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Jumpers for Goalposts Paperback – 13 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907642226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907642227
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"As a catalogue of all that is wrong with the game, the book is accurate and thorough. As rhetoric, it is stylish and irresistible ... It is not a new idea to index the simultaneous depravity and mundanity of modern football. But it has never been done as well as this. Richard Scudamore will despise every word, and there can be no higher praise than that." -- When Saturday Comes


"Smyth and Turner have done an absolutely excellent job summing up the travails of the modern game in 'Jumpers for goalposts' – there are numerous anecdotes that needed re-telling and the depth of knowledge and research contained in the book is staggering ... Kudos also to Smyth and Turner for finishing off the book with a humdinger of a conclusion. After flagging up all the problems with the game today, they set out to remedy them and come up with some fine suggestions. However unlikely, hopefully some of the game's administrators are reading this tome." -- 101greatgoals.com

"'Jumpers for Goalposts' is a fascinating and funny reflection on why football has changed so much since the inception of the English Premier League in 1992, and why the old descriptions of 'the beautiful game' and 'the people's game' no longer fit." -- soccerlens.com

About the Author

Rob Smyth is an experienced sports journalist who writes for The Guardian, Wisden Cricketer, The Economist and many other newspapers and magazines. His first book, The Spirit of Cricket 9781904027843, was published by E&T in 2010; this is his second. Georgina Turner is an experienced football journalist who writes for Sports Illustrated, The Observer, The Guardian and When Saturday Comes, among others. She teaches media and communication studies and has absolutely no left foot.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sam W on 5 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
The market is saturated with football books, usually of the stocking filler variety - either god-awful laddish affairs, unjustified memoirs or beyond boring pub trivia-type drivel. Bravo for this one, then, which instead provides a very thought provoking and intelligent dissection of the state of modern football. As a fan these days I find myself getting bored reading the media football pages and having read JFG I thank the authors for pointing out why.

Starting with a guilty dream team, JFG quotes Danny Blanchflower, who states that football is not so much about winning but is about glory. And so by attempting to define the soul of football, and what makes it great, the book then sets about illustrating how all this has come undone in recent years, most notably since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

The reasons themselves are familiar to most football fans: narcissistic players, the winning at all costs mentality, the monopolisation of domestic and European competition by the elite few, the stinking governing bodies, the hypocrisy of fans and the damned media. Where this book differs, and how it ultimately works, is that it is academic in its research, yet the witty journalistic style is very readable, and you don't have to be an "in the know" football nerd to appreciate it. There were plenty of bits that had me nodding in agreement: "where the money is stacked highest an antagonistic sense of entitlement has crystallized and fans strop about like Veruca Salt". Being a fan of the nouveau-riche Leicester City, I can attest to that! A section about fans in the media (commenting on online news stories etc) is also particularly good.

I would recommend buying this book - the fact that it is so contemporary, written in the early part of the 2011/12 season makes it worth doing now but I think the themes will make it relevant for a good many years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Mildon on 2 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback
The book is well-written and its points are well-supported by statistical analysis. I doubt many fans would have much to disagree with in their conclusions, but it does feel like it's preaching to the converted. I would have liked to have seen more than a dozen pages dedicated to potential improvements the game can make. A good read though.
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By atticusfinch1048 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Nov 2014
Format: Paperback
Jumpers for Goalposts – Some Interesting Points

I always smile when I read books that complain that football has changed for the worse that it is not like the old days. In the old days we had ramshakle stadia, crap food, violence on and off the pitch, deaths and people turning away from football. You could rock up to a ground pay at the gate and gain entry some of those even turned up at Old Trafford but then they always had the glory hunting tourist fans well worth punching on derby day. I understand a few headbutted a few City fans fists at that time while the Mancunian reds watched and applauded. Believe me there was nothing fantastic about supporting your team at time back then at times, things have moved on times have changed. Whether for the better or the worst Jumpers for Goalposts examines the rise of ‘modern’ football, or as most Manchester United fans would say the beginning of history in 1992.

Jumpers for Goalposts written by sports journalists Georgina Turner and Rob Smyth (to me a tourist from Kent who supports the RAGs of Old Trafford), before I start Old Trafford was only ever made for cricket. They examine whether football has sold its soul which with the influx of money today is an important question for all fans even those of debt ridden clubs. There are some mistakes in here but that is expected as they are journalists after all, “We all live in a Robbie Fowler house” started at Manchester City when he signed for them and was continued by Liverpool, I know pedant alert.

The chapters are well constructed that cover the money that has come in to football and where it is being spent now and there are some very interesting comparrisons when the authors talk about football players, and therefore False Idols is the most apt chapter title for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flash on 7 Jun 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I started reading this I thought it might turn out to be a sort of "Grumpy Old Men on Football" style book, reminiscing about how things were better "...when I were a lad...".

I was wrong, not completely, but this is not a Clarkson-esque tirade against modern football. It is a very well thought out and reasoned discussion on how the game has been robbed of that magic that turned us all onto the game in the first place. Also quite clearly stating that this focus on money is not a new thing ! I won't spoil any of the book as I found it very entertaining and don't want to spoil it for anyone else.

The only thing missing was a section at the beginning "Dear FIFA..." and a space at the end where we can add our signatures before sending the book out to Mr Blatter and his colleagues !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Billy Liddell on 5 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely book, beautifully written and laced with wit, that describes the excesses and compromises of modern football. It is not some dry critique by people who despise football, but a book written by and for those of us who love the game, or, at least, what the game ought to be. It is both funny and deadly serious, unashamedly idealistic, but also grounded in a deep understanding of what the game is properly all about: not bling nor even just winning, but `glory', in the words of the great Danny Blanchflower. The book is packed with facts, stories and brilliant quotations, but always assembled as part of a convincing story or argument on how the game's best values have been systematically abused over the last couple of decades by its massive exploitation for money. Rob Smyth and Georgina Turner have given us a delightful, thoroughly researched, funny-but-serious assessment of the game that is a must-read for anyone interested in it.
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