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Football Books: News and Reviews

Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius, by Tom Darby (1998)

There is no doubt that Bill Shankly was one of the greatest football managers of all time.

The former miner from the tiny Lanarkshire village of Glenbuck used football as an escape from the harshness and danger of life down the pit. After spells as a player with Carlisle and Preston North End, Shankly took over as manager of Second Division Liverpool. He revolutionised the club, replacing most of the players he had inherited and giving a chance to up-and-coming youngsters.

Shankly’s first success came in 1962 as Liverpool took the Division Two championship. Two years later they were league champions and followed that up in 1965 by winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Over the next nine years, as Shankly ruled supreme at Anfield, Liverpool lifted two more league titles as well as the FA Cup for a second time and the UEFA Cup. It was he who created the modern Liverpool, transforming a sleeping giant into the great club it is today. This biography charts his rise from down the pit to footballing legend.

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Gerard Houllier: The Liverpool Revolution 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Gerard Houllier: The Liverpool Revolution, by Stephen F Kelly (2003)

“GERARD who?” was the question Liverpool fans asked when a rather academic-looking Frenchman arrived at Anfield in the summer of 1998 to partner Roy Evans.

They soon found out, although not before the uneasy pairing with Evans had ended in tears. Many more questions were posed early on, particularly when Gerard Houllier brought in a number of players very few had ever heard of. Could this really be the man who had masterminded France’s famous victory in the World Cup and who was promising to turn Liverpool into a world-beating side? Read more…

Groove Armada: Rafa Benitez, Anfield and the New Spanish Fury 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Groove Armada: Rafa Benitez, Anfield and the New Spanish Fury, by John Williams (2006)

This book examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez’s attempt to bring the Premiership title to Anfield in the 2005-06 season.

In 2004, Benitez decamped from success at Valencia to become Reds manager, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club’s first league title since 1990. In his first season in England Benitez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe the club battled to the final of the Champions League in 2005 and, against all expectations, won. Domestically, though, they faltered. Could he yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome its own structural and funding problems to deliver a new stadium, new investors and a team to match its supporters’ ambitions?

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Bob Paisley: Manager of the Millennium 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Bob Paisley: Manager of the Millennium, by John Keith (1999)

Bob Paisley’s name stands at the summit of managerial achievement in British football.

A stunning array of 19 trophies in nine seasons in charge of Liverpool was his incredible response to accepting a job he never wanted, that of succeeding the legendary Bill Shankly as Anfield manager.

It was a challenge many pundits rated impossible. But Paisley proved he was a reluctant genius by becoming a legend himself and outstripping Shankly’s deeds and every other manager in the history of the British national game. This authorised biography by broadcaster John Keith was written with the co-operation of the Paisley family. It traces his life from his humble beginnings in a North East pit village, his wartime experiences, his playing days at Anfield and the time he spent as Shankly’s right-hand man.

With a foreword by Kenny Dalglish and reflections and reminiscences from a wide variety of soccer legends, including Kevin Keegan, Billy Liddell, Alan Hanson and many others, this is the definitive, compelling story of a unique manager.

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