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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the Us, Japan, Australia, Turkey--And Even Iraq--Are De [Paperback]

Simon Kuper , Stefan Szymanski
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia--And Even Iraq--Are Destined Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia--And Even Iraq--Are Destined
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; Rev Exp edition (May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568587015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568587011
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first couple of chapters of this book are absolutely fascinating, analysing in depth and detail how money affects football. For someone like me who's heavily into statistics and also football, it seems like the dream book - the numbers stack up very well and provide a revealing insight into exactly how linear the relationship is between Premier League budgets and eventual performance. There are some remarkable insights; although the lack of focus on salaries (as opposed to transfer fee investment) invariably skews the data a bit, the textbook example being Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allardyce who look good in the book but in reality blew a fortune in paying far higher salaries than the club could sustain. Quibbles apart, though, the analysis part of the book is superb. Sadly, the latter part of the book came as a bit of a disappointment - it was blatantly padding and waffle, designed to fill the blank pages. There's really nothing of interest in, say, the last three quarters of the book, but it's still worth looking at, if only for the revelations at the front. It would have made a superb research paper or magazine article, but there's really not enough material in it for an entire book, which is a great shame. I'd recommend any intelligent football fan to read this book, but probably try and get hold of a second-hand copy, rather than splash out the full price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life... 18 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...and how I view international football. The section on penalties is absolutely genius. I buy almost every argument this guy makes. Good Book!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars And utter shambles of a book 21 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's nothing that this book conveys that can't be garnered by playing football manager. Utter dross, written in a manner that defies logic. A classic example is the author claiming that football has always been called "Soccer", then two paragraphs later, on the opposite page, he recounts the notes of a young man returning at the beginning of the 1900's regaling how he loved his introduction into association football. Like so many books with football as its main topic, its full of selective statistics and slanted opinion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably moving, much more enjoyable than I expected 23 Feb 2013
By Archer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Soccernomics does two things very well. One is expose widely accepted beliefs in soccer culture. This is precisely what I expected from this book, and it's worth buying just to be informed on that front.

It also uses statistics to reveal the social unity that soccer fosters. I was very moved by the chapter that focuses on suicide and fandom (and club loyalty at large).

Please do not be scared away by the word "statistics". I hate math as much if not more than anyone. This book is extremely accessible to the average reader, but still deep enough to pique intellectual curiosity.

In short, Soccernomics is an absolute must-read if you are a soccer fan, period.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read - though not without flaws 2 July 2012
By Munko McCentral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on impulse during the month-long Euro 2012 tournament. I don't normally buy books on impulse but this one had me hooked quite quickly. Having liked Freakonomics and being a life-long soccer fan, this book was a great read. However, it was disappointing in a number of places where they resorted to long narrative of various hypotheses without rigorous data analysis to test the hypotheses. The prime example is of England's failure to achieve because of a reliance on players from working class roots and underrepresentation of the middle classes. An interesting hypothesis to be sure, but absolutely no comparison was done with other countries - so we don't know if how much this might be true. The book is strongest when dealing with data-rich analyses such as predictability of penalty-takers' tendencies. But it is definitely worth a read if you like soccer - probably not so much if you don't.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all 16 May 2013
By Lost Gaijin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think most fans of the game will find this book enjoyable to read. You certainly learn a lot from it, but it can get a bit tedious in places. There were a few times where I had to just put it down for a few times when I just had to put it down because I got bored with it, so I am giving it 3 stars. I more diehard soccer or economics fan probably would find the book gripping.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any lover of soccer 24 Nov 2013
By Peter Harrold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am an economist who loves soccer. It was fascinating to read how they applied core economic and statistical skills to understanding soccer and what works and what fails. It was especially interesting to see the case for the under-achievers and over-achievers,and them transfer vs. wage bill argument. A fabulous book for any lover of soccer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight, but not a must read. 1 Oct 2013
By Readdear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Soccernomics was an insightful novel with some very interesting points. I would recommend the book to very enthusiastic soccer fans or economists only.
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