1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The game behind the glamour, 30 Aug. 2013
Finished this today - hot on the heels of David Peace's 'Red or Dead'.
Completely different concepts, writing styles almost polar opposites, yet they are complementary in forensically dissecting the realities behind 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.
Calvin's cast-list of nearly-men, journeymen and odd-job men loitering in the Dickensian fringes of the game - contrasted with the Prozone nerds and Opta geeks in their gleaming towers - captures perfectly the contradictions of Premiership-era football.
For all that the sheikhs, oligarchs, statisticians and analysts may appear to have taken over, at the core of the game we love is something recognisably human. As with his previous book 'Family', Calvin builds the connection between you, the reader, and the real people inhabiting this unreal world, to the point where - regardless of affiliation or prejudice - your interest is in their lives rather than the result of the next match.