8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Appropriate for Britons. The rest of the world, not so much.,
This review is from: Calcio: A History of Italian Football (Paperback)I'm sympathetic towards the difficulty in getting in more information and pages in a book that already spans 500+ pages. I am, truly. But I feel there's a very misguided balance between what would be important in explaining Italian football and what the author feels just 'had' to be in there (see: seemingly endless words spent re-hashing the failures and few successes of British players in Italy).
I found it great in the beginning, but my enthusiasm quickly wore down as I progressed through the chapters and timeline of calcio. As items I am myself comfortable in my knowledge of came up, numerous mistakes on behalf of the author were exposed. I believe my final count of the different years mentioned for Roma's third scudetto win came to four, only mentioning the correct (2001) once. And there are many of these seemingly minor flaws (another that has stuck is the statement that Bologna is on the stockmarket; it is in fact probably the last club that would consider it, its presidents over the years leading the charge against the very 'financial doping' so very associated with the three clubs on the Milano stock exchange).
But the lack of understanding, on the part of the author, what's important is my main beef; a revolutionary coach such as Liedholm, who held such great esteem in his adopted country and was also a fantastic player in his day, 'godfather' of many of today's great coaches is mentioned only in passing. If I believed it to be intentional and not a very unfortunate overlook and miscalculation I'd deem it an insult of the highest magnitude. (Liedholm's fellow Swede at Milan in the 50's, Nordahl has been erased from Foot's history books, his incredible goal scoring record ignored and shunned, himself not even mentioned, as far as my memory serves, and if he was, like Liedholm only in passing).
But the book can probably serve well as a superficial reading for mainly a British audience who actually cares much for what Ian Rush wrote in his journal; I, most certainly, did not whatsoever.
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Initial post: 29 Jul 2009 17:49:54 BDT
a reviewer says:
There have been literally thousands of players and coaches in Italian football history. A one volume history of Italian football has to make choices, and sometimes difficult one. The first draft of this book was double the length of this one. So, yes, Liedholm deserved more space and Nordahl deserved a mention, but so did hundreds of others. But I was writing a history, and not a dictionary.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2009 18:44:53 GMT
M. Ryan says:
What a shame that it reads more like a dictionary - and not a very accurate one - then. Only an English academic could take away all the joy and passion of Italian football, fail to explain Coverciano or Heysel, yet include a whole bunch of dry rot.
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