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3.5 out of 5 stars36
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on 10 May 2014
Interesting to find world class footballer who never had a transfer fee. Always moved on a free. Apart from this a very reserved character and not interesting for people who want excitement from a book. Took the brave or stupid move to change north London clubs and not understand the consequences. Very good football player, very uninteresting character.
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on 25 July 2015
I had hoped to enjoy this book much more than I did. A chance to better understand one of the enigma's of English football, a defender who served his country brilliantly whilst also becoming loved and hated my much of North London following his switch from Spurs to Arsenal.

Unfortunately, the football side of things is often dwarfed by Campbell's feeling that he was undervalued or used by others. I had hoped for more football stories about his time with England and the Arsenal 'Invicibles', unfortunately even on both of these, he has axes to grind, criticising Arsene Wenger for the way he handled him in the latter stages of his career and the FA for not making him captain. He alleges that the latter was due to race, however, he struggles to substantiate this, and the book itself doesn't support him as its clear he was an awkward character due to a tough upbringing and may not have had the leadership qualities of several other strong leaders during the era.

The book is written in an odd style which questions Campbell and adds to his awkward reputation. The writer uses cliche and tabloid wording when it is clear Campbell wishes to be seen as a football intellectual.

I love football biographies and found this difficult to read, I found it very hard to warm to Campbell and his continuous gripes, I also felt there was ambiguity in challenging the hard family upbringing he had and then glossing over the fact he doesn't see one of his own children.

The football matches don't get enough attention, too much emphasis is placed on Campbell's rise to a position where he has a lot of expensive things, I came away from this book bored and thinking less of one of the great defenders of his generation. A very dull and frustrating read.
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I didn’t expect an autobiography of Sol Campbell to be frothy and light but I did expect it to be an interesting read. Instead I found it to be and extremely dull book which I had a difficulty finishing. Sol was, there is no doubt, an excellent defender but he always came across as being a difficult man to warm to. He seemed sullen and brooding, an impression that is only confirmed by this book. This book is mirrors Campbell perfectly – it is similarly sullen and brooding.

The final page on the book asks “is there a finer English footballer of the past fifty years who has been eyed so suspiciously?” Unfortunately this book doesn’t say anything that should alleviate those suspicions. The final page also goes on to state “does his desire for solitude, together with his innate shyness make him difficult to fathom?” It is clear that the answer to that is yes, but even allowing for is reticent nature this book brings me no nearer to fathoming Sol Campbell.
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on 12 January 2015
As a Gooner I try to read all books about current and former Arsenal players. This is one of the less interesting ones. As good as Sol Campbell was for The Arsenal and for that iconic Invincible team, this book was a struggle to get through. The author uses very odd analogies and metaphors, some cliché-ridden, others simply out of place, and for this reason it is a tough read. Moreover, the player himself comes across as a little out of touch with reality. This becomes ever more clear if you listen to his interview with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5Live which was on the radio shortly after this book was serialised in a newspaper and Sol's comments about being England captain came to light (available as a podcast, find it as it's an essential companion to this book!).
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on 23 June 2014
Far more revealing than the usual footballer bio gives a greater understanding of a quiet and complex man. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone whatever their footballing persuasion
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on 3 April 2014
A claim of assault, a paternity test, a North London betrayal, an episode of depression, plus recurring slurs against both his race and sexuality. For a private man, Sol Campbell has had a very public career. Like subject, like book, Sol Campbell: The Authorised Biography has had an eventful life so far. Press attention has centred on one sensationalist claim; that racism within the FA prevented Sol from being `England captain for more than 10 years'. It suggested a bitter ex-player voicing long-held grievances but thankfully, this is a unique outburst in what is a reasoned and illuminating look at the highs and lows of a highly distinguished career.

Crucially, Astaire manages to penetrate the tough football shell to delve deeper into Sol's personality, expertly tracing the roots of his deep-rooted emotional fragility. Campbell deservedly joins the likes of Robert Enke, Andre Agassi and Marcus Trescothick in a very significant subgenre of sports writing. Yes, key matches are analysed and records are set straight, but the real triumph of this book is that `The Rock' is revealed as human after all.

@OfPitchandPage - Full review at ofpitchandpage blogspot
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on 10 June 2014
This was purchased for a friend.

Having canvassed the opinion of the life long Sp*rs supporter, William J Morse confirmed that he was both relieved and moreover, delighted to finally get his hands on this long awaited tome.

Comparing the quality of writing to Shakespeare, Chekov, Kafka et al, Mr Morse, after a thoroughly enjoyable cover-to-cover read, gleefully proclaimed that he finally understood and most importantly sympathised with Sulzeer's motives for his controversial move across the North London Divide.

William Morse enjoyed this book immensely and absolutely recommends that his fellow Tottenham Hotspur Supporters purchase this modern classic as soon as their dole money clears into their accounts.

If Mr Morse could award more than 5 stars, he most certainly would.

Smashing stuff.
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on 19 July 2014
I really enjoyed reading this book. It gives a brilliant insight into the real life of a professional footballer. Well worth a read!
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on 14 November 2014
Great read, great footballer who tells it as it was, even greater human being thanks to his values and beliefs.
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on 1 April 2014
Terrible, self-serving, account of a football career from a mercenary. Blames most of his failings on others. Deserves to be left untouched in the 50p stack at an outlet store.
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