8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
QUITE SIMPLY THE BEST FOOTBALL BOOK EVER!,
By A Customer
This review is from: All Played Out: The Full Story of Italia '90 (Paperback)
I first read this book not long after it was first published and have re-read it several times. On each occasion I have been amazed by the quality of Pete Davies' writing. The excellent narrative and analysis is maintained throughout, offering an 'insiders' guide to what really happened with England at the 1990 World Cup. Davies starts by recounting the deciding qualifier in Poland and the warm-up matches, which highlight the pressure felt by Bobby Robson and the constant media scrutiny of the England team and entourage. The book then takes up the story of what it was like to follow England round Italy for a month. Davies interviews all the key figures and mingles with fans of various nationalities to discuss their experiences.
The essential strength of the book is the honesty and trust Davies received from the England manager and players. They were aware that Davies was not seeking to grab sensationalist headlines for the 'brat-pack' gutter-press back home and also that the book would not be appearing until well after the end of the tournament. This gave the major protoganists in England's tournament the chance to speak openly with the author and the results are fascinating, particularly the interview with John Barnes.
Overall, the book is a terrific reminder of England's most successful overseas World Cup. A more literary and authoritative type of football book than something like Fever Pitch, this is a must for any football lovers bookshelf.