This is a superb behind-the-scenes account of England's final preparations and progress through the Italia '90 world cup. Davies had first-hand access to the England squad and staff and gains some interesting perspectives on footballing life from them. He clearly built up a relationship with Terry Butcher, whose voice is heard frequently. However, it's much more than an inside report on the squad; Davies recounts the experiences of the fans, and how the Italian police dealt with them, often in a very hard way, which, he argues, probably caused more trouble than it removed. His vivid accounts of England's initially faltering progress, the endless debates over the players and formation, through to their heartbreaking defeat in the semi final make gripping reading; he understands his football, and is able to portray things from both the squad's perspective and that of his fellow writers. There are also sharp analyses of other teams and matches, notably Argentina and Cameroon, who elicited such different responses from the crowds. A great bit of football nostalgia, but one that deals with important issues such as the attitudes of FIFA, the FA and other influential voices in football. Highly recommended.