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kopite4ever (Washington, DC, USA)

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Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout
Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout
by Simon Hughes
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret To Liverpool's Success!!!, 1 Feb. 2010
While an autobiography would have been better, this look back into Geoff Twentyman's life as a Liverpool scout was fascinating and startling. It showed how much work original scouts put into finding players. At the end of the day, it really demonstrated that you MUST have an eye for talent and personality to make the right decisions on players for the top level. Twentyman had that eye in abundance. There is no great detail on any player,it is just an impression but after gaining that impression, the man was able to decide if he was good enough or not and could fit into the Liverpool style of play and add to it. Many of his players could and did. It showed that the foundation to Liverpool's success was down to his findings. The proof is in the pudding and since Twentyman left Liverpool, with the exception of Dalglish's successful period, Liverpool gradually demised with poor scouting and player purchases that continue to this day. Oh for a Geoff Twentyman to be at Liverpool today, whose current scouts are the worst in top football.


Soccer AM - Dream Team [DVD]
Soccer AM - Dream Team [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helen Chamberlain
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £2.87

2.0 out of 5 stars Bring Back Tim Lovejoy!!!, 1 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soccer AM - Dream Team [DVD] (DVD)
All this DVD demonstrates is that without Tim Lovejoy and many of the characters of his crew, the current version of Soccer AM is barely half as funny or entertaining as when it first came on air. Helen does her best to keep things fresh and vibrant but when you are working with talent as dead as some of this crew, it is very hard. If I were SKY Sports, I would pay top dollar to bring Lovejoy back. The ratings would go thru the roof and the fun would return. Lovejoy is doing crap with his Channel Bee and should never have left. This DVD was just pointless. Even the Dance Off has lost it's magic. Picking a World X1 with half the England team was also just stupid. It won't be long before Soccer AM says goodnight.


Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba
by Didier Drogba
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Personal!!!, 1 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Didier Drogba (Paperback)
This was a very personal account of Drogba's life as a player, growing up in France, dealing with a split family life, identifying with his roots in the Ivory Coast, and how each person influenced him on this journey. It was fascinating to read about how he had so much trouble with his developing body and being injury prone wherever he went. You'd never have guessed the difficulties he has gone through looking at him today, but he is a prime example of a late developer coming good. I enjoyed his thoughts about Jose Mourinho but beyond not wanting to be at Chelsea in the beginning, he does not delve too much into his life as a Chelsea player. He states the obvious that when he arrived, he hung around the French speaking players of African descent, while Lampard and Terry hung around with their own. That showed that much of the player harmony they show on the pitch in front of the cameras does not always filter back to their personal lives. That brought home how much the game has changed when in football back in the day, you were teammates and best friends on and off the pitch and always did things together. But with so many foreign players today, there is little camaraderie beyond the pitch. It would have been nice for Drogba to talk more about his World Cup experience in Germany from training, tactics, feelings in the games, and the way Ivory Coast dealt with the day to day drama but he spends too much time discussing his legend status in Africa. IN any case, it is an honest read of the life of one of the world's great strikers.


The Big Match - Best from the Studio [DVD]
The Big Match - Best from the Studio [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brian Clough

2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected, 1 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I expected highlights of Big Matches from the show. Instead, it was just studio talk for the whole DVD with some goal of the season clips and where are they now feature. Waste of money!!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2010 4:56 PM BST


My England Years: The Autobiography
My England Years: The Autobiography
by Bobby Charlton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING!!!, 1 Oct. 2009
I am just 100 pages in and this book is doing my head in. Every sentence by Charlton is interrupted by another sentence before the original sentence is completed. It has gone from confusing, to deep breath reading to pure irritation. Reading this old bugger's perspectives on football back then is like waiting at a bus stop and seeing a bus come along, only for it not to be your bus, and you have to wait for the next one, and then the next. It just becomes more and more annoying to why your bus is so late. Charlton cannot finish a thought without adding another thought and changing the topic before finally coming back to finish his first thought. I used to read this kind of style when I was a kid. I keep hoping the next chapter he will settle down and get into a clearer path of writing. As I got to the Pele section, he starts off about Pele as an 18 year old star, then describes the 1970 World Cup Final 4th goal before talking about Brazil's other creative players, and never really hooks you in on what he feels about Pele. He just jumps from place to place to place and it gets really aggravating reading this way. I do not recommend this book to anyone who has not much patience in reading. Let's hope the movie about Charlton's life will be more interesting and entertaining, and we won't have to watch flashbacks of the Munich Air Crash every second minute of the story...I mean get over it already!!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2012 2:00 PM BST


