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Twenty-Two Foreigners in Funny Shorts: The Intelligent Fan's Guide to Soccer and World Cup '94 Paperback – 1 May 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (P) (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679774939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679774938
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,081,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pete Davies' book entertainingly covers the world of soccer in a witty, new-journalism style of writing. From the inside story of a Welsh 3rd Division club stuggling for promotion to the details of a great USA upset win over England in 1993, to the World Cup itself, Davies offers a rich and vivid look at the details and passion that make up the world's most popular sport. Great for beginners to become educated about the game, and where soccer is going in the United States. The book takes you to soccer at every level: From the groundskeeper to the manager to each players' unique perspective on what happens over the course of a match or an entire career. A very entertaining read. A great chapter on US National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller's starting out in England at Milwall, a club in London with some of the toughest fans in Britain. You will learn a great deal about the sport of soccer, even if you fancy yourself an expert.
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Format: Paperback
As coach of my son's youth soccer team, I went looking for
a book to introduce our parents to the rules, history and
color of the world game. I found what I was looking for in this slim volume. Pete Davies' book is ostensibly
about USA '94, America's hosting of the 1994 World Cup
Tournament. It is much more than that, and it is a terrific
read for soccer novices, soccer romantics, and hard-core fans.

Davies is a Welshman and a die-hard fan of Wrexham, a Third
Division team in the English League, struggling to gain
promotion to the higher division. Davies intersperses a
season-long odyssey of watching soccer among 5,000 loyal
fans in a decrepit stadium where fans have to wait in line
for 15 minutes to get the world's worst coffee and "deathburgers,"
which he says are made from "ears and nostrils." The reader
gets a real sensory appreciation of what it means to be in
love with a club, to live and die with their weekly ups and
downs.

Davies teaches the readers the rules of the game in a very
casual way, but he is 100% accurate and insightful. He also covers all the major positions on the field.
He describes the so-called formations used in the modern
game, and then tells us that it is all meaningless once the
top world teams get into the whirl of a real match. Soccer
style, he says, reflects who you are. As he covers the
build-up to USA 1994, he covers all the major teams. Italy
are artists, but also subject to bouts of psychological
darkness and fraternal bickering. Brazil are the sun-drenched
sorcerers, magicians with the ball, who elevate the world
game to its highest levels.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is about three things: 1) The author's favorite team, 3rd division Wrexham, struggling to gain promotion, 2) Breif but insightful descriptions of every world cup up to Italia 90 3) Descriptions of the positions and jobs of all the players on the pitch.
Even if you think you know it all, read this book anyway. It will make you laugh and I guarantee that you will learn something new and interesting.
Enjoy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect intro for the American fan to the 'Beautiful Game' 17 Jun. 2000
By Andy Orrock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book a couple of years back when a local San Francisco sports columnist described it as 'the best book on soccer ever written.' After reading 'Twenty-Two Foreigners,' I'll second that opinion.
This book successfully weaves a general description of the game, a review of all Word Cups prior to US 94, and the author's own passion for his local team - Wrexham, a Third Division Welsh club struggling to gain promotion to the Second Division in 1993. Pete Davies mixes these themes together masterfully. Despite these three unique threads, the book never seems jumbled or hodge-podge.
Through Davies' sections on the history and nuances of the game, you'll develop a keen appreciation for why certain teams/countries deploy different playing styles and alignments without feeling overwhelmed by jargon and technical detail. In the overview of the World Cups, you'll understand how world dominance has inexorably tilted from its initial power base in the UK to the far reaches of Europe and - especially - South America. And in detailing his long-time affair with Wrexham, you'll begin to comprehend the deep-seated passion for the simplest of games which, unfortunately, has still not quite resonated here in the States.
Despite the fact that the material is now seven years old (Mr. Davies - an updated version in preparation for WC 2002 would be fantastic!), I wholeheartedly endorse this book as a comprehensive and engaging introduction to 'The Beautiful Game.'
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welshman's acerbic, affectionate look at the world game 26 July 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As coach of my son's youth soccer team, I went looking for
a book to introduce our parents to the rules, history and
color of the world game. I found what I was looking for in this slim volume. Pete Davies' book is ostensibly
about USA '94, America's hosting of the 1994 World Cup
Tournament. It is much more than that, and it is a terrific
read for soccer novices, soccer romantics, and hard-core fans.

Davies is a Welshman and a die-hard fan of Wrexham, a Third
Division team in the English League, struggling to gain
promotion to the higher division. Davies intersperses a
season-long odyssey of watching soccer among 5,000 loyal
fans in a decrepit stadium where fans have to wait in line
for 15 minutes to get the world's worst coffee and "deathburgers,"
which he says are made from "ears and nostrils." The reader
gets a real sensory appreciation of what it means to be in
love with a club, to live and die with their weekly ups and
downs.

