Top positive review
A book of two halves
on 7 November 2013
I am grateful to the publishers for the opportunity to revisit this new revitalised series of books. As I have in the past received them as Christmas presents I understand that I need to review this book in the eyes of the gift giver. The reality is that most of us are already bluffers in the game of football. It is a constant male conversation of turning up for work with an explanation of why your team lost 3-0 to United and by the way didn't your team lose 4-0 earlier in the season etc. Thus armed with a plentiful supply of facts from the book the bluffer can turn the conversation to more confident territory.
The book is much cleverer than might be expected. Rather than just a dull fact packed book, the book is humorous and well written and encourages the reader to use a search engine to understand the hidden joke about Gordon Ramsey's "Ranger's career" or to steer the subject from football to opera via goalkeeping opera singers. I thought I might tire of the oft repeated digs about footballer's intellect but the book has a very warm and witty way of conveying facts about various national teams in a way that helps to embed the knowledge around competition time. It also expresses how various national and international club competitions and league structures actually are very confusing to anybody with just casual knowledge of the game .
As this is largely a gift book. may I suggest that for mothers giving it to their sons, they have a sneaky peak at the book from time to time and casually ask a few questions as some boys can be lazy readers until they get absorbed in the book. It is a good book for youngsters as it put some structure and history into their understanding of football. It is also a good book for people who are knowledgeable about football even where it is intended as an ironic gift, since there will be things they didn't know in the book and also gives them an extra language to talk to others about football in a more relaxed way.