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The Claret and Blue Book of West Ham United collects together all the vital information you never knew you needed to know about the Iron. In these pages you will find irresistible anecdotes and the most mindblowing stats and facts. Heard the one about the time the team's train was delayed for hours, so the match at Chesterfield was played in front of only 3,000 spectators? How about the goalie who made his debut playing at centre-forward? Do you know in which year West Ham last won at Anfield? Which five League grounds have staged the club's seven FA Cup semi-finals? Or how many managers were employed from the Iron's foundation in 1902 through to Ron Greenwood's appointment in 1962? All these stories and hundreds more appear in a brilliantly researched collection of trivia, essential for any West Ham fan who holds the riches of claret-and-blue history close to their heart.
The son of a Scottish plantation owner and a free woman of colour, Andrew Watson was provided for by his wealthy father. Receiving a first-class education in English public schools, he would later reject university to become a footballer in Glasgow. Schooled by the most advanced practitioners of the game at that time, he became one of the best footballers in Glasgow and captained Scotland's invincible national team. He played for the greatest clubs of the day on both sides of the border and as a 'Scottish professor', brought his talent to England and shared his knowledge with the Southern amateurs, helping the game evolve from a public-school pastime to a national obsession. He played alongside and educated many who would represent the English national team, changing the game forever. But the record of his achievements faded as the game he helped change took over the world, leaving his memory in the shadows. Over 100 years later, he was rediscovered in an old photograph, and after years of research, his achievements were finally recognised.
London's Fields: An Intimate History of London Football Fandom celebrates the turbulent rivalries, local antagonisms and even, on occasion, the fraternal harmonies held in common by the supporters of the capital's many professional football teams. The us and them dichotomy of a local derby is told here through the voices of us, the fans. In a one-club town or city your choice of team would appear to be simple. However, in a city with a dozen clubs the choice is less straightforward. London is a place of constant flux and change; it's diasporic nature may have taken people far from their ancestral heartlands but the football clubs that remain there have, in a sense, travelled with them - local bragging rights and capital gains remain just as important. The author's upbringing was steeped in football, he has played and coached the game; written on it and worked in it. His less than conventional path to choosing his own team forms the foundation upon which the stories of other fans are richly rendered.
The story of international football star Tim Cahill, one of the most admired Australian sportsmen of all time. It's an unlikely footballing fairy tale. Born in Sydney to a Samoan mother and Londoner father, Timothy Cahill grew up in the sprawling western suburbs, where cricket and rugby league ruled. It was a long way from his father's beloved West Ham and the English game that transfixed a young Tim with his own unlikely dreams of one day playing professionally. Growing up in the 1980s, life for Tim was about family, football and more football - training, playing and watching it with his brothers. Beginning as the youngest and smallest boy on the field, Tim steadily worked his way through the local club sides with an on-field toughness and intelligence that made the unlikely a possibility. By the time he was a teenager, Tim's parents boldly applied for a bank loan to fund his travels to England. It was an act of faith repaid with a successful trial for Millwall, the storied London club. After 249 appearances and 56 goals and cult-hero status among the fans, he signed for Everton, where he would enjoy a highly successful Premiership and stellar international career - leaving the legacy of becoming one of the most admired and respected Australian sportsmen of all time. With his trademark honesty and candour, Tim reflects on what it takes to make it to the top - the sacrifices, the physical cost, the mental stamina, the uncompromising self-belief, but also the loyalty, the integrity and the generosity. An autobiography that is more than a record of the goals and the games, Tim Cahill's story is a universal reminder of the importance of making your moment count.
The Little Book of England Football is the latest volume in this highly successful series of sports-themed quotes books. It is dedicated to all things wide and wonderful about the Three Lions, focusing on the words of wit and wisdom from former players, such as Bobby Moore, Gazza and Gary Lineker, to the key men in today's set-up including manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane. Ingerlund! Ingerlund! Ingerlund!
Dr Scumbrum is an anonymous poet whose work is inspired by 'The Beautiful Game' and in particular by Bristol Rovers FC. His work appears regularly in the matchday programme, but this is his first collection. Proceeds are being donated to Children's Hospice South West.
