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Dalglish, Rush & Hansen ? No, Gayle, Robinson & Hodgson ...
on 7 May 2014
I snap up most Liverpool FC related books & on the whole devour them quickly even when they often cover old ground so I hoped this book would prove a highly enjoyable read however for a variety of reasons it just didn't resonate with me.
I totally understand that the more recognised players from the 1980's have already told their own stories from countless autobiographies, the likes of Dalglish, Rush & Hansen even cashing in a number of times over the years by effectively releasing multiple books charting their career. With this in mind I do acknowledge why the Author chose to veer off the obvious track & interview a different group of players but for me the mix of players is simply too off-the-wall. Should the author have chosen to release a book of perhaps "Fringe" players from the Glory Days or something like the "Unsung" Heroes fair enough but this book is promoted as Liverpool in the 80's & billed as an inside look at what it was like to play for the club in one of their most glittering periods. With this firmly in mind there are so many more players who perhaps haven't featured in the media as much as the afore mentioned legends but certainly had a greater hand in Liverpool's dominance in the decade than the likes of Howard Gayle, Michael Robinson, David Hodgson & Kevin Sheedy. It is genuinely interesting to read the stories of these players but it's simply not reflective of the success that was achieved & the quirkier stories seem to heavily outweigh stories associated with what actyually happened on & off the pitch when Liverpool were scooping every trophy imaginable.
The amount of pages dedicated to Howard Gayle is nigh on ridiculous & much of the focus is very much off-the-field & political. I'm not averse to reading how the city fared in the 80's alongside the team's performance but only to some degree. Gayle played FIVE times for Liverpool yet gets 36 pages of print. Michael Robinson played 52 times & gets 32 pages but tells us all about his political bias & thoughts on the state of the modern day game in Spain. John Barnes on the other hand gets 16 pages whilst Ronnie Moran, for me the most interesting figure included here gets a mere 10 pages.
My gripe isn't so much the stories themselves as it's a decent read but for me it simply doesn't paint a true picture by people that truly had a big part in the club in the 1980's. If you want to read a handful of interesting interviews from players that invariably suffered mixed fortunes at Liverpool FC this is a decent purchase but don't expect too many key personnel to feature a great deal