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Graeme Le Saux: Left Field: A Footballer Apart [Paperback]

Graeme Le Saux
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Aug 2008

A former Southampton, Blackburn, Chelsea and England full-back, the erudite and engaging Graeme Le Saux is far removed from the archetypal British footballer. His distinctive commentary on all the major issues in football, on the pitch and beyond, promises to challenge everyone's perception of the game in this country.

Graeme Le Saux made an outstanding international debut for Terry Venables' new-look England side in a 1-0 win over Denmark at Wembley in March 1994, becoming the first Channel Islander ever to be capped for England.

After joining Chelsea direct from Jersey, where he used to spend his Saturdays on his father’s fruit and vegetable stall, his career flourished under the guidance of Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn Rovers where they won the Premiership title in 1994-95. Graeme transferred back to Chelsea in 1997 for a record fee of £5.5 million before joining Southampton in 2003. He retired as a player in 2005.

In his book, Le Saux addresses the gay slurs that dogged his career – including the infamous Robbie Fowler exposure – how he was vilified by a minority that labelled him a Guardian reader and too smart for football, and life at Stamford Bridge before Roman Abramovich millions changed the club and the game. His thoughtful manner and views on the modern game (he is now consulted for comment regularly by BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel Five) are expanded upon here, with particular focus on the huge amounts of money in top-flight football, players’ agents and the spiralling debts of countless football clubs.

As a player, Le Saux was always seen as different – someone who broke the mold, an individual with his own agenda who sought more to life than playing 90 minutes of football. His insight into the game is informed by those experiences.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (4 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007271271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007271276
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Refreshingly honest’ Observer Sports Monthly

‘An engrossing and candid take on the lot of the affluent Premiership footballer.’ FourFourTwo magazine

From the Publisher

His thoughtful manner and views on the modern game (he is now consulted for comment regularly by BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel Five) are expanded upon here, with particular focus on the huge amounts of money in top-flight football, players' agents and the spiralling debts of countless football clubs.

As a player, Le Saux was always seen as different - someone who broke the mould, an individual with his own agenda who sought more to life than playing 90 minutes of football. His insight into the game is informed by those experiences. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Usual 'Lad' Footballer 6 Oct 2007
By Foggy Tewsday VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Graeme Le Saux was not your stereotypical footballer. Turning up for training at his first professional club, Chelsea, with his "student look" and a copy of `The Guardian', heightened his awkwardness in a dressing room of laddish cliques. Le Saux was something of a square peg: his book's subtitle is `A Footballer Apart' and it's a great read.

One of the most memorable and controversial incidents in Graeme Le Saux's career came during his second spell at Chelsea. In a match against Liverpool, that club's striker, Robbie Fowler, had fouled Le Saux and continued baiting him by proffering his backside. Le Saux's sexuality had been questioned for sometime, beginning as dressing room banter, but then spilling over into terrace chanting and culminating in that ugly incident at Stamford Bridge in 1999. Le Saux writes about the spiteful (and untrue) jibes that dogged much of his career in the book's opening chapter.

The first two chapters contain the most powerful writing. `A Secret', is the title of the book's second chapter, and here, Le Saux writes movingly about the death of his mother, the profound effect that this had on him, and his anxiety about talking of this part of his life.

Much of the rest of the book is devoted to Le Saux's playing career. He won the Premiership with Blackburn Rovers (still the only club to win that competition outside of the so-called big four) and thirty-six England caps. He is pleasingly candid about certain other players and managers. There's a lot on Glenn Hoddle's tenure as England manager: "A manager for whom I had a lot of respect," but you wouldn't necessarily think that on reading the book. In fact, I had to go back to make sure I hadn't misread that quote.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little self-pitying 6 July 2008
By D. W. Miller VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Le Saux is a very smart man and as far from the stereotypical footballer as one can imagine. This is well written and I suspect Le Saux handled most of it for himself. There is not a lot new to learn in the book apart from a bit more detail about the difficulties that Le Saux overcame in respect of some of the brainless colleagues he played with. In particular Robbie Fowler is accurately portrayed as a very unpleasant character indeed. I just felt that Le Saux came across as a little too sorry for himself and perhaps it was as much this side of his approach to football life that fellow players found off-putting alongside his undeniable intelligence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 20 Feb 2014
By john
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good read. Intelligent and insightful of life of top-class footballer having to deal with difficult circumstances that affect young players who are perceived to be 'different'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An honest acount f a footballer's career 1 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a well written and honest account of a top footballer's career. The highs of success and the lows of injury are depicted in every page. This is one of the best autobiographies of a footballer that I have read. It is highly recommended.
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