Here We Go Gathering Cups In May: Liverpool In Europe, The Fans' Story
Here We Go Gathering Cups In May: Liverpool In Europe, The Fans' Story
by Nicky Allt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make This Book A Movie!!!, 1 Oct. 2009
Quite simply, a trip back in the good old days of football specials, blagging into grounds, onto trains and ships and witnessing Liverpool's finest triumphs. It was all captured well by these traveling Reds and it makes me sad for the new generation of Reds who will never feel what we did in the 70s and 80s, with the innocence, passion, and sense of adventure all lost by capitalistic means. It's just a day out for the middle class and wealthy now. Even the way we dressed back then has been lost on the new Reds. Too many replicas on display today and too many new fans who will never know what it really meant to be Kopite, Anfield Road Ender, or a casual. Today, they sing Rafa songs, much to my dismay. We used to sing for Liverpool, now we sing for a Spaniard who has spent millions on nobodies and not won anything in 4 years, playing counter attacking football, when we used to win something every season with players who were attack minded and independent, and could pull out a display of football that was a clinic in one touch passing. Today's fans haven't a clue what it was like for us following our Red Men around the globe, but this book brings some perspective on it. Now, we just need the full length movie.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2011 2:22 PM BST


Goal 3 - Taking On The World [DVD] [2009]
Goal 3 - Taking On The World [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ JJ Feild
Offered by videosanddvds
Price: £0.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Goal Disallowed!!!, 16 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a massive let down. This finale to the trilogy was a complete waste of time. First, the story had nothing to do with Santiago and his dream of playing in the World Cup for Mexico, because he apparently was injured. Next, the 2 English players with which this story was about were so unrealistic to any England player that ever played. For example, going off on your own in rural Rumania looking for a drink, err, never ever heard of a national team player doing that kind of hike before a World Cup. Then a major star player being cast in a vampire movie right before the World Cup....who writes this crap??? I understand that the footage from the 2006 World Cup was difficult for them to write a story with Santi in play. But use some imagination please. They could easily have done a Harchester Dream Team style kit make over of Italy and made that Mexico winning the World Cup and used cut aways of the Mexican fans during their games. Editing and some simple CG work could have completed the dream. But no, they went really over the top and actually had one of the stars die in the middle of the World Cup. Then have the players and staff go back to England for the funeral, and return to Germany for the match with Portugal and miss that penalty. Err, the players did not even bother to wear black arm bands....just a little detail someone should have told the director to plant in the CG footage. No, this was a joke from start to finish and what started as a good movie in Goal 1, and became intriguing in Goal 2, just got whitewashed out by a pathetic 3rd that had nothing to do with the series. Can they ever make a world class film with football? The lifestory of Pele & Maradona, or the scandals of FIFA, Havelange as a Godfather of organized crime and corruption, how a football match started a war in Honduras, even a fan's story of an amazing trip to Istanbul to see the greatest Champions League Final ever. Come on, as big as the game is world wide, some storywriter can use it to produce a film of timeless integrity. Surely!!!


The Asian Liverbird
The Asian Liverbird
by Mohammed Bhana
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Photo Album, 31 May 2009
This review is from: The Asian Liverbird (Hardcover)
As a book this was disappointing. It felt more like a photo album. While some pictures were fine depicting Asians as Liverpool fans, most were just collections of Liverpool players in action which for me just did not belong in the book. That's just how I felt, others may feel they were great but I was hoping for more substance to the issue, "why does Liverpool have so many Asian fans....extend sentence to..." in the UK?" We know there are millions of fans in Asia and around the world that love Liverpool FC. But the context of this publication should have been kept to England. My own answer is simple: In the 70s and 80s there was not much football on TV except Match of the Day and Sunday's The Big Match. Liverpool were always the most featured team, and the most successful team. Since Asian culture likes to model itself on success, Liverpool FC were the obvious draw. Forget about all the family club nonsense. If that were true, Asians would have been drawn to clubs like Ipswich (who were also successful in the 80s), WBA (who had the first recognized English Black star players of Regis, Cunningham and Batson) and Nottingham Forest (who had the biggest father figure in the game in Cloughie and won back to back European Cups). No, Asians were drawn to Liverpool because they were winners and they won everything for 20 years. So this generation of Asians just jump on that bandwagon since their friends, families and relatives were fans and so it spread in the community. Another misnomer was how many Asians actually followed Liverpool match to match. I grew up in Liverpool as a British born Asian. I followed them since the early 70s. I had a season ticket to Anfield in the 80s, and I went all over Britain and Europe to see them. On the Kop, I don't remember a single Asian face among 20,000 scallies. There was only one Black face and he painted his hair Ginger and the Kop would chant his name sometimes. But no Asians. Wembley Cup Finals, no Asians, European Cup Finals, no Asians (at least not until Istanbul), unless they sat somewhere in the Main Stand or Kemlyn Road high up out of sight. At least in any standing section for Liverpool fans, I was the only Asian at a Liverpool match. Being 6ft 2", I stood out too. Away fans gave me terrible stick, but I held my own. I gave them back just as much verbal. I had my encounters. Facing 500 skinheads at Chelsea coming out of the tube at Fulham Broadway was an experience worth writing about in this kind of book. What about the 8000+ Geordies that took over Anfield on Keegan's return in the 1984 FA Cup match? Those grown men took on the Kop and outside the ground we feared for our lives. Getting stabbed at Leicester, rioting on the streets of Maine Road after being knocked out the FA Cup by Man U, being chased in Coventry by the bobbies, not wearing colours in the pubs in Nottingham, experiencing the tension of 4 FA Cup Semi Final replays with Arsenal, Rome, Heysel and all European trips, traveling on the football specials (special trains for football fans), hitchhiking to Arsenal on the M1, the greatest occasion of the first Wembley Merseyside Final in the 1984 Milk Cup, switching trains at Crewe and ending up with Millwall in your carriage, staying overnight in London after a match and seeing the sights meeting up with Scousers about town, etc...these are the experiences of Liverpool fans in the 70s and 80s supporting the club. I don't remember any Asians being part of any of it. So for me, this was not a real football book. Like so much about Liverpool FC today, it was just a glossy touristic view of what is still the greatest club in the world.


