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The glory game
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my favourite passage covers the away european cupwinners cup tie in foreign climes. drawn away to a french side, bill lambasts the team at halftime due to their lack of application - and they promptly go out in the second half and proceed to gain a 0-0 draw, with barely any more effort. good result in hindsight, but that is not enough for bill - and he hammers that home to the players in typical unforgiving style.
a warts n all depiction of the way football was before the huge injection of cash and the new found interest in the premier league. definitely worth a read!
Davies would never be given such freedom to roam these days but back in the day - before agents and Sky TV - your average footballer was much the same, which probably explains why people are still reading The Glory Game 40 years after its publication.
Here is Davies' evocative description of the team after it lost a cup match against Chelsea: "They sat like shipwrecked hulks, naked, with their heads bowed, unable to move. (Cyril) Knowles seemed to be crying. His eyes were red and swollen. His arms were shaking, No one could look at anyone else."
This was in the days when Division One players were on £5,000 a year and some of them went home on the bus and train after a game!
There are a number of interesting pen portraits here, particularly of no nonsense manager Bill Nicholson, one of the most successful in the club's history.
Finally, how about this description of a party for one of the players to show that some things have moved on. Haven't they? "All that was missing to have made it a really smart 1972 middle-class party would have been a few reefers, but footballers wouldn't touch such things. Some footballers might have moved into the middle classes but there are two things they won't have at their parties - drugs and homosexuals
What was so interesting was the freedom given to Davies.In todays world there is no chance of an author getting so close, taking real views from all levels. The frustrations, the moans and the tensions. Today a press officer would ensure it would be a 'Hello" type piece. It was unique then and I cannot think of another work similar. And it is good fun to read especially if you remember fondly those times - good and bad.
The team I followed. I liked it because it was very relevant as I grew up worshipping the players involved.
I think it is most suitable for Spurs fans who also experienced the era. Genuine football fans will also enjoy reading the most open record of a season in the life of a professional football team.
It also brought home the fact that, in essence, nothing has changed in 40 years. The English game is still about a few teams at the top and the rich clubs attract the best players. Europe was and is still the holy grail. Facts like the total wage bill for the players and staff in 1971 being £200000 was also interesting
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