Customer Reviews


74 Reviews
5 star:
 (53)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing behind the scenes look at football
I picked up this book on the recommendation of some fellow fans and thought it was a great read.

Well paced, well written and very revealing The Nowhere Men gives a detailed account of what goes on behind the closed doors of the scouting rooms and the interactions the clubs have with them.

What caught me by surprise was the very downbeat tone of much...
Published 13 months ago by Mr. A. Locatelli-malacrida

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Starts really well but the last few chapters only restate the points that have been made early one
Published 3 months ago by Brenda Vendor


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing behind the scenes look at football, 9 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Kindle Edition)
I picked up this book on the recommendation of some fellow fans and thought it was a great read.

Well paced, well written and very revealing The Nowhere Men gives a detailed account of what goes on behind the closed doors of the scouting rooms and the interactions the clubs have with them.

What caught me by surprise was the very downbeat tone of much of the book and the bleakness experienced by the scouts both in the places they visit and the disposable nature of their profession. But this serves to make the book more compelling and proves it really is a 'warts and all' expose of what really goes on in football.

No punches are pulled and whilst there is an inherent sympathy for the people within the scouting profession, they are always kept at arms length to really analyse what they do and the differing schools of thought inherent in football.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 10 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Hardcover)
Every football fan will love this book that provides fascinating insight into the world of scouting - from old school methods to new technological demands. Whilst the game may be richer than ever before, the scouts are often working many hours for pittance. Despite being a huge football supporter, football books had gone a bit stale on me. This book reversed the trend and was very hard to put down - brilliantly written, highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and thought provoking, 8 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Kindle Edition)
Amazon currently offer over 15,000 books on football and I am sure that the overwhelming majority are the ghosted memoirs of the latest pampered Premier League brat and originality is hard to come by.

Mike Calvin has been around Fleet Street for many years and has established a reputation for pithy columns that get to the nub of the matter and for his ability to eviscerate cant and hypocrisy.

His previous book "Family", a year in the life of Millwall took us inside the heart and soul of a football club and made us look at the club in a totally new light. The book was rightly acclaimed even if it wasn't totally original as he was following the example set by writers such as Hunter Davies but "The Nowhere Men" is totally different in every way.

Calvin has broken new ground and cast light on a hitherto ignored and unknown segment of the game, the scouts who are responsible for identifying and maintaining the pipeline of young talented players, some as young as the age of six.

He follows a group of scouts and becomes the fly on the wall, recording their conversations, insecurities, fears, whinges and even paranoia as they strive to discover the next potential superstar.

Like most people who spend an inordinate period of their lives working alone on the road and then on their backsides at football matches most scouts are garrulous individuals and their stories are explicit, razor sharp and do not spare the guilty and Calvin is an excellent listener and this book gives them their voice.

There are many footballers who will shrink at the honesty of the withering verdicts of their ability or heart or lack of it and their weaknesses are laid bare by the group of scouts whose job it is to assess em.

Men like the evergreen John Griffin and Mel Johnson are seasoned watchers of the game and able to make detailed assessements of a player's ability and likelihood to make a living from the game within a few moments of watching them.

You learn to watch the player and not the game itself which apparently is why many managers make poor scouts as they lack the singleminded ness required.

What is amazing is the cavalier fashion in which many scouts are treated, disposed of like old socks when a manager loses his job, working for expenses only and likely victims of the next palace revolution.

Calvin gives them their voice and reveals them as the unsung heroes that they are.

We hear fisherman's tales of the ones that got away and for all their camaraderie. and sense of togetherness the scouts are competing against eachother and try to pull the wool over their rivals' eye.

Calvin also lays open the current debate regarding the value of the traditional scout who trusts his eye, experience and judgment when assessing a player and the new breed of performance analysts who follow the Moneyball tradition of using statistics to make their choices.

There is an uneasy relationship between the two and this is a struggle that will continue.

The rich get richer but it is gratifying to read of smaller clubs such as Brentford who are punching way above their weight and are outperforming the bigger boys in the way in which they structure their youth development programme.

The book is 390 pages of pure gold dust, well written, sympathetic and insightful.

It did beg a few questions. Are there any female scouts and if not, why not as women are now contributing so well at all levels of the game?

We learn about the extraordinary range of player performance statistics provided by companies such as Prozone which are used by clubs to learn so much about how their own players perform in matches and training. Can clubs purchase such data about players at competitive clubs to help decide who best to purchase?

As you can see I finished this book bubbling with enthusiasm and having learned so much more about the Nowhere Men.

This is a totally original book that breaks new ground and it is sure to cause a stir within the game as well as provide rich entertainment to those who choose to read it.

I said at the time that Mike Calvin would do well to better "Family" but in this reader's opinion he has totally surpassed it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 5 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Hardcover)
A fantastic read - Whether you are on the outside looking into the game or already in the inner the circle, this book is fascinating. An amazing and unique insight to a side of the game that is steeped in folklore. Highly Recommended to anyone interested in the game.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There's Gold in them there waters", 30 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Hardcover)
"The shiniest gold is found in the murkiest waters" An enthralling and totally absorbing account of life as a football scout. Football books are like chicken takeaway shops, so many, so much choice, so much disappointment. This book is the Michelin starred restaurant amongst them! A feast for serious fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!, 5 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Hardcover)
Fantastic read, a really good insight into scouting in the football industry. Highly recommended to everyone! Struggled to put this amazing book down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 5 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Kindle Edition)
One of the best football book I've read. I couldn't put it down.

I thought I knew a bit about scouting, turns out I was wrong. Calvin does a fantastic job of delving into the scouting world, revealing the pressures, uncertainty & rewards that go with the job.

Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really great book, 11 Feb 2014
By 
mark lawrence (norfolk g.b.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Hardcover)
terrific book, i enjoyed it all the way thru, well written i would recommend it to all football fans everywhere.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best, 10 Sep 2013
By 
S Brown "Browndawg" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Kindle Edition)
Having being involved in recruitment for a Premier League club I understood this book clearly and it read like I was in a film. I know 95% of these scouts and attended games they were at and shared stories on players and goings on at some clubs. I remember being stood with Andy King and John Griffin at a Wycombe reserve game and his knowledge was extensive on players across all the leagues.

Buy this book. I promise you you will not be disappointed, unless your one of the new breed of scouts who assess players from the comfort of a warm office watching DVDs and online streaming sites.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The game behind the glamour, 30 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nowhere Men (Kindle Edition)
Finished this today - hot on the heels of David Peace's 'Red or Dead'.

Completely different concepts, writing styles almost polar opposites, yet they are complementary in forensically dissecting the realities behind 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

Calvin's cast-list of nearly-men, journeymen and odd-job men loitering in the Dickensian fringes of the game - contrasted with the Prozone nerds and Opta geeks in their gleaming towers - captures perfectly the contradictions of Premiership-era football.

For all that the sheikhs, oligarchs, statisticians and analysts may appear to have taken over, at the core of the game we love is something recognisably human. As with his previous book 'Family', Calvin builds the connection between you, the reader, and the real people inhabiting this unreal world, to the point where - regardless of affiliation or prejudice - your interest is in their lives rather than the result of the next match.

Faultless writing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Nowhere Men
The Nowhere Men by Michael Calvin
£3.95
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews