Essential Soccer Books

Discussion in 'Books' started by Jose L. Couso, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Sorry, my book was actually titled "Football Against Enemy". When I googled a pic for this thread, the "soccer" title came up.
     
  2. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    [​IMG]

    The book was elegantly written and filled with beautiful words. However, I am veru disappointed with it. I am a big fan of Pirlo. I bought the book without reading any review. The book had many beautiful words, but contained nothing. At the time of writing, I finished reading half of it.... and I probably won't finish it. I just read the chapter on the two CL Final. He talked about the disappointment of losing the first one in CL and winning it back. But if you are not a fan of Pirlo or remembered his career well, you probably did not know what happened in 2005. Did he lose a game? What game? to whom? He needed more details in his book. He expected all of his readers to know about his life story before reading it.
     
  3. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Yeah, well, the quotes that have been excerpted out of the book are pretty fabulous, but as you, there's more to a memoir than just being a good interview.
     
  4. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    [​IMG]

    The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong (2013)

    About a third of the book has interesting facts, so I don't think I got my money's worth. There's lots of talk in final sections about the benefits of studying big data without examples so you can't really learn from it. I could probably put every useful thing in the book in a single post.

    I was trying to apply some of the theories to MLS games, but the OPTA data that MLSSoccer.com provides isn't enough information.
     
  5. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do they have better stuff at Squawka for your purposes? It also uses OPTA data. http://www.squawka.com/
     
  6. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    It's pretty similar. I'd like more context in the passing information, such as sorting by time period or to who the passes go to, or having information about strings of passes. I'm sure teams have access to this sort of stuff.
     
  7. omoplata

    omoplata New Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Reading - Season with Verona by Tim Parks
     
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  8. Owen Gohl

    Owen Gohl Member

    Jun 21, 2000
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  9. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The only book I've seen in this thread on the women's side of the game is Hope Solo's biography, so here are a few other books for those interested:

    -The Girls of Summer by Jere Longman (on the '99 WWC covering the USWNT, especially focusing on the final; if you've seen any of the documentaries on the '99 WWC then there's not a lot of new information in this one)

    -A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football by Jean Williams (covers women's participation from the 19th century and looks at reasons for the slow growth on the women's side)

    -Beyond Bend it Like Beckham by Timothy Grainey (one of only a few books with global coverage of women's soccer; looks at the growth of the game in the past decade or so not only in the US, which still gets most of the coverage, but also in Africa, Asia, and Europe)

    -A Game for Rough Girls? A Women's History of Football in Britain by Jean Williams (looks at the development of women's football in Britain along with some social and cultural commentary)

    -The Vision of a Champion by Anson Dorrance with Gloria Averbuch (all about Dorrance's coaching philosophy and methods in building the UNC dynasty)

    -The Game and the Glory by Michelle Akers and Gregg Lewis (a good bit on her Christian faith and targeted to a young reader so not for everyone but good insight into her playing with CFIDS)

    -The Man Watching by Tim Crothers (on Anson Dorrance but more his biography with some on the UNC program; superficial coverage though on some of the "darker" aspects like the sexual harassment lawsuit)

    -Footballer by Kelly Smith (biography of the English star and focuses especially on her struggle with alcoholism)

    -Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm (included b/c it was a national bestseller but because its written for young soccer girls, its a sanitized version of Hamm's life. Good for its purposes though; I'm sure many young girls love it.)
     
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  10. Kevin Alexander

    May 27, 2004
    America's Dairyland
    I read this one awhile ago, definitely worth checking out. Magazine-wise, Howler continues to impress, and I really enjoyed the latest issue of 8x8...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. The Biscuitman

    The Biscuitman Member+

    Jul 4, 2007
    Club:
    Reading FC
    [​IMG]

    paul watson becomes the worlds youngest international manager when he moves to Pohnpei in Micronesia to see if he can make them win their first match
     
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  12. Kevin Alexander

    May 27, 2004
    America's Dairyland
    I thought I mentioned this one before, but I'm glad to see it again just the same. I really enjoyed this book & think others will too...
     
  13. Stuart95

    Stuart95 Member+

    Mar 11, 2012
    Stafford, VA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just finished James Montague's Thirty One Nil. It's about the last World Cup qualification cycle and follows non-hope or slim-hope teams like American Samoa, Jordan, Lebanon, Haiti as the compete. Well written and interesting subject.
     
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  14. matleblanc

    matleblanc Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    Club:
    Atletico Madrid
    Lately I have read Jimmy Burns's book "Maradona:The hand of God". Author focuses primarily shifting Diego as a man ... Hookers, cocaine, alcohol, scandal for scandal, fights about money, relationships with Camorra and policies is mainly the subject of this book. Jimmy Burns step-by-step outlines the elements that led Diego to the top, and then led to his downfall.
     
  15. Paul Quack

    Paul Quack Member

    May 3, 2009
    Club:
    Northampton Town FC
    I've recently finished reading Running With The Firm by James Bannon. It's not your usual hooligan rubbish but his account of infiltrating the Millwall mob as an undercover police officer. I didn't realise until after reading it that it was the book of the film I.D. which used fictitious team names. I thought the film was crap but can recommend the book.
     