Red Revival: Rafa Benitez's Liverpool Revolution
Red Revival: Rafa Benitez's Liverpool Revolution
by Paul Tomkins
Edition: Paperback

2 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Gutless Writing, 13 Mar. 2007
As a Red of 40 years, I was almost cringing at every page of this drivel. Tomkins is obviously a diehard Red, but not an objective one. This entire book is a rerun of "Houllier-esque" excuses for poor performances by Rafa's teams, choice of purchases, selling of players, and anything else that has been a complete waste of money or time at Liverpool FC since the "sacking" of Roy Evans.

In both his books, that I read, I almost felt like throwing up as Tomkins drones on about how Rafa has not had the money to buy the players he "really" wants. He becomes Rafa's #1 PR man as he looks in detail at every conceivable excuse for a poor showing in the Premier League, being knocked out of cups, and playing boring negative football despite months of training, expert analysis, state of the art facilities and equipment, top of the line nutrition, world class accomodations, millions of pounds spent, massive global fan support, superior traditions, unique location, and a youth structure that has been typically one of the best in the country.

Yet despite all this going for an experienced manager in a job that is the envy of the football world, Tomkins can bellow out the most benign of excuses for 11 millionaire footballers to play poorly at places like Bolton or Middlesbrough.

I always believed this was a game of football we were involved in, not a game of chess or a matter of nuclear science. But to hear why Rafa got it wrong with such and such a player, and in this game and that, you would think the football we played was so excellent, every ex-player, fan phone-in and pundit was a critic with Stevie Wonder glasses.

Then he marvels at Rafa's success as if every victory was so well planned and thought of. Yeah right, I am sure the plan was to be 3-0 down in Istanbul, and 2-0 down in Cardiff, just so we could win those cups on penalties. How easy it is for Tomkins to forget that until we scored, we were outclassed in both games and only last minute saves took us to extra time and pks. More luck, than judgement, mate, but as fans we take that as part of the game. But surely do not excuse it as "genius."

If Rafa was such a genius, how is it we scored against Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final, only to spend the next 85 minutes bunkered in defending for our lives, and then get trounced in Japan by a poor Brazilian side, before Cisse had to be introduced to save a trophy out of nothing in a game that was pure abject football. Just minor examples of where genius Rafa was totally missing in these matches.

OK, nobody is saying Rafa is a bad manager, of course not. He is a winner and a proven one at that. But genius, come on. I just hate fans to get carried away. If we had the same success of cup wins playing football like Wenger's Arsenal and Rijkaard's Barcelona, I would be a true believer in Benitez's methods and what Tomkins writes.

BUT, we do not even come close despite an outlay of over 85 million quid, over 30 players bought, and the great Benitez standing on the sidelines barking instructions every second of every game instead of allowing his players to play the match themselves. I mean, what did he do in training if they do not understand the plan by match time? Also, why did he buy the players, if they cannot think for themselves.

