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on 6 October 2015
(WARNING: The review of this book may or more likely will contain spoilers!)

Dennis Bergkamp is a name that will be forever be synonymous with football technical brilliance. His scoring of goals; his creation of chances; and his overall vision towards the game won him many admirers throughout his playing career. If the man even so much as flicked the big toe on his right foot, it would give football pundits orgasms lasting several weeks. But why does Dennis think and operate the way he does with football? This book “Stillness & Speed” gives the reader a great insight into the man who thoroughly deserves his descriptive title of “Dutch Master.”

Strictly speaking this isn’t a biography or autobiography. It’s more of an interview book where the writer asks various questions about Bergkamp’s football career. He talks about his thinking when creating chances and goals both for himself and his teammates; his attitude towards training and his need to go the extra mile to “get it right”; and his precise views on various aspects of the game which includes taking penalties. Overall the book was a real eye-opener for me. Yes, we have various football pundits breaking down the action on a daily basis. Yes, we have Sky Sports and their bottomless cup of computer graphic analysis. But this book really opened my eyes has to how much depth there is in the game of football, and what needs to be learned and perfected in order to get really good at it. I was compelled to just keep reading, and that can only be a good thing.

“Stillness & Speed” is not just an educational experience (I would venture to say). It’s also a series of mini stories providing an interesting view on the different styles of football play throughout Europe. The book talks about Dennis establishing his skills in the technical world of Dutch football at Ajax; his struggles physically and mentally with the defensive Italian style at Inter Milan; and his revival in the open and attacking arena of English football with Arsenal. Among the famous football faces consistently praising Bergkamp’s skill and personality are former Arsenal players, Ian Wright and Thierry Henry, and the current Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger. There’s even a bit of time for some short-tugging humour. Trust me you’ll know what I mean when you read it!

This is just my opinion -make of it what you will- but having read through this book from start to finish, it has made me realise’s OK to be a perfectionist. It’s OK to not be happy with your current results and performances, and want it to be better. It’s OK to constantly want to strive for more and get out there to make it happen. It’s OK to want to be...perfect. One thing it certainly’s an in-writing motivational speech to work hard to get the results you want.

Even if you don’t agree with those opinions in the last paragraph, the insight to Bergkamp’s mindset on the field of play and his general football philosophies make “Stillness & Speed” a compelling read. It’s a series of educational lessons on football and life. The bottom line is if you love your football, you’ll love this book.
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on 5 November 2013
The way Bergkamp speaks about the game is unlike 99% of pundits and ex-players. Insightful, thoughtful and forward thinking. If you're an Arsenal supporter its a must read.
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on 26 October 2013
The philosophy of a true footballing genius regarding his sport. Wonderful insight into a very private personality. If we could incorporate his philosophy into our game, maybe there's hope for us yet.
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on 19 December 2013
Dennis Bergkamp's presenst his life and football career, from his early days at Ajax through to his retirement at Arsenal, in an interview format.

Bergkamp explains very well how the development of his own talent as well as those around him, was influenced by the 'right' way of playing at Ajax. The explanation of the impact that great players such as Van Basten, Gullit and Cruff, really had on the game is the greatest gift to the reader. Also Bergkamp explains how every team he played in had a different philosophy and how that would impact a football match, for any football fan looking for an insight to the inner workings of football, this really is a must read.

The Arsenal years are the most enjoyable part of the book as Bergkamp freely admits how much he enjoyed playing there. The view he takes on the players and their contributions are fascinating and each page reveals information not available elsewhere - training methods, dressing room atmosphere and match build ups.

All in all, the book is by far the most analytical biography - of players, managers, training methods, everything up to how player attitudes need to be adjusted to certain positions. Bergkamp leaves no stone unturned; and the interview style presented allows him to explain in full detail what he means and why. A very good read, with excellent contributions from Bergkamp's former team-mates.
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on 28 October 2013
This is one of those books that, when you start reading it, is difficult to put down. It also has an unusual approach in that Denis Bergkamp's career is recounted by reference to viewpoints from contemporaries, particularly from club officials, with Bergkamp then
responding to their observations. The book also contains insights into how football clubs operate these days.
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on 28 October 2013
This was bought for my husband, mainly because we were going on a long business trip, and I thought it was something to do on the journey. Also, he is a big Bergkamp fan. If you are an Arsenal fan, and want to buy it, I suggest you go this way, as it is double the price on the Arsenal website, and you have P & P!!
Needless to say, he couldn't put the book down and he's not a big reader. I'm next in line to read it. Can't wait
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on 19 December 2013
Dennis Bergkamp's autobiography isn't like most football autobiographies. In truth, it isn't really an autobiography! In my mind, it's an authorised biography, not an autobiography. The co-writer has the main 'voice' and Dennis' input - which, admittedly, is substantial - is in the form of extended quotations taken from interviews with the co-writer. Effectively, it makes the book a long magazine-style interview of Bergkamp.

However, that apart, it's still a great and analytical read that probably works well for somebody who had a great playing career but perhaps doesn't have the big, gregarious personality we often associate with great sport autobiographies. There's plenty of input from others involved in his career at Ajax, Inter and Arsenal, and the co-writer seems to understand Bergkamp's career and get down to the key issues - the strife at Ajax, Bergkamp's unhappiness at Inter, the reasons for Arsenal's success.

A couple of quibbles about the Kindle edition - the version that I downloaded was missing a cover image and had a surprising amount of typos that got through proof-reading.
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on 30 January 2014
Simply the best book of it's kind. Stillness & Speed expresses Bergkamps vision of football using examples from his life & career rather than being a tell-all book about fall outs with managers and/or players. It makes you think about what football could be, whilst making you ruminate about how great it was to have had the likes of Bergkamp grace the beautiful game.
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on 12 November 2013
A different style to other autobiographies, but in a good way!

Being able to get direct opinion from people mentioned before it goes to print is a brilliant idea and one that a certain Championship manager could do with acknowledging ;)

A great read and I recommend it to anyone wanting to know what it takes to succeed and stay at the very top
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on 18 October 2013
Excellent insight into a legend, his career, approach and philosophy. Comments from contemporaries helped set the context in relation to other legends of the game and the era. Great read.
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