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alex_brown@blueyonder.co.uk (Woking, England)

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McIlvanney On Football (Mainstream Sport)
McIlvanney On Football (Mainstream Sport)
by Hugh McIlvanney
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.49

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At least there were few family appearances!, 14 July 2001
Remember the TV series of the same name a few years back? It consisted of McIlvanney talking about the great men from his part of Scotland - Shankly, Stein etc - and interviewing various members of his family about them.
Yes, it really was cringeworthy wasn't it?
This is where he excells, as a compendium of his best football writing. In an era when journalism has completely disappeared in football, where talentless people get by just by reprinting quotes from press conferences, McIlvanney reminds us what we are missing - analysis, insight and no BS.
Well, not much anyway apart from how he cr***ed on about Pele and the Brazilians. The World Cup section was a little disappointing, otherwise a thoroughly good read from cover to cover.
As these are articles and not chapters as such, this is the perfect book to read in between breaks of doing something else.
A very good read all round, but not quite excellent.


A Matter Of Opinion
A Matter Of Opinion
by Alan Hansen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable - perhaps a little disappointing, 17 Jun 2001
This review is from: A Matter Of Opinion (Paperback)
As a mad Liverpool fan, any book by Alan Hansen is always going to get read isn't it?
Hansen is a lot more frank than he was in his first autobiography, and his lack of confidence in himself when under pressue starts to shine through now - which explains the real reason why he never did go into management.
As far as his views go, there isn't really anything we haven't seen or read before from Jocky, perhaps its over exposure of him that doesn't make this as good a read as perhaps it could have been.


Left Foot in the Grave?
Left Foot in the Grave?
by Garry Nelson
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Nelson does it again, 3 Jun 2001
In the follow up to Left Foot Forward, Nelson has done it again in creating a fine tale of a player coming to the end of his career, and trying the challenging transition into coaching.
Coaching in the lower leagues involves countless hours, scouting the most boring games between teams of nobodies, putting up with aggravation from players, nad having to make life changing decisions on their careers.
A thankless task -- unless you get success.
Nelson's diary of how he takes this task on is insightful and intriguing as always, and given his move after the season to the PFA, it does make you wonder if he will try coacvhing again sometime, or if what he has seen is not for him.
A must for all budding football managers!


Left Foot Forward: A Year in the Life of a Journeyman Footballer
Left Foot Forward: A Year in the Life of a Journeyman Footballer
by Garry Nelson
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class tale of football's wilderness, 20 May 2001
The question might easily be asked: who is Garry Nelson?
To call him a nobody is unfair, but he has never reached the heights of the Premiership as a footballer, nor was he ever going to in all reality.
As one of the 'cloggers', a journeyman as the title of the book would say, he has all the same worries about the rest of us - bringing up a family, making a living etc; but also has all the additional problems of being a professional sportsman.
As one of those not in the top bracket of wage earning and coming to the end of his playing days, every little knock has the possibility that it could end his playing career, and he is working on what he can do to get by after he has finished.
Of course this is a few years old now, and an addendum is that he is now working for the Professional Footballer's Association; but what comes from Left Foot Forward is the confirmation that he is as honest as the day is long -- and this will undoubtedly hold him in good stead in this role.


The Miracle Of Castel Di Sangro
The Miracle Of Castel Di Sangro
by Joe McGinniss
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.91

4.0 out of 5 stars A completely different look at football, 2 May 2001
An American living in a Serie B town for a year and following the tiny Castel di Sangro throughout a season is an interesting concept, but this really is a thoroughly excellent book from cover to cover.
His tales of his day to day interaction with the players, and the bizarre coach they employed, both intrigued me and involve the reader throughout.
The ending to the book is a little sour to say the least, and it does disappoint you a little when you were so looking forward to a successful climax to the season for the team, and of the author's stay in the small town.
Really enjoyable as a book about people, as well as being a sporting tale of some renown.


Mystery Spinner: The Story of Jack Iverson
Mystery Spinner: The Story of Jack Iverson
by Gideon Haigh
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over analytical and tangenticised review of unusual career, 28 Jan 2001
This is one of the most interesting tales of sporting history, the freakish man who went on to play test cricket for Australia by creating a whole new way of bowling.
It's only a shame that the book didn't live up to the legend of Jack Iverson.
I've read much of Gideon Haigh's writing in the past, and have found some of it excellent.
He was often struggling in this book in being able to come up with enough recollections of Iverson, and with little media reporting available and no diaries etc of his early life, Haigh seemed to continuously go off onto tanegents of psychological analysis, theory and quoting from some bizarre works that seemed to me to have little obvious to do with the subject.
Saying that, I enjoyed some of the recollections that were used of what was undoubtedly a tortured genius, and what is ultimately a very sad end to the life of Iverson comes through in his daughter's comments about him.
This was worth reading, if it was perhaps too easy to put down [always a bad sign!], but ultimately I was left unsatisfied by this biography.


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