That is the difference between Benitez and Paisley or Shanks. The latter knew players when they saw them and balanced them on the pitch so they could play football in any condition. They were the leaders, not the men who picked them. With Benitez we never know who is playing next, no wonder Liverpool is so inconsistent. The previous managers also knew when a player was past his best and replaced him with a better player. That is never done at Liverpool anymore and is the main reason for Liverpool's lack of success before Houllier's Treble in 2001. For example, today we have still not replaced John Barnes or Steve McManaman after 10 years, or Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen after 20 years, or Steve Nicol and Phil Neal after 20 years or even Michael Owen after 2 years.

Why doesn't Tomkins talk about that in his book?

Write as a dedicated fan, for sure (to coin a phrase off Rafa) but give a balanced view. There is a reason why only one section of Anfield sings Benitez songs, and it is same reason why those other sections did not sing Houllier songs. We are not convinced of the football Rafa plays and we cannot be fooled by mindless fans like Tomkins.


Golden Past, Red Future: Liverpool FC - Champions of Europe 2005
Golden Past, Red Future: Liverpool FC - Champions of Europe 2005
by Paul Tomkins
Edition: Paperback

2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gutless Read, 13 Mar. 2007
As a Red of 40 years, I was almost cringing at every page of this drivel. Tomkins is obviously a diehard Red, but not an objective one. This entire book is a rerun of "Houllier-esque" excuses for poor performances by Rafa's teams, choice of purchases, selling of players, and anything else that has been a complete waste of money or time at Liverpool FC since the "sacking" of Roy Evans.

In both his books, that I read, I almost felt like throwing up as Tomkins drones on about how Rafa has not had the money to buy the players he "really" wants. He becomes Rafa's #1 PR man as he looks in detail at every conceivable excuse for a poor showing in the Premier League, being knocked out of cups, and playing boring negative football despite months of training, expert analysis, state of the art facilities and equipment, top of the line nutrition, world class accomodations, millions of pounds spent, massive global fan support, superior traditions, unique location, and a youth structure that has been typically one of the best in the country.

Yet despite all this going for an experienced manager in a job that is the envy of the football world, Tomkins can bellow out the most benign of excuses for 11 millionaire footballers to play poorly at places like Bolton or Middlesbrough.

I always believed this was a game of football we were involved in, not a game of chess or a matter of nuclear science. But to hear why Rafa got it wrong with such and such a player, and in this game and that, you would think the football we played was so excellent, every ex-player, fan phone-in and pundit was a critic with Stevie Wonder glasses.

Then he marvels at Rafa's success as if every victory was so well planned and thought of. Yeah right, I am sure the plan was to be 3-0 down in Istanbul, and 2-0 down in Cardiff, just so we could win those cups on penalties. How easy it is for Tomkins to forget that until we scored, we were outclassed in both games and only last minute saves took us to extra time and pks. More luck, than judgement, mate, but as fans we take that as part of the game. But surely do not excuse it as "genius."

If Rafa was such a genius, how is it we scored against Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final, only to spend the next 85 minutes bunkered in defending for our lives, and then get trounced in Japan by a poor Brazilian side, before Cisse had to be introduced to save a trophy out of nothing in a game that was pure abject football. Just minor examples of where genius Rafa was totally missing in these matches.

OK, nobody is saying Rafa is a bad manager, of course not. He is a winner and a proven one at that. But genius, come on. I just hate fans to get carried away. If we had the same success of cup wins playing football like Wenger's Arsenal and Rijkaard's Barcelona, I would be a true believer in Benitez's methods and what Tomkins writes.

BUT, we do not even come close despite an outlay of over 85 million quid, over 30 players bought, and the great Benitez standing on the sidelines barking instructions every second of every game instead of allowing his players to play the match themselves. I mean, what did he do in training if they do not understand the plan by match time? Also, why did he buy the players, if they cannot think for themselves.

That is the difference between Benitez and Paisley or Shanks. The latter knew players when they saw them and balanced them on the pitch so they could play football in any condition. They were the leaders, not the men who picked them. With Benitez we never know who is playing next, no wonder Liverpool is so inconsistent. The previous managers also knew when a player was past his best and replaced him with a better player. That is never done at Liverpool anymore and is the main reason for Liverpool's lack of success before Houllier's Treble in 2001. For example, today we have still not replaced John Barnes or Steve McManaman after 10 years, or Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen after 20 years, or Steve Nicol and Phil Neal after 20 years or even Michael Owen after 2 years.

Why doesn't Tomkins talk about that in his book?

Write as a dedicated fan, for sure (to coin a phrase off Rafa) but give a balanced view. There is a reason why only one section of Anfield sings Benitez songs, and it is same reason why those other sections did not sing Houllier songs. We are not convinced of the football Rafa plays and we cannot be fooled by mindless fans like Tomkins.


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