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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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.
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on 18 July 2014
I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program.

Apparently I'm the first reviewer who went into this having read the description, which mentioned it was about 'soccer'! Plus, I'm English, so I assumed it was anyway.

My other half has been a football fan his whole life, so I've been trying to catch up as best I can. I wish I'd started with this book; though I've learnt a lot about world cups and 80s Arsenal and the history of Spain, all via football books, this was the first book to actually explain the difference between a full back and a wing back in terms I understood.

The focus is pretty broad; it covers the basics of the game itself, but also delves into teams, players and events that a bluffer will need to know about as well. It's a short book and can't cover everything, so there are a few gaps (Arsenals' 'Invincible' team doesn't get a mention, for example, and I'm still not sure I know my Ronaldos apart!), but it's a very solid foundation to work from.

It's written almost entirely in the present tense, like a football commentary, which keeps it pacey and energetic but can be a little confusing when talking about historical events. The tone is humorous (without being offensive - a lot of football books can be deeply sexist, but this manages to skirt that for the most part) but not patronising, and this edition is bang up to date, which is useful for those preparing for the upcoming World Cup.
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At a recent Norwich City Under-21 game I was sitting next to a dear lady and her two young children. It was their first match and they lasted until half-time. The mum asked me after 35 minutes how long there was to go and that made me realise that not everyone knows that football is a game of two halves, played by teams of 11 and that each half last 45 minutes.

So that's where this amusing little book comes in. It's light-hearted but with a cutting edge. Much of the humour is typical football terrace stuff e.g "Manchester City is the team supported by everyone who lives in Manchester. As opposed to Manchester United, which is a team supported by everyone who lives in Surrey." How true.

Packed with in jokes, it's a large slice of fun, full of cliches and nutty remarks.
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on 23 December 2013
Full of great clichés. I was surprised as the book does actually follow all the basic rules of football (albeit with some crazy examples!), so you have all the groundwork done for you. Offside rule, fourth official, league structure, they're all there! It's right up to date as well, pulling in some very recent news stories. It's designed for the "bluffer" of course. I wonder whether the bluffer would appreciate the humour? Anyhow, I did and found myself chuckling as I read through it!
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on 16 August 2013
I found this to be an excellent read. I picked it up because I just moved to the UK and know next to nothing about football. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but at least now I know what people are talking about! I'll be looking into other Bluffer's Guides - seem a great option for gifts.
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on 6 July 2015
I don't know anything about football.

Normally this is fine, but then I have to have haircuts or taxi rides - and this lack of knowledge (and interest, let's face it) becomes very apparent.

This book helped me out a good deal. Though I still have a terrible haircut.
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on 30 July 2015
I bought this as a present for my son in law. It was far better than I expected. Even though I am not a football fan I did read most of it before giving it to him and I must say I found it very entertaining. My son in law is a football fan and loves it.
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on 23 February 2015
Now I'm an expert with an in-depth knowledge of the sport that will astound all those with whom I discuss the "beautiful game". An amusing and informative read, that every professional footballer should read, if they can!
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on 2 June 2015
Bought a whole bunch of these 'Bluffer's' books as Christmas filler. They all make for half decent reading and are actually generally quite light-hearted. Good fun present.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2010
Terrible waste of money. I honestly have no idea who would like this book. I was hoping it might be a humorous Christmas gift for a relative who is starting to follow football ever so slightly after many years of ignoring it. Well, it doesn't tell you anything useful about football, and it isn't funny. With the growth of the internet, drivel like this is even more glaringly and annoyingly redundant than it ever was. Anyone thinking this book might be for them, go there instead.
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