  16. Jamooky

    Jamooky Member+

    Mar 24, 2006
    Cleveland, OH USA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As I'm watching Liechtenstein take on Russia, I'm reminded how wonderful Charlie Connelly's Stamping Grounds is. I may have mentioned it before, but it's still true - a quick fun read chronicling the team's efforts to qualify for a major tournament.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. pookspur

    pookspur Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    Indiana
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    a year or two back I put up a post on this thread about Simon Inglis's Engineering Archie, a book about an old Scottish footy grounds architect. at roughly the same time, I decided to see if I could find anything else by Inglis, who I knew to be 'groundologist', or 'stadium expert', or whatever else one wishes to call it. 'geek' or 'anorak' may be the best words, if we're honest, but I digress.

    anyway, I was eventually able to come up with a used copy of:

    http://cdn02.bookadda.com/bk_images/695/9780224059695.jpg

    Sightlines: A Stadium Odyssey. this fella knows - and likes - his stadiums. or grounds. or arenas. or ... damn, if you can't even get past the terminology in the first few pages, you're in for a long old slog. unless ... unless you're one, too. I've had a thing for stadia architecture for 40 years. actually, in my case, it started as 'ballpark architecture', as I was captivated from my youth by places like Wrigley Field, (old) Commiskey Park, and (my personal favorite) old Bush Stadium in Indianapolis. but whatever, I collect grounds like a trainspotter. every trip over to England/Europe is scheduled carefully around fixture lists, and I'm embarrassed to say how many grounds I've walked up to just to look around - even when there's no match going on.

    so in reading this book, I felt a bit better about myself, in a sense. it's not just me. that said, I also felt slightly worse, as my efforts next to inglis's can only be described as pathetic. he takes four chapters to describe his carefully planned trip to Buenos Aires on a mission to see all the twenty-something 'big' club grounds of the city over six days. hell, I've been to London over a dozen times and I've still not been to Barnet. or Selhurst Park, for that matter (though I've seen it from the train a few times). What's my problem? er ... don't answer that.

    anyway, it's not just footy. he samples ballparks in America, cricket grounds in India and New Zealand, whatever it is the Irish get up to in Dublin, and a bit more. now, I'd say he's pretty much up to the challenge of making the whole thing pertinent to the communities in question, and putting the whole 'stadium thing' into a context that makes the book palatable to the 99.9% of us (ok, you) who aren't irrationally pulled to 'the grounds' even more than the games therein. so I'm comfortable giving a blanket endorsement. but if you're 'one of us' (damn, that's embarrassing), this one really is a must.
     
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  18. Stuart95

    Stuart95 Member+

    Mar 11, 2012
    Stafford, VA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just finished "Pirates, Punks and Politics: FC St Pauli, Falling in Love with a Radical Football Club" by Nick Davidson. This starts with a standard theme: a mid-life English football fan gets disgusted with the Premier League but falls back in love with the sport by following a non-EPL team. However, unlike Gullhanger or other similar books, what makes this book intriguing is that he discovers FC St Pauli and its fan culture. I knew a bit about FC St Pauli and its fans but, to be honest, it was the standard, "club of the Reeperbahn," storyline. After reading the book, I've learned it is really a club of DIY, punk, leftist, community activists who REALLY like football and go to great lengths to protect FC St Pauli's unique identity. The author alternates chapters with one chapter about him travelling to Germany for a game, then a chapter about some aspect of the club's history or fans. This is a great book for soccer fans but definately would be of interest to anyone in a supporter's group. Recommended.
     
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  19. Stuart95

    Stuart95 Member+

    Mar 11, 2012
    Stafford, VA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just finished Robbie Rogers' autobiography "Coming Out to Play." It is primarily about his very private struggle with his sexuality but contains some insight into life in MLS and football/soccer. For MLS fans, you get a feel for a player's frustration with the league's byzantine trade/contract rules as well as how close many players and coaches are after having played against and with each other over the years. Not much of a soccer book as the game provides the backdrop but a good book about a good player/person.
     
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  20. YankBastard

    YankBastard Na Na Na Na NANANANAAA!

    Jun 18, 2005
    Estados Unidos
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  21. YankBastard

    YankBastard Na Na Na Na NANANANAAA!

    Jun 18, 2005
    Estados Unidos
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  22. england66

    england66 Member+

    Jan 6, 2004
    dallas, texas
    .....Books by crooks....who's next ? Sepp..?
     
  23. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Started reading this a few days ago. So far, I'm very unimpressed. The brief descriptions of the various studies in the prologue and first chapter are very unconvincing. My statistical and research methodologist alarms are going off big time. It's not that I'm not in favor of what he's suggesting, I very much am in favor of it. I tend to think that the game badly needs deep data analysis (though not necessarily big data analysis, which is more popular) to quash some myths. But, thus far, the studies that quash myths are unconvincing in their designs and data.
     
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  24. Stuart95

    Stuart95 Member+

    Mar 11, 2012
    Stafford, VA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just finished "The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw: The Robin Friday Story" by Paul McGuigan and Paolo Hewitt. I'll be honest, I don't normally read biographies but was intriqued because McGuigan was also the bassist in Oasis. I'd recommend the book not because it offers any new insights into football/soccer but rather because Friday was so damned interesting. Like George Best, Friday's off the field behavior and rebellious nature limited his career. However, unlike Best, Friday never played for a big club ... he played a few years for Reading (then in the Fourth Division) and then Cardiff City. One thing I liked about the book was that, rather than create a traditional narrative, the authors string together quotes from fans, family members, coaches and fellow players to tell the story. Recommended.
     
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  25. YankBastard

    YankBastard Na Na Na Na NANANANAAA!

    Jun 18, 2005
    Estados Unidos
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

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