Top critical review
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Dated and almost a little conceited
on 29 September 2010
I wanted to love reading this book. However, it didn't quite live up to expectations.
It has clearly suffered from being written so long ago, as so many of the political circumstances described have changed hugely in the intervening years. Having read other reviews it's clear that, when it was first released, this was a pioneering attempt at examining the socio-political background of football.
Aside from the outdatedness, the writing style grates a little. So many passages begin with an 'exclusive interview' with a certain character. While it's impressive that the author has these connections, you begin to imagine that you are being told a story by the man in the local pub who claims he's friends with everyone 'off the telly.' As such, the regular "XXXX told me in the strictest confidence that..."-style passages become irritating. Conceited is perhaps the wrong word, but it's certainly getting that way.
Ultimately though, anyone with an interest in international football (club or country) will be able to appreciate and enjoy this book. If you find yourself lagging after the first chapter - stick with it, it gets better.