One of the best football books,
This review is from: '66: The Inside Story of England's 1966 World Cup Triumph (Mainstream sport) (Paperback)
When it comes to football books I don't learn and often get seduced by the cover, buying a book for what I hope will be inside and ending up disappointed far to often. I've read as many mediocre football books as I've seen mediocre matches!
I am delighted to tell you that this was one of the best. I bought it around the time of Germany 2006 in a wave of optimism that lasted until, er, about half-time of England's first game. All England fans yearn for a repeat of 1966 but few of us can remember it and fewer know the full story. Roger Hutchinson's book is superbly written. It starts back in the 1950s, with England's "greats" failing to deliver in tournament after tournament. He describes the changing mood as fans went from an assumption of English superiority to an all-too-modern assumption that the quarter-finals would be par for the course.
It's far from triumphalist stuff, in at least two ways. First, England did not sweep all before them and there was many a setback along the way. Second, the author, while admiring Ramsay's achievement, believes his tactics had serious detrimental long-term implications for the English name.
This story drew me in and carried me along, giving insights into a world I remember but is so radically different from today ("modern slavery" at £150k per week). If you're an England fan you will definitely enjoy this book and I can't recommend it enough.