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF ARSENE WENGER EVER PUBLISHED, NOW FULLY REVISED AND UPDATED TO THE END OF HIS ARSENAL CAREER. When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal in 1996, he was little known to fans at the club and many doubted he could bring back the glory days of George Graham. But soon he was transforming the way the team played, melding the famous English defensive spine of Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and David Seaman with a hugely creative foreign attacking spirit, epitomised by Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, that could both outplay and outmuscle their rivals. At the same time, he introduced new ideas on diet, exercise, training and tactics, which many players believe extended their careers. Having won numerous trophies, and led the Invincibles to an unprecedented unbeaten league season in 2003-04, Wenger then had to help the Gunners through the next stage of their development when they moved from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, a move that was followed by a nine-year trophy drought. Despite the financial constraints he faced, he still managed to keep the club playing in the Champions League year after year while remaining true to his philosophy of how the game should be played. Some began to question whether he had been left behind, despite picking up back-to-back FA Cups in 2014 and 2015, and in the end in April 2018 he decided the time was right to step away. Now, in this updated edition of John Cross's acclaimed biography, the author provides a compelling account of the man and his methods across 22 years in charge. He assesses the scale of Wenger's achievements and whether the criticism he faced towards the end was justified. Arsene Wenger builds into the most complete portrait of the Frenchman yet written.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE 2020 'One of the funniest books I've read' Arthur Mathews, co-writer of Father Ted Widely regarded as one of the best football books ever written, The Far Corner was a vivid portrait of the sport in the north-east and of the people who bring such passion to it. Now, a generation later, Harry Pearson returns to the region to discover how much things have changed - and how much they have remained the same. In the mid-1990s, Kevin Keegan brought sporting romance and expectation of trophies to Newcastle, Sunderland moved to the Stadium of Light backed by a wealthy consortium, Middlesbrough signed one of the best Brazilians of the era and won their first major trophy - even little Darlington had a former safe-cracker turned kitchen magnate in charge, promising the world. The region even provided England's two key players in Euro 96 in Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne - the far corner seemed destined to become the centre of England's footballing world. But it never happened. Using travels to and from matches in the 2018-19 season, The Farther Corner will explore the changes in north-east football and society over the past twenty-five years. Visiting new places and some familiar ones, catching the stories, the sentiment and the sound of the supporters, locating where football now sits in the life of a region that was once proud to be what John Arlott suggested was 'The Hotbed of Soccer', it will be about love and loss and the happiness to be found eating KitKats and joking about Bobby Mimms on cold February days in coal-scented northern air. The region may have been left behind in the Champions League stakes, but few would doubt the power of its beating heart.
An Ode to Four Four Two: Football's Simplest and Finest Formation examines how coaches in Europe, and particularly England, settled on the 4-4-2 formation to build iconic teams which would dominate both domestically and in Europe. Formations have continually evolved since the birth of the game in the mid-19th century. From teams playing with four or five forwards, to the modern era of teams with just the one, arguably the greatest formation has been 4-4-2. Some of the greatest teams have lined up in this multi-functional system. Flick through the football history books and it is filled with teams like AC Milan, Manchester United, Liverpool, Leeds United and Barcelona, all enjoying glorious eras playing 4-4-2. But it isn't just the elite of world football. Who can forget Leicester City, led by Claudio Ranieri, reviving the system against all odds to outperform the Premier League's big six to claim a historic title in 2016? Author John McNicoll looks at how and why these teams used the formation to such effect. How they dominated in their era to stand out from the rest. It is the story of how teams, both big and small in status, have played the system to perfection.
