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Football Books: News and Reviews

Strachan: My Life in Football 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Strachan: My Life in Football, by Gordon Strachan (2006)

Gordon Strachan has had one of the most illustrious careers in modern football.

As a player, he was the heartbeat of Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen in the early 1980s, before being poached by Ron Atkinson to play for Manchester United. He captained Leeds to championship in the early 1990s, won 50 Scottish caps and went on to manage Coventry and Southampton.

A former regular on Match of the Day, and one of the most honest and interesting voices on the game, he was manager of Celtic at the time this book was published. The book is a mix of both Strachan’s story and an analysis on the way the game is played and run. It is refreshingly candid on everything from the stress and pressure managers are under to the players and bosses Strachan has worked with.

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Sir Alf, by Leo McKinstry 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Sir Alf: A Major Reappraisal of the Life and Times of England’s Greatest Football Manager, by Leo McKinstry (2006)

Award-winning author Leo McKinstry’s biography of England’s greatest football manager provides a thought-provoking insight into the world of professional football and the fabric of British society over the span of his life.

Alf Ramsey’s life is a romantic story of heroism. Often derided by lesser men, he overcame the prejudice against his social background to reach the summit of world football. Read more…

Ossie: King of Stamford Bridge 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Ossie: King of Stamford Bridge, by Peter Osgood, Martin King and Martin Knight (2002)

In A 16-year career spent with Chelsea and Southampton, the late goal-scoring legend Peter Osgood made 560 appearances, scoring 220 goals and winning two FA Cup-winners’ medals.

He was part of the victorious Chelsea side that defeated the mighty Real Madrid in the 1971 European Cup-Winners’ Cup final and is the last player to have scored in every round of the FA Cup, including the final.

This book tells the story of the career and the extraordinary roller-coaster personal life of the man who spearheaded a team that made as many headlines off the field as on, and tells the truth about the hard-drinking and hard-living antics of these Kings Road dandies – Hudson, Cooke, Baldwin and company.

Osgood, who died in March 2006 aged just 59, tells of his strained relationship with manager Dave Sexton, which resulted in his and other stars’ departures, triggering a decline in Chelsea FC’s fortunes that took some 20 years to reverse. He recounts his experiences in the Mexico World Cup of 1970 and is brutally honest about the challenges and problems faced by ex-footballers as they attempt to adjust to life in mainstream society.

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Gordon Strachan: The Biography 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Gordon Strachan: The Biography, by Leo Moynihan (2004)

In recent years, Gordon Strachan has become best known among football fans for his realistic and often witty assessments of his teams’ performances and football matters in general.

It is easy to forget that Strachan forged a career as a player where his abilities made him the only player ever to win the Football Writers’ Player of the Year Award both north and south of the border.

From his time as a young player at Dundee via Aberdeen, where he was nurtured by the then fledgling manager Alex Ferguson and became an integral part of the team which won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, to the dizzy heights of life at Manchester United and Leeds and an international career involving two World Cups, Gordon Strachan showed not just his flair as a wily central midfielder but also strong leadership abilities. They provided him with the cornerstone of his management career that began at Coventry as he moved from player to player/manager before finally hanging up his boots and managing Southampton and Celtic.

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Playing Extra Time, by Alan Ball 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

Playing Extra Time, by Alan Ball (2004)

Small in stature, red-haired and fiery, Alan Ball was one of the most easily recognised players of his generation.

Fans on the terraces and team mates immediately took to his whole-hearted enthusiasm and never-say-die attitude. He overcame his diminutive size to become a professional player and youngest member of the 1966 England squad, and repeatedly faced rejection as a club manager.

But he now faces the toughest battle of life after his wife and daughter were diagnosed with cancer and are currently in remission. His hugely successful playing and managerial career that took him to, among others, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester City, Southampton and Portsmouth – plus two World Cups with England – now takes a back seat to the real test of character brought about by the illness of his loved ones.

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