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5.0 out of 5 stars Football biography
This book was purchased as a gift for my brother. He loves it and said it is easy to dip in and out of. The history is also of great interest to him. We are delighted with the service and delivery provided.
Published 9 months ago by Eleanor Godleman

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much 'times': not enough 'life'
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about Herbert Chapman, who was Britain’s most successful football manager of the first half of the 20th century. At Huddersfield Town, which was one of England’s smallest First Division clubs with low attendances in a rugby league stronghold, he built a team that won Division One three times in succession...
Published 11 months ago by Alan D


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much 'times': not enough 'life', 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about Herbert Chapman, who was Britain’s most successful football manager of the first half of the 20th century. At Huddersfield Town, which was one of England’s smallest First Division clubs with low attendances in a rugby league stronghold, he built a team that won Division One three times in succession – although he left in 1925, before the third title had been won, attracted by the greater rewards available at Arsenal. He was not an overnight success at Arsenal, who stayed in mid-table for several years while he rebuilt the team, but in 1931 he led them to be the first Southern club to win Division One, and they went on to be champions four times in five years – although Chapman died of pneumonia in 1934, midway through this run of success. Chapman is also credited with popularising the use of a ‘back three’, introducing a 3-2-2-3 formation instead of the previous 2-3-5.
This book is entitled ‘the life and times of Herbert Chapman’, and I was frustrated that it contained too much general history and not enough about the teams Chapman built. Some of the additional material about early 20th century football was fascinating – I was interested to read about some of the footballers who served in the First World War, and was particularly interested to read about the 1915 match-fixing scandal which led to Division One being expanded from 20 to 22 clubs. But I already have a reasonable knowledge of more general British history, and I could have done without some of Barclay’s more remote dissertations – for example, those about Elgar, Oscar Wilde and Sir Oswald Mosley. Instead of wasting space on these three non-footballing figures, I would have preferred him to have devoted more space to the story of how Chapman’s teams won their Division One titles (and possibly to what happened to the players in later life). Additionally, although Barclay is keen to praise Chapman for introducing a third defender, he glosses over the way that Chapman’s system was superseded in the 1960s when most teams began playing with a back four. The use of two central defenders, with two other defenders playing wider to mark any wingers, is effectively a reversion to the pre-Chapman system whereby the two full-backs stayed in the centre of the defence and the two wing-halves marked the opposing wingers.
This is quite an interesting book, but it could have been so much better if Barclay had not been so self-indulgent in going off on quite so many tangents.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
I was expecting great things from this book about a great football innovator by a respected football journalist.
As a chronological record I can believe it is 100% accurate. Sadly it includes many diversions into the lives of Edward VII, Oscar Wilde and more.
But the biggest omission is the lack of analysis. I could not find any real analysis of the systems Chapman used and the way he organised his teams. This book does not explain HOW Chapman revolutionised English football, it merely describes what Chapman achieved.
A great opportunity missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Life & Times of Herbert Chapman, 29 April 2014
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Mrs. D. Mountford (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
I ordered this as a birthday present for my husband. He is a fiendish Arsenal supporter and thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too much other stuff, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
I purchased this book in order to learn about Herbert Chapman and his influence on modern football. What was it that made him successful and how did the various innovations claimed for him come about. I'm left with no real answers to these questions and too much writing about the social and economic history of the time. Also too much information about other teams and players of the time and matches which do not appear to have any relevance to Herbert's life. This is an interesting area but more appropriate for a general history of football at that time but not here. Of course the background against which Chapman lived is relevant but I think Patrick Barclay has veered off track too many times. At times I felt that may there were not too many facts about Chapman's life especially his football brain available to Patrick Barclay so he 'padded' out the back with too much general background.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Needed a revamp, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
Even 80 years after the great man's death this brings the era and the man to life again and is far superior to other histories of HC

Rod Dean
Ealing
London
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with plenty of background info, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
Well written and an easy read especially for Arsenal fan but generally a good football book that should appeal to a wider audience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Birthday present, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
The ideal gift for the 'historic' football fan. One of the great managers from the past, an early version of Brian Clough. Great insights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Football biography, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
This book was purchased as a gift for my brother. He loves it and said it is easy to dip in and out of. The history is also of great interest to him. We are delighted with the service and delivery provided.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Herbert chapman the story of one mans football, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
My husband loves it he hadn't put it down he is a arsenal season ticket holder very passionate about his football

Herbert chapman book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginnings, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman: The Story of One of Football's Most Influential Figures (Hardcover)
Terrific read, really paints vivid pictures of the life and times of the great man. He wasn't a flash in the pan, he repeated his success at Huddersfield by laying the foundations for what has become one of football's greatest clubs - Arsenal, not just a club but an institution.
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