Book Review: And Gazza Misses the Final

Brazil 2014 091

And Gazza Misses the Final by Rob Smyth and Scott Murray Published by Constable 2014, £8.99 Our final regular post of 2013-4 and before a summer break sees us maintain the World Cup theme of recent missives as Mike Gibbons reviews Rob Smyth and Scott Murray’s invocation of the spirit of Italia 90. Mike is co-author of the recently published Danish Dynamite, reviewed for us in these pages by Damian Mitchell while he can be followed on twitter at @mikewgibbons. … Ask anyone interested in football about their memories of the World Cup and they will invariably stare off into the…

Book Review: Futebol Nation

Brazil

Futebol Nation by David Goldblatt Published by Penguin 2014, £9.99 In a very modest afterword to his new book Futebol Nation, David Goldblatt, author of that all-encompassing and well-nigh definitive history of the sport itself, The Ball is Round admits that the outcome is in many ways but ‘an exploratory essay’ and with that admission, he confirms the opinion of this reader at least. For this is rather a quick run through of a very broad topic – the history of Brazilian football – even if to describe it as hurried would be grossly unfair – the research is clearly…

Book Review: Punk Football

Punk Football

Punk Football by Jim Keoghan Published by Pitch Publishing 2014, £12.99 The rise of the supporter ownership model in England has been a slow and drawn out process in recent years and despite the wonderful coverage provided by When Saturday Comes and a host of websites, it has often been hard to step back and assess its progress. Jim Keoghan, therefore, has done us all a massive service in summarising the movement with his book Punk Football, doing a brilliant job of discussing the highs and lows, delivered in a well written but accessible style without plunging into too much detail and all…

TTU Awards 2013-14: Team of the Season

Burnley

As a collective effort, Burnley have shown the way to success within relatively limited resources. What money they have spent has been spent wisely in recent years and they have built a strong unit with a good mix between fight and flair. Our Manager of the Year Sean Dyche’s calm leadership has brought the best out of his players, and although one could say they have been lucky to stay more or less injury free, automatic promotion is a tremendous achievement. Additional hat tips to Leicester City – a model of consistency, Wolves, Brentford, Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe’s Invincibles while…

TTU Awards 2013-14: Manager of the Season

Dyche

The Ginger Mourinho? Not really – for a start, Sean Dyche comes across as a thoroughly decent human being and The Ginger Pellegrini’ would be a more apt label. How could it be anyone else? For Dyche has perhaps bested even the likes of Danny Wilson, Paul Jewell and Brian McDermott in elevating an underpaid and unheralded squad to the heights of the Premier League. It should be remembered that Dyche spent a sum total of £400,000 on a single player and it truly restores one’s faith in the sport to see him succeed. Elsewhere, a slightly more leftfield choice…