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You Don't Know Me, But . . .: A Footballer's Life
You Don't Know Me, But . . .: A Footballer's Life
by Clarke Carlisle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Career in the last throes of decline, 12 Oct. 2013
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I had initially hesitated to buy Clarke Carlisle’s autobiography when I read of the controversy in it about the different perspectives of solving the approaches to anti-racism in football. Compounding this was my respect for Dave Thomas's views on the unnecessary bad language which had been quoted in publicity surrounding publication. DT’s Jimmy Adamson - The Man Who Turned down England book arrived from Amazon a day before CC’s and dutifully I began the former but when CC’s offering arrived I became the man who temporarily turned down the man who wrote about the man who said ‘no’ to England.

Perhaps CC’s reputation as football’s most articulate player has swayed me but I really do believe he has written this himself. His style is endearing and self-aware. It is an easy read for those who still dream of glory and those who will never come near it. It is an intensely honest and personal analysis of a young man who has faced and been defeated by his demons and got up again (and again) to have another go to face them down. It lays bare the mentality of those testosterone charged males who, because of their talents in a team sport, can delay growing up for a decade or so and remain in a mental time-warp of mid to late teens immaturity. CC is a man who realises how lucky he is and has been and a man who daily lives with a psychological fragility which I suspect football’s then management of immature, impressionable and suddenly wealthy youngsters should take much responsibility for.

In some respects it is like reading a second volume of his professional life as it describes in detail the last couple of seasons of a career in decline illustrating his journeyman and often precarious life as a lower league pro-footballer with occasional flashbacks into earlier seasons and what might have been.

You have to hope Burnley's Danny Ings will have more luck after his England U-21 experience than did Clarke Carlisle. He also illuminates the relationship between managers and their players and the differences between some of their leadership and training techniques. I don’t know how successful he will be as a long term professional pundit but I am left wondering if he might not have taken an easy option by not considering coaching and ultimately football management. I recommend it. However it is too shallow and rather lightweight to recommend for any sports book award. Disappointing for Clarets fans as there isn’t much about Burnley FC where he and his family were happiest. It is thought provoking and the relatively rare bad language is heartfelt or contextual as is the often cringe-making immaturity of some professional sportsmen, including it seems the author himself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2014 2:42 PM GMT

by Michael Gregory
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The American Dream, 16 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Hoopman (Paperback)
Just how good can life be? The lead character here has it all - a succesful enlisted Army career behind him and on retirement the dream of at least half the North American Continent - to go to college AND play college basketball! Even better he gets to play at the top when approaching middle age.
Mike Gregory's first novel (Desert Skies) showed a flair for developing characters from his own military background, Hoopman goes far beyond this, demonstrating real maturity across a wide band of characters. It doesn't matter whether they are immature, semi-corrupted black players, overweight yet gutsy hispanics, nerdy computer geeks, or bent coaches - they all are perceptively brought to life through Mike's pen.
This book aches to be made into a film - Keanu Reeves has shown he can play baseball and is the right age - could he be Hoopman? Any Hollywood Scriptwriter would want to be first to get their hands on this one - it has all the components to make a blockbuster, accurate tactics for the knowledgable, computer hacking for the nerds, a love element and in particular a sensitive yet determined hero living the ultimate American Dream.
How Mike must wish he could play the beautiful game the way he describes it - no doubt he would be a great coach.
Despite not being a basketball fan I couldn't put this book down.

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