Davies teaches the readers the rules of the game in a very
casual way, but he is 100% accurate and insightful. He also covers all the major positions on the field.
He describes the so-called formations used in the modern
game, and then tells us that it is all meaningless once the
top world teams get into the whirl of a real match. Soccer
style, he says, reflects who you are. As he covers the
build-up to USA 1994, he covers all the major teams. Italy
are artists, but also subject to bouts of psychological
darkness and fraternal bickering. Brazil are the sun-drenched
sorcerers, magicians with the ball, who elevate the world
game to its highest levels. The English are "cavemen with
hairy arses," he says both with admiration and regret.

An English League match is like watching 22 men on amphetimine.
Bodies rush and hurl about, with collisions leaving casualties
in their wake. A high work rate is prized. Unfortunately,
he says, the artists of the world game have left the English
game behind. The organization of English soccer,he says, is
run by "idiots." In a short, easy-to-read volume, Davies
really gives a great overview of the game in different parts
of the world.

He sounds a warning about the future of American soccer. The
American character likes big corporate, para-military style
organization. USA 1994 is awash in logos and rampant
commercialism. Although the sandwiches served at USA 1994 are
infinitely better than the "deathburgers" served at Wrexham,
the common fan is the heart of the game in England, not
the corporate sponsor. It is a point that we should not
forget as our game in America grows.

My favorite sports books are written by passionate writers
who have a sharp eye for the game, but more importantly, a
real affection for their games and subjects. I would put
in this category Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer," David
Faulkner's book on Sadaharu Oh, and now Pete Davies, with
"Twenty-Two Foreigners In Funny Shorts." Highly Recommended
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Welsh team's season as a metaphor for soccer. 8 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book keeps you on the edge of your seat as you read about Wrexham's 1993 season to see if they can be promoted to Divsion 2 from Division 3. What capitivated me, a youth soccer coach that is still (and according to the author) and will always be learning the game, is the manner and style of his writing. Direct, hard-edged and always to the point, Mr. Davies tells us the story of Wrexham (a mid-sized town in North Wales south of Liverpool), what each of the players do on the field, soccer strategy and most enjoyably, a history of the World Cup to 1994.
Since I had never heard of Wrexham before and knew very little of the World Cup, the book allowed me to "follow" the 1993 season without knowing the outcome. Since most Americans are in that position, the book is every bit as fresh as it was when first published in 1994. Also, Mr. Davies has very little love and respect for the English soccer establishment and is always candid and fresh with his opinions.
Now that I have become a Wrexham fan, my biggest problem now is finding reliable and up to date information on the English Division 2 soccer standings (assuming that they have not been relegated to Division 3).
All in all, a great, fresh and enjoyable read!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome and doesn't even seem dated 3 Jun. 2010
By Emma Megana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read it 15 years ago but in honor of the World CUp I bought it again from Amazon. It's a thoroughly enjoyable book on the fun of soccer in daily life and not just for the sports-crazed.

The opening chapter on the northwest England/Wales border team rivalries (of the Welsh teams) was a perfect microcosm of how ingrained soccer is in most parts of the world but not in the US. The many football chant songs cracked me up.

It is worth reading again too, despite being 16 years old, since for many people in the US there still is not an appreciation of soccer as a US sport for adults to be playing or professional soccer.

The statistics and personal narration of critical games from the past are great tools for illustration of soccer's place in the world psyche--favorite chapter is Argentina 1978.

I also enjoyed the fact that soccer was put into the daily context of life, maybe not as extreme as Fever Pitch, but pretty close.

If you are new to the World Cup, this is an excellent sociology and blow-by-blow game guide to introduce you to soccer.
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound look into the world of soccer 17 Oct. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Pete Davies' book entertainingly covers the world of soccer in a witty, new-journalism style of writing. From the inside story of a Welsh 3rd Division club stuggling for promotion to the details of a great USA upset win over England in 1993, to the World Cup itself, Davies offers a rich and vivid look at the details and passion that make up the world's most popular sport. Great for beginners to become educated about the game, and where soccer is going in the United States. The book takes you to soccer at every level: From the groundskeeper to the manager to each players' unique perspective on what happens over the course of a match or an entire career. A very entertaining read. A great chapter on US National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller's starting out in England at Milwall, a club in London with some of the toughest fans in Britain. You will learn a great deal about the sport of soccer, even if you fancy yourself an expert.
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