stATE OF PLAY - MICHAEL CALVIN
Michael Calvin has become the voice of British football in the book world and I have read most of his work, this being my fourth book in as many years after I was captivated by his tale of the scout in The Nowhere Men. I find there is danger to enjoyment in being too comfortable with an author but the football genre is full of celebrity autobiographies where only a few escape the hum drum clichés, so I greatly value popular authors attempting to write differently about the beautiful game.
The introduction started well with a mixture of nostalgia and a desire to evaluate the modern game and the issues it faces . The chapter on Geoff Astle blended these together perfectly. The investigation into impact of heading on long term health and the battle for recognition and compensation are here for the long term and I was left wanting more on the subject.
As I have said elsewhere on this site I am not keen on collections of essays bundled together and there were times when this felt like a variation on this theme but this is my problem, not the authors and the stories of MK Dons, agents, and global ownership were fascinating and enlightening to an everyday supporter like myself. With so much money and greed it is easy to become both cynical and distanced by the modern game. Michael’s opinions felt sharper, more open in this book than some of his others cutting through the glossy surface and never was this better highlighted than the chapter of Watford with its carefree attitude to managers but also its box given to autistic children and their parents. It has made me want to find out if a similar scheme exists at Reading and if not whether they have considered it
• Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book 2015
Details and Thoughts
• Started - 5th June • Finished - 17th June
Cognitive Ease= Technical = Story = Enjoyment = Memorable = Ronseal Effect = Talkability = Longivity =