While religion often violently divides the Middle East, the countries of the world's most explosive region share one thing - a deep and obsessive love of the beautiful game. James Montague travelled there for three years, observing the region's cultures and politics through the prism of football and interviewing all the major teams along the way. He soon realised that to understand the game there is to understand its people. For as much as football forms an unlikely common thread between different countries, the sport also reflects what is unique in the national characters of those who play, support and organise it.
When Friday Comes is an insightful and humorous account of Montague's journey, during which he gets stoned with the Yemeni FA, harangues Iran's Deputy President at the World Cup, has a gun pulled on him by genocidal Lebanese football fans, encounters a rioting group of fanatical young Jews singing 'I'm West Ham 'til I Die' in mockney English and was made to strip and then dance for the Iraqi national team.
This is a compelling travel memoir that will enlighten, surprise and entertain football fans everywhere.