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Football Books

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Recently read the following and was glad to see a thread on football literature, well done Kontra for starting it - massive part of fan culture in the UK and Europe!

 

Football Against the Enemy
Simon Kuper

 

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My favourite book which looks at the massive influence of football on social, political and cultural identities throughout the globe. Kuper travels across Africa, Europe, North and South America to capture the world game's essence and links it to national identities. Like an ongoing episode of FIFA Futbol Mundial, it really tells the story of a global game with unlimited interpretations and cultures.

 

The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North-East Football
Harry Pearson

 

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A great read which highlights the differences in culture and lifestyle of those living in Northern England. The author is a Borough fan who travels throughout the North to watch Sunderland, Newcastle and Borough as well as a variety of non-league teams during the 1993/94 season. He contrasts the community-focused local league matches with the grandeur of corporate-driven, premiership clashes and reinforces the importance of grassroots football to local communities.

 

Us v Them: Journeys to the World's Greatest Football Derbies
Giles Goodhead

 

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A book solely about eight of the world's most passionate football derbies. From Milan, Glasgow and Buenos Aires, the author describes the social, political and cultural differences between clashes; highlighting the individuality of each contest but reinforcing the shared passion experienced globally. A good summary of the true meaning of 'derby' and the underlying social significance manifested through football.

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Keep meaning to read that one PC.

Finished Calcio a while back, pretty comprehensive look at just about everything in Italian football since it's early days.

Hillsborough: The Truth by Phil Scranton is probably the best book you'll read on the topic.

Football with the enemy is good. Also recommend Death or Glory which is similar in that it talks about the dark side of politics behind some World Cup nations.

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Finished Calcio a while back, pretty comprehensive look at just about everything in Italian football since it's early days.

 

 

 

After not starting it for a while, im finally about halfway through but starting to struggle.... 

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These Colours Don't Run was a decent read whilst experiencing Edinburgh. Made the descriptions more lifelike.

Not sure about how honest it was, but it was a good laugh and a bit of an eye opener.

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Just finished "Richer Than God" by Malcolm Conn.

 

Very topical of course.

 

Interesting read. Cover's Conn personal football story both as a player and a Man City supporter and focuses on the takeover of Man city but CFG.

 

Conn seemed a bit confused to me though.  It was almost like he was hankering back to the football world he thought existed (but didn't) when he was a naive child.    Anyway i still enjoyed it, though it won't have won book of the year. 

 

I agree with his proposition that "clubs should be owned by their members".  Of course we are very used to this with all the AFL clubs in this category and most of the NRL clubs as well.  The thing is though, the NSL was played by clubs like this and most were sadly terribly run (by all accounts).  Maybe the shear size of the AFL clubs allows most to attract higher calibre individuals to run them?

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Inverting the Pyramid - Jonathan Wilson

=> a look into the evolution of tactics from the start of the game until the mid 2000s.  Best of its type by far.

 

 

the Beautiful Game - Chris Taylor

=> looks into the South American game country by country, from the start of the game in each country until the French World Cup (1998).  A little like Calcio but a lot less bulky and incorporates how the lesser South American teams fit in and why Central American football has never taken off (aka why a guy like Carlos Hernandez has never made it to the EPL).

 

Japanese Rules (also know as Nippon Rules) - Sebastian Moffatt

=> looks at Japan for the first decade of the J League.  troubles with identity for clubs, shit foreign signings - something that seems to fit here with the first 10 years of the a league.  as a little bit of a disclaimer, my enjoyment of this book came when i bought it a good few years ago when the a league was in its infancy as opposed to being THE book about football.  even now, it is interesting to see some of the parallels.  if only we could sign the next Arsene Wenger before he becomes big  :rolleyes:

Edited by mattyh001

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