First things first, if you want a book that tells you the story of English football in terms of who won what and when, then do not buy this book. It's not for you, it aint that sort of book. Instead it offers a more thoughtfull analysis of why the English play the game in the manner in which they do - why the archetpal English player - Pearce, Butcher, even Rooney - is seen as a solider rather than an artisan.
Winner is very good at highlighting why the English game put such an emphasis on passion, strength, courage and so on. He also traces the history of the xenophobia that still runs through the football world today - the idea that 'the continentals' are divers, cheats, who may be skilled but can't win when football becomes a battle, a war. He gives a convincing argument of why successive English managers have prefered 'physical' players over more skilled flair players such aS Osgood, Greaves, Hoddle, Le Tissier and so on.
Where this book really excels though is the way in which it exposes the English national mindset and the way in which England's post-war history, along with the loss of Empire and suppossed economic decline, has attached itself to the way in which we view football. He critiques (rightly in my view) the nostalgia that dominates football and English life, the idea that football and the nation has gone to the dogs, that we are far away from the 'Glory Days'.
The book is not perfect - a few times Winner leaves you unconvinced, especially in the chapter about Roy Keane, and some of the people he quotes seem to come from the very margains of academia, such as Cameron Kippen, "historian of footwear and eroticism and lecturer at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia". That said, Those Feet should be required reading for all football fans prior to the Word Cup!