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Steve Coppell: On a Wing and a Prayer Hardcover – 24 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Know the Score Books; 1st edition (24 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848185170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848185173
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Thoughtful and entertaining ... This book illustrates what a loss to the game he would be; let's hope he re-signs somewhere soon. --The Independent.As the author of a book on the career of a Reading legend, Roach's style is different from other football writers. Roach cleverly blends a playing career that saw action for Manchester United and England with a management career that scaled the heights of the top flight with so called less fashionable football clubs. The end product is a good read that will interest all football fans, but also further reinforces Coppell's reputation not just as a football success, but as an admired and thoroughly respected football man." --Back the Boys (Reading Fanazine)This fascinating subject provides an equally compelling read. --Programme monthly. This fascinating subject provides an equally compelling read. --Programme monthly

This fascinating subject provides an equally compelling read. --Programme monthly

About the Author

Stuart Roach is an award-winning journalist, who has spent 20 years covering sport and music. He also wrote the book Reading Between The Lines.

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By Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book I didn't realise just how good a manager Steve Coppell is. The success he brought to a series of unfashionable clubs is remarkable, perhaps making him the best English born manager over the last twenty years or so. Likewise I had forgotten that he was also one of the outstanding players of his generation; had he not been forced to hang up his boots early his 42 caps for England would surely have risen to nearer 100 had his career been allowed to continue injury free.

Perhaps the reason that Steve Coppell dual careers have been relatively low key is because that is exactly how he likes it; never one for self promotion, he prefers to do his talking on the pitch rather than in front of the camera. As a manager he certainly isn't one of the Alex Ferguson style `hairdryer brigade' neither. We read in this book about the time his Reading team was trailing 1-0 at half time when playing Derby. Whereas many managers would have ranted & raved at his players (and thrown the odd teacup) Coppell calmly told them he was disappointed with them. This obviously stung the players deeply as responded by storming back in the second half to win 5-1.

One episode of Coppell's managerial career that this book covers extremely well is his ill-fated 33 day reign at the helm of Manchester City. Many rumours went around as to why he resigned after such a small length of time and the real reason still is unknown but I think the author, Stuart Roach's, conclusion that it was simply a case of the wrong club at the wrong time is probably not too far off the mark.

This is an extremely readable book about one of footballs more reserved characters. If I had one grumble it is that the book suggests that Coppell is an enigma.
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Format: Hardcover
Stuart Roach's investigation to find the real Steve Coppell in his book `On a wing and a prayer', proved entertaining and interesting. Having read the book very quickly, I was intrigued to see behind the headlines of a career that was successful both on and off the pitch. Roach's style jumps between Coppell's playing and management careers, but in a fashion that does not make the reader's head spin.

Steve Coppell the player is covered methodically with interesting insights into how Coppell juggled life as a student and a part time professional footballer in his early playing days. Watch out for the anecdote about the FA Cup being dented, but pay close attention to the details of Coppell's England career, which included the 1982 World Cup in Spain. The sadness of Coppell's forced retirement is covered in a poignant diary that Coppell wrote in his final year as a professional, but the circumstances of Coppell's career ending perhaps go furthest to understanding why he became such a good manager.

As a player with exceptional talent, Coppell's playing days were cruelly ended after a recurring knee injury proved impossible to overcome. At the age of 28 Coppell was forced to channel his energies into becoming a brilliant manager, through a mixture of hurt and determination following retirement at such a young age. The same scenario occurred with Brian Clough, who proved so successful as a manager after his playing career was also cruelly cut down by a knee injury.

The desire to succeed in management was clear for Coppell and Roach's book details all the perspectives of Coppell's management career. Plenty of famous football names lend their appreciation to Coppell's management skills as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very well researched and written book which provides a hugely interesting insight into one of the most respected men in football. It does nothing but enhance his reputation even more. I thoroughly recommend it especially if you are a Reading fan or even a Bristol City fan!
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By lloyd on 2 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover
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