When Gary Pallister was in his 1990s pomp, there was no finer central defender in the British game. Certainly that's the collective view of his manager and comrades at Manchester United, that worldwide sporting institution with whom he played a mammoth part in lifting four Premiership titles in the space of five years, the FA Cup on three occasions and the League Cup once, as well as tasting European glory. They loved him at Middlesbrough, too, where he started and finished a professional career in which he made more than 700 senior appearances and collected 22 England caps, a total which would have been far more extensive but for the back injuries which plagued him along the way. But the plaudits for Pally did not emanate only from Old Trafford, Ayresome Park and the Riverside.In 1992, he was voted Player of the Year by his fellow footballers the length and breadth of the country, and there could be no personal honour more meaningful than the one dispensed by his professional peers. As a performer, Pally was practically flawless. He was beautifully balanced, a natural ballplayer, aerially dominant, unfailingly courageous and exceptionally quick. No wonder Alex Ferguson was ready to part with a British record transfer fee when he signed him from 'Boro in 1989. As a character, too, Pally is a delight, although one or two managers, perhaps gulled at first by his famously easy-going nature, might have been a tad startled to discover the iron purpose and keen intelligence behind that infectious grin.He now works as an authority on Manchester United, Boro and England as a pundit on BBC television and radio, and also Sky Sports.Between these covers he tells his story, honestly, fearlessly and with a dash of gentle north-eastern humour, detailing the many triumphs, a few trials and tribulations and one or two hair-raising clashes, including one with a future knight of the realm.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is one of the most iconic players in football, a superstar for Barcelona FC and the greatest name in modern-day Brazilian sport. His journey to the peak of world football has been extraordinary: from a childhood spent on the verge of poverty he was plucked from obscurity as an 11 year old by Santos FC, the club where Pele made his name, and soon after making his first-team debut as a 17 year old he rocketed to fame to become one of the brightest stars in Brazil. But Neymar Jr would not have become the player that he has without his father, Neymar Sr, who has been a steady and influential guide in his life and career. And only with an understanding of his father's past, and of the challenges that the Neymar family have faced and overcome, is it possible to truly understand the making of this extraordinary footballer. Neymar Jr's talent has always been astonishing. But it could have been lost had it not been carefully nurtured, developed and managed. This beautiful and touching story reveals the making of one of the greatest and most iconic players on the planet as told by father and son, with exclusive insights into Neymar Jr's life and career, his achievements and his aspirations.
Fast Forward is a thought-provoking and gripping autobiography about Andrew Cole’s determination to succeed against all the odds.
Misconceptions have stalked Andrew Cole like a hatchet-man defender determined to cut him down to size. In the world of modern-day football, his reserved demeanour was often interpreted as surly intransigence. Alongside an aptitude for goalscoring, it was widely believed, ran an attitude problem. In Fast Forward, a candid and inspirational autobiography, Cole finally puts his side of the story. The son of a Windrush-generation Jamaican miner from a humble background in Nottingham, he was viewed as a one-man awkward squad by George Graham and Jimmy Hill before Kevin Keegan identified him as the man to bring goals to Newcastle. However, only when Alex Ferguson, his ‘second father’, took him to Manchester United did Cole begin to belie his image, amassing goals, medals and England caps. Two decades on from United’s historic Treble, he reveals the inside track on Eric Cantona and David Beckham, Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer .
After a career spent challenging assumptions and adversity, he had to summon fresh reserves of resilience to battle illness and depression.
The name 'Everton' has a kind of mystical quality that you just don't get with any other team. The club embodies a fantastic footballing tradition: since 1878, Everton have played more top-flight league games than any other English team and have won the League title nine times. Great players like Dixie Dean, Alex Young, Alan Ball and Howard Kendall have all sworn allegiance and taken Everton to their hearts. For those who know their history, no club compares to Everton.
Real Madrid On This Day revisits the most magical and memorable moments from the club's glorious past, mixing in a maelstrom of anecdotes and characters to produce an irresistibly dippable diary of one of the world's greatest football institutions - with an entry for every day of the year. From its foundation to the golden era of Di Stefano and Puskas, through the 'hippy years' to their ups and downs on the path to European Cup domination, the modern embodiment of Madridismo, the hard-fought El Clasico derbies against Barcelona and the Galacticos era - it's all here. Revisit 24 July 2000 when Luis Figo infamously joined the club from Barcelona, 4 January 1955 when the stadium changed its name in honour of club president Santiago Bernabeu, and 19 June 1943 when they annihilated Barcelona 11-1 in a Spanish Cup semi-final. With a treasure trove of club history, trivia and facts, this book is a 'must' for all Real Madrid fans.
Football's Braveheart is the riveting life story of Dave Mackay, the fearless, skilled, heroic and barrel-chested left-half who was an icon for Spurs, Hearts, Derby and Scotland. Off the field, Dave was a humble, fair-minded, sociable man. On it, he was an out-and-out winner, a warrior and inspiration with consummate ball skills and intelligence. The heartbeat of Spurs' double-winning side of 1961, he came back after two broken legs to add to a glittering trophy collection started at Hearts. After his playing career, Mackay distinguished himself as a title-winning manager with Derby County. A legends' legend, he was lauded by George Best as the hardest and bravest opponent he ever faced. Fabled managers Bill Nicholson (Spurs) and Brian Clough (Derby) hailed him as their best signing, and other admirers included Jimmy Greaves, Denis Law and Sir Alex Ferguson. Author Mike Donovan has gained exclusive, first-hand insights from those who knew Mackay best to bring you the definitive story of a man who made an indelible mark on football.
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