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on 11 February 2014
In the second instalment of the Secret Footballer’s dabble with books, it’s hard to imagine what more could be presented that hadn’t already been done. And while there are some interesting tales, but not enough to fully satisfy. The concept naturally prevents too many specifics, but there is still to opportunity to keep guessing as to who he is, and who he refers to. But he increasingly comes across as a bit of a pain in the you know what.

It’s hard to feel any sympathy at times with the financial complications he found himself in with a particular club. The circumstances scream “Portsmouth” to me, but I could be wrong. However, the author details how the missed pay packets put his home at risk, and that is naturally a real concern. What never seems to have occurred to him though is that perhaps he could have moved to a property that didn’t require a £16,000 a month mortgage.

A chapter devoted to his youthful drug taking seems at odds with the whole concept. What we’re after is anecdotes from behind the scenes at football clubs rather than his teenage drugs dabbling. He does at least move on to discuss drugs in football, but the numerous pages of laboured introduction to the subject seem unnecessary.

The kind of anecdote that we do want is given a marvellous example in the story of going to see Tottenham play in Milan with his father. It’s both insightful and funny; the hallmark of what we expect from the Secret Footballer, but sadly there just aren’t enough examples like this to make the book worthwhile.

The second half of the book brings more insight as he looks at various after football career possibilities. The stories are told with long quotes from others, or with lengthy conversations rather than his own insight, but it does at least give us some information we wouldn’t necessarily have known anyway. There’s a section devoted to the UEFA coaching courses and the requirements they entail. He goes into a fair amount of detail about the course which is suitably interesting.

He also then goes through potential foreign transfer destinations and assesses them be revealing conversations he’s had with those who have experienced those places already. The most revealing is the discussion about playing for an Old Firm team and the constant pressure and hounding that brings – far from the easy life one might sometimes imagine.

There are interesting tales here, but they aren’t in sufficient numbers to satisfy sadly. Overall the book doesn’t flow satisfactorily with many sections seemingly having no link to those that came before as though it’s a cobbled together collection of the best (or the remaining best after the first book) anecdotes from the newspaper column. The second half does link better, presumably after a stern half-time ticking off, with the ongoing career options which are well told and work much better. But overall I was left rather underwhelmed by this second instalment, and feel that in book form anyway the Secret Footballer has run its course.
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on 12 November 2013
I really enjoyed the first book from The Secret Footballer. It gave us football fans a real insight into the world that most of us wish we were gifted enough, as footballers, to be a part of.

I don't care who The Secret Footballer is. I kind of like the fact that we don't know his identity. It makes it more believable, more honest, more real. Of course there has been many names banded about, all 'it could be him', I just think that adds to the mystery.

So when I saw there was a new book and didn't even hesitate and purchased it straight away. And I'm glad I did. This book offers more insightful stories and paints a picture of the modern day footballer, what goes on behind the scenes, the stuff we all wish we could be flies on the wall for. It tells of tactics, stories from the pre season tours and changing rooms, about the mindset of a professional sportsman. It really is unputdownable and I read it cover to cover in a few days.

For me, I enjoyed Tales From The Secret Footballer even more than the first. It seems to have managed to get the reader even closer to the action which is all I could've hoped for from a follow up and more.

I sincerely hope there will be more books in this series. Whoever it is, he's tapped into an area that all us football fans want - to know what REALLY goes on after they've re-crossed that white line to go back to the changing room and behind the scenes.

Truly gripping. More please.
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on 11 July 2014
I followed the original articles in the Guardian and was capitivated, trying to identify clues as to who the secret footballer was, was intriguing. I found the articles illuminating and original and very different from the sort of bland analysis of football that one gets on tv and in the press. When the articles were published as a book, I very much enjoyed it as well. The Tales from the Secret Footballer I didn't like so much. It was as if the success of the first book had gone to his head and I am not so interested in his tales of footballer lavish lifestyle excess which appear in this follow-up. And then I heard the rumours about who the secret footballer really was and was very disappointed. He always gave the impression in the articles and books that he was a good player and now I find out he isn't........
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on 8 July 2014
Who is the secret footballer? Well that is a question on many peoples lip in fact only a handful of people know his identity although in his latest book "Tales from the secret footballer" he drops plenty of clues for the reader to uncover the identity of TSF.

The book is frank look inside the mind of a professional footballer, and the issues of the modern game, the book also focuses on the possible different career paths a player can take after his playing days are over .TSF uses some of his friends to help him discuss the big issues of the game.

If you haven't already read "I am the secret footballer" I urge you too then read this book but be aware disregard everything you think you know about professional footballers.
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on 25 August 2015
Meh! Marginally interesting I suppose but certainly not something I could read in one go; more of a book that you keep in the toilet and dip into now and again. Probably should have left it at newspaper articles rather than a whole book of fairly similar tales, some of which are a little hard to believe. Maybe if the author had named names it might have got a bit more interesting, but then he wouldn't be the 'Secret Footballer' I suppose.
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on 11 January 2014
Enjoyed the first book, and thought the second one would be another chance to read about the exploits of professional footballers.
Sadly, although the first half was similar in nature, this book veered off into topics of mental health.
Although I have sympathy for the author, or anyone struggling with mental problems, it's not something I particularly want to read about especially when I'm expecting to read about over paid buffoons wiping their backsides with £20 notes.
A book of two halves for me.
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on 26 March 2014
Feels like there is a lot less to talk about in this one, most of the good stuff probably went into the first book.

Still a decent read, mostly interesting reading around TSF talks about on the internet, once you know who he is.

Also, I challenge anyone with a decent working knowledge of football not to work out who TSF is within about the first five pages of either book. Very obvious, but I think it does make it a better read once you do know. Fair to say he comes across a bit moany and smug at times, but if you are interested in football its worth reading. I'd recommend the first one more though.
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on 4 April 2014
Author details more of his experiences playing for teams in the Premier League.
More interesting than Sky Football annuals and other commercialised self glorification produced by football clubs and the ghost writers of PR conscious players.
Helps your kids develop a healthy cynicism for 'heroes' and the commercial machine.
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on 3 January 2015
I enjoyed the first half of it, the remainder was a bit of a struggle as it's just a series of chapters such as "could I be an agent", "could I be a manager", "could I work in Costa" etc...none of which I found particularly interesting but maybe that's just me.

If TSF is indeed Dave Kitson as has been suggested, these chapters seem a bit nonsensical as it suggests he could be a Director of Football at a high level yet in the real world he is assistant manager for some pub team!
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I enjoyed the first book and was hoping for some more behind the scenes exposures and tales of football excess and stupidity.
The Secret Footballer is an intelligent guy and articulate with it but this is a mixed bag, amusing stories mixed in with training tactics and dealing with depression. So the flow is a bit mixed and that distracts at times.
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