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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2017
Excellent, thanks very much
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on 22 December 2009
A very enjoyable read overall; at times amusing, at times acutely embarrasing as Herr Honigstein forces us to face up to some uncomfortable home truths. My only reservation would be this: as the author is a journalist and German, too, you would expect the facts to have been checked. In the chapter dealing with "bungs and backhanders" the author refers to a celebrated case in the mid-1960's in which 3 players allegedly "threw" a game so that they would win a bet they had placed backing Ipswich Town to beat their team, Sheffield Wednesday. Somehow Herr Honigstein has Tony Kay playing for Ipswich and Bronco Layne for Sheffield United. A tiny quibble? Nitpicking? Maybe so, but it did make me wonder how many of the facts in the rest of the book, with which I might be less familiar, I could assume as correct. I also thought that a bit more on the way Kay, in particular, was treated in this case would have told us a lot more about "the English national character" than some of the other illustrations the author uses for that purpose.

On a more positive note, Honigstein has a nice sardonic style and uses his humour to good effect. Despite showing up some of our English inadequacies and idiosyncracies, his deep respect and affection for englischer Fussball shines throughout. This is a good book for anyone prepared to take the risk of having a close look at yourself in the mirror the morning after a good night out. Reality bites, and sometimes, you know, it's not as bad as you thought it was going to be.
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on 26 May 2013
Excellent way of looking at the English psyche. You would see the attitudes and beliefs of fellow Englishmen, when you look at our Football. The fact that there is a masochistic delight in sliding at Raphael in a game, where he ends up in hospital after a football game, shows the prowess of fellow footballer.

The idea that effort is most important, would explain why your left back was good at clearing the ball, like a John Smith's advert, but is basically rubbish, and yet gets praised, might go to explaining the ideal of effort against the odds.

Taking territory is a novel way of seeing the fact that getting a corner, is worth a handclap by the supporters. That war is somewhere deep down in our way of seeing the game. I am afraid it is substance well over style. Thankfully we are waking up from the 1966 syndrome.

Some inaccuracy regarding Robbie Williams being a Man Utd fan. Port Vale actually.

Loved the fashion, music and football part. Fashion admittedly is the cause for the type of manager you get as well as the wearing of an Armani suit at a Champions League Final.

Love our football or not, there still will be lots to talk of in future, and it will evolve, but still remain its purity. I hope!
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on 4 November 2009
A great book, even if you don't like football!
I read it in a single sitting funny sad tragic view of english fans
and what made them that way
Well worth every penny,even if you're not from Oxford ;-))
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on 15 January 2015
One of the best football critics around (whose book on Germany's 2014 World Cup victory will fill many English stockings in Christmas 2015), Rafa's book deserves to be read by every football fan in England. Solid, dependable and good from twelve yards, this is memoir written as football criticism. Stunning!
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on 17 April 2012
I am delighted to have been able to obtain such a brilliant book about the delightful game of football. It was difficult to find this boook on sale elsewhere
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on 29 November 2009
This book tries to explain to German readers what English football is all about and why Wembley 1996 and Munich 2001 still matter more to the English than these dates do to the Germans. In doing so, the author examines heart and soul of the game. From historical facts to more recent events this book highlights the rich history of the game in England. Read it!
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on 28 October 2009
Excellent, excellent book, read within a couple of nights, fascinating insite to what the Germans really think of us, and the chapter titled 'Michael must have picked that up in Spain' is worth he book alone. Any true supporter will love this book, funny enough, by another Oxford United fan, brought up on the terraces of London Rd
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on 11 August 2009
What a refreshing read. At times I cried - more often I laughed. This book explains why I felt the way I did all those years ago on the terraces at Oxford United. Why taking the Swindon end was so important. And why it's all a result of cultural conditioning. Enjoy.
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on 13 August 2015
Book delivered exactly as advertised - a good read.
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