's rich tapestry of flawed geniuses are brought vividly back to life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1259 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn (4 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WB2CQQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 19 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Flawed Genius is a fanatastic read and a startling reminder of how not that long ago Scotland and Scottish football could produce and attract footballers capable of making front and back page news.
There's a real ecletic mix of characters featured - from Gazza and Paolo Di Canio to the relatively unkown Willie Hamilton (to name but a few) - but they are all connected by an outrageous talent with a football.
However as the book title suggests this is not all that binds the featured players. Because, whether it be an additicion to alchohol or a massive ego, each one has a serious flaw in their make-up which means that ultimately their genius does not reap the rewards it should - far from it.
There's a real honesty about the stories told and many - while enthralling - are also tinged with sadness. Despite their well documented flaws and often sickening and inexcusable off the field behaviour the football fan in you can't help but feel that today's game is a much poorer place without such maverick talents.
Whatever the moral rights and wrongs of the players featured the fact is that Flawed Genius is a thoroughly enjoyable and insightful book which avoids cliche and caricature. Every Scottish football fan should make sure they have a copy on their shelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football Genius 18 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Flawed Genius is a fascinating 'must read' for all Scottish football fans.Had expected something sensationalist from the title, but I read extracts in a newspaper and liked what I saw. From Best to Gascoigne to Goram to DiCanio, these players may have courted controversy but their skill, tenacity & achievements on the field have ensured that they will always retain their place in the hearts of Scottish fans - especially when the current playerstock is so low. A really entertaining read - better than the mind-numbing player biographies you get!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read 13 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
Really enjoyed this book!
living away from scotland it really reminded me of the characters that i miss from scottish football...the legends and those still alive.
Loved the anecdotes at start of each chapter, the whole book is insightful and funny, really catching the essence of those flawed genius footballers but also i thought that the interviews with the current stars added real depth to the detail.Totally recommended for all fans of the scottish game.
Its an easy and enjoyable read

Flawed Genius: Scottish Football's Self Destructive Mavericks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Great Characters ! 3 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Very well written with lots of funny anecdotes, loved it ! The likes of Charnley, McAvennie, Goram, Di Canio and Best sure left their mark on our national sport !!!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars makes you think soccer players have stunted growth 2 April 2011
By Brian Maitland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book title is a total misnomer as obviously none of the soccer players profiled are actual geniuses. I would also argue most of them are not even soccer geniuses a la Pele or Beckenbauer. I'll even add they are hardly brainiacs when it comes to dealing with being professional athletes.

Maybe the standards of physical fitness needed to play soccer is far lower than other sports but what is up with the binge drinking by so many of these players?

Also, it's a stretch to consider George Best as one of the Scottish League's flawed geniuses as he played such a short time for Hibs and mainly after his glory days with Man United. I found the stuff on Hughie Gallacher more a tragedy post-soccer career as he was able to have a really great career and maxed out his potential.

Andy Goram was the most interesting chapter as we don't really get a steady dose of SPL soccer in Canada and I had no idea how highly reagrded he was. mainly he looked average at best for Scotland and Rangers may have won a bunch of SPL titles in a row but they never did anything in Europe so I always figured, as many do, winning a two-horse race (basically, the SPL is either the other half of the Old Firm challenging for the title or, if not, one other team) yearly is hardly the stuff of legends except in certain narrowly-focused fans' minds.

Mostly, the players came off as stupid. It just boggles your mind what simpletons they are. This is not going to be a book where you'll be in awe of their abilities.

To be honest, I picked this up mainly because it's the only book I;'ve seen talk about Chic Charnely and Andy Ritchie--two players I have never seen play but often heard about. Charnley because I saw a pic in a Scottish sports section of him doing a bicycle kick for Partick Thistle and reading he was some awesome talent then never hearing anything again about him.

Ritchie because he was named Scottish Footballer of the Year in 1979 playing for Morton of all sides!

I did like the author's writing style but found the soccer players pretty much dolts. I'd like to see the author maybe tackle the former propensity for Scotland to churn out quality midfielders such as Gordon Strachan, Graeme Souness, Paul McStay, Bruce Rioch, Asa Hartford, Archie Gemmill and their ilk. If you're reading this Stephen McGowan, think about it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Genius 18 Nov 2009
By Myamazon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Flawed Genius is a fascinating 'must read' for all Scottish football fans.Had expected something sensationalist from the title, but I read extracts in a newspaper and liked what I saw. From Best to Gascoigne to Goram to DiCanio, these players may have courted controversy but their skill, tenacity & achievements on the field have ensured that they will always retain their place in the hearts of Scottish fans - especially when the current playerstock is so low. A really entertaining read - better than the mind-numbing player biographies you get!
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