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George Best and 21 Others Paperback – 2 May 2005
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Warm, witty and sometimes unbearably sad (Manchester Evening News)
A gripping story of sporting and social history told with great clarity and unflashy eloquence (The Times)
A touching, epoch-evoking story of youthful dreams - some dashed, others fulfilled - from a compelling writer (Jack)
An excellent work of sporting and social history full of footballing action, gossip and nostalgia (Independent on Sunday)
The moving and evocative story of youthful dreams, and what happens to them, as told by one of the bestselling sportswriters in the countrySee all Product description
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Unfortunately, he falls down in 3 areas.
He doesn't pick up the fact that Utd & City had equal success with the youth-team graduates he portrays here, for one reason-both had a major selling point & a just as major flaw.
Utd were glamour & clearly still rebuilding after Munich; but that indicated high standards that only the most self-confident kid might gravitate to. City were homely, carefree and likely to get you in the first team faster-but equally, they were completely without organisation and with a team in terminal decline.
He also attempts to unpick the legend of Matt Busby, but fails to address quite why Matt Busby was remote from youth players even before Munich. Busby was the manager & the Sergeant Major in the army in WWII, Jimmy Murphy the assistant & youth team manager and the sergeant in the army, facts which anyone talk about if they chose to.
Fair enough, but George Best is also condemned for his tackle on Glyn Pardoe in the Dec 1970 derby that effectively ended Pardoe's career. Mr Schindler neglects to mention the Sept 1968 derby, where, just a few months after his greatest day in the 1968 European Cup Final, John Aston had HIS leg broken & his Utd career effectively ruined by a tackle from -Francis Lee of Man City.
I was at both games & I distinctly recall one of those tackles being right over the ball, even if it could still have been badly mistimed and no more. If Mr Schindler wished to cast aspertions on Bestie's tackle, he should have at least mentioned Lee's efforts.
The book is still interesting & not ruined by his bias. It does best when evoking the ambience in both Manchester camps from 63-68 & not bad in pinpointing why Utd went from European Cup Winners to relegation in 6 years.
Pity the author didn't analyse why City have never challenged again for the League they won in 1968, apart from in 1972-there is a story there that deserves to be told, because, take it from me, Utd til I die, that 68 City team SHOULD have been near the top of the League at least for the next 5 years or so, even if they went on to 3 cup wins in the following 2 seasons anyway.
Still, it's a good read & does recreate much of a time long past.
Written from the comfort of his London abode (strange given his frequent references to United supporters not coming from the place), Manchester City fan, Shindler's book is a mish mash of sub - Hornbyesque soccer writing and tired nostalgia.
This is truly an awful book that will appeal neither to the football fan or the social historian.
Colin. You hate Manchester United. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Let it go.
Let it go.