Reviews from When Saturday Comes. Follow the link to buy the book from Amazon.

The Success Story of Major League Soccer
by Beau Dure
Potomac, £22.00
Reviewed by David Wangerin
From WSC 285 November 2010

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It may not be saying that much, but Major League Soccer – now approaching the end of its 15th season – is the longest running coast-to-coast soccer league North America has ever had. And, as Beau Dure writes at the end of this book: "Whether MLS has ‘arrived' is a moot point. It's here. And it's healthy."

How Henry's Hand Exposed FIFA's Failings
by Eugene and Siobhan Gibney
Brandon/Mount Eagle, £10.99
Reviewed by Paul Doyle
From WSC 288 February 2011

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It is tempting to declare that this book is what Metallica were growling about in their song The Thing That Should Not Be. But that would be harsh, as it does appear to have served at least one purpose – the father-and-daughter combo who authored it assert, after 144 pages of disjointed lamentation, that "for us this has been part of the process of healing and acceptance" following Ireland's failure to reach the World Cup after Thierry Henry's handball. For readers, alas, it inflicts new pain.

The Players' Stories
by Miguel Delaney
Mentor, €16.99
Reviewed by Paul Doyle
From WSC 291 May 2011

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There is a touch of Fawlty Towers about the Republic of Ireland's golden years. Not only because the main character was a lanky and rude galoot with Sybil-esque single-mindedness, nor merely because the Manuels of the FAI see to it that the country's football history often reads like the script of a hit sitcom, but also because there have been so many reruns that you wonder if there is any point in taking in another.

British Olympic Football and the End of the Amateur Dream
by Steve Menary
Pitch Publishing, £15.99
Reviewed by Tom Whitworth
From WSC 291 May 2011

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Speculation has been growing over who will take charge of and play for the Great Britain football team at the London Olympics. So it is a good time for the appearance of this book in which Steve Menary charts the varying achievements of the British side in the tournaments they entered, from London 1908, which they won, to Munich 1972, for which they failed to qualify.

Football Artistry and Political Intrigue
by Tim Hanlon
Peakpublish, £12.99
Reviewed by Dermot Corrigan
From WSC 293 July 2011

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A Catalan Dream opens in 2003 with the coming to power of new FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who – along with then sidekick Sandro Rosell – sets about modernising a club which had been on the slide. They appoint Frank Rijkaard as manager, negotiate new merchandising and TV deals, renovate the fabled La Masía youth academy and on-field success soon follows.

American Soccer's History of Missed Opportunities and Lost Causes
by David Wangerin
Temple University, £19.99
Reviewed by Ian Plenderleith
From WSC 296 October 2011

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Long is the history of failed football ventures in the US, and short is the list of writers who have been prepared to document them for the benefit of a doubtless unsuspecting world. In this follow-up to his excellent history of US football, the WSC-published Soccer In A Football World, David Wangerin focuses on a handful of the key characters and eras that were central to some of the game's false dawns in a country whose footballing possibilites have always loomed over the world game like a potential new age. Or potential apocalypse, depending on your view of US hegemony.

From Chapman to Wenger - The Unofficial Story
by Brian Glanville
JR Books, £18.99
Reviewed by Cameron Carter
From WSC 277 March 2010

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Many histories have been written of Arsenal, but there are few that have the same personal touch as this one. At