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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The craft of graft
Those of us with little natural footballing talent tend to have a soft spot for Gary Neville. He is like the fan who practiced really hard, and, darn me, got picked for for the team he supported, Manchester United. It's the fantasy we all have. But in his case it came true.

Malcolm Gladwell has argued that, beyond a certain level of innate ability, it is 10,000...
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by M. Harrison

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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very average and pedestrian.
I am a lifelong Man Utd fan - so this book was an absolute must for me.

It ticks all the boxes that an English international footballer's autobiography should tick - how they got into the first team, their recollection of important matches, behind the scenes gossip, the great players they played with and how disappointing their England career was...
Published on 12 Sep 2011 by JPM1983


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The craft of graft, 9 Mar 2012
By 
M. Harrison "Hamish" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Those of us with little natural footballing talent tend to have a soft spot for Gary Neville. He is like the fan who practiced really hard, and, darn me, got picked for for the team he supported, Manchester United. It's the fantasy we all have. But in his case it came true.

Malcolm Gladwell has argued that, beyond a certain level of innate ability, it is 10,000 hours of practice, and a dollop of luck, that makes for brilliance. And Neville's brilliance was precisely knowing that only application could enable him to compete with the best. So he applied himself very, very hard. Neville relates that dedication with honesty and humility, never for a moment claiming to possess the sublime skills of his peers Giggs, Beckham or Scholes - but revealing how much application those three talents also required to make it to the very top.

Those who think of Neville as blindly, almost oafishly, dedicated to the United cause, may be surprised by the self-awareness and intellect that enables him to objectify both himself and his sport. This isn't an autobiography that will give you sensation or salaciousness; nor is it a work of huge literary merit. But in its modest way it will give you real insight into the professional game in England. And if, like me, you are interested in the minute detail of what it is like to be a top flight footballer - in how extraordinarily mundane it can be, as well as how privileged - this is for you.

Neville is smart enough not entirely to trash anyone - with the exception of the blazers at the FA, for whom he makes no attempt to disguise his well-merited contempt. Cleverly however, he takes us inside the bizarre - and alarmingly hopeless - management styles of successive English coaches without ever quite damning any of the individuals out of hand. After all, he may have to sit beside them as a TV pundit one day. And he never excuses himself from a portion of the blame.

The most striking part of the book however is its early sections. Being an apprentice at Manchester United in the 80s and 90s was clearly something like being in the army: rites of passage; humiliation; physical tests that bordered on abuse. It's all described here in hair-raising detail. It got so out of hand Brian Kidd eventually stopped it. But it's not hard to see why, when the famous Fergie Fledglings finally took off in the Premier League, they could mix it with anyone. Their blend of ability, resilience, and commitment to the team may never be seen again in a single cohort of players. As Neville admits, it was a blend that could simply frighten opponents into defeat.

One is left revising the original fantasy: most fans could never go through what Neville had to endure to get into the first team - let alone emerge as one of the best full backs of their generation. After reading this, you won't necessarily want to become his friend (his OCD rituals would drive you insane); but you would always want him on your team. It will also explain why he could - with similar application and intelligence - become, in time, the best football pundit of his generation. And whoever would have thought that?
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Red. Legend, 2 Sep 2011
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
United fans love him for his passion and other fans may not enjoy his uncompromising style and his passion for United, but his significant achievements can't be denied. Publishing this after his retirement (Theo Walcott take note) this is an articulate and perceptive view of his career and is refreshingly honest and humble "I wasn't even the best sportsperson in my family". It is short, 300 pages and I had no problem in reading this in an evening, short chapters usually with a focus on a specific event or person (the Treble, Terry Venables, Sven, etc).

I personally found the early stuff the most interesting, as he joins United, the initial `beasting' by the older generation and then the real drive for excellence that seeped through his generation of players, the golden generation of the likes of him, Butt, Scholes, Beckham and Giggs and even Robbie Savage! Neville captures the fear of young players about if they will make it and what it really takes to make it at a club like United. His is honest about his love of United and the desire to get one over the likes of Liverpool, but he is also respectful of the other clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal and their players. Throughout the book he does not feel the need to overly spill the dirt, but you can tell who he respected and who he didn't but with context and example, the contrast between England under Venables and Hoddle for instance.

But ultimately this is a view of his career through his eyes, it's important to note that because many big United names come and go but generally they are on the periphery of his personal story. Likewise this is about his career, not his family, so not much in the way of the personal element of his life.

It is too easy to call players `legends' but in the eyes of United fans Gary Neville deserves that accolade, his achievements with United, his drive and desire to win and the fact that he was United through and through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top read, 21 Oct 2013
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honest opinions and views of a local ordinary lad who made the most of his talents. Definitely worth a read!
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very average and pedestrian., 12 Sep 2011
This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
I am a lifelong Man Utd fan - so this book was an absolute must for me.

It ticks all the boxes that an English international footballer's autobiography should tick - how they got into the first team, their recollection of important matches, behind the scenes gossip, the great players they played with and how disappointing their England career was.

However, this is where the positives end. For saying Gary played for 20 years for one of the biggest clubs in the world there is hardly any backbone or depth to the book. Very, very few funny stories appear in the 300 pages, absolutely nothing about his life off the field and hardly anything that could be described as "noteworthy". Gary has also gone to great pains to make sure that nothing controversial makes it into the book - a lot of the book just says how great Beckham, Giggs, Cantona etc was, which is hardly news to football fans.

When I compare this to other autobiographies such as Vinne Jones' (Vinnie: The Autobiography), Gazza's (Gazza: My Story) and Le Tissier's (Taking le Tiss) this is not in the same league.

Man Utd fans may enjoy to some extent (although I would recommend Glory Glory!), fans of other teams will hardly raise an eyebrow when reading this book. Disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Paperback)
Brilliant thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Jun 2014
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A super read. Gary Neville tells it like it is or was.. really interesting insight into the workings, the passion and what it takes to become a great team. I would recommend this book to all football fans wether you`'re a United fan or otherwise. Jeff Williams
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read, 20 Jun 2014
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A must read for any Man Utd fan. A good insight in to life as a Utd player under Ferguson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 30 May 2014
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Loved it, honest & thought provoking. If you support united or not, this is a great insight into a successful era
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have ever read, 28 May 2014
This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Paperback)
All in the title, great analysation on all the important parts of his career. Overall there was nothing I didn't like about it and would recommend it to all united fans. Must buy
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4.0 out of 5 stars THROUGH AND THROUGH, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Red: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Once a red always a red. Funny in parts and informative behind the scenes info. Red fans will love it, open minded fans will enjoy it. Blindly loyal blinkered Liverfool fans should just not bother.
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Red: My Autobiography
Red: My Autobiography by Gary Neville (Paperback - 19 July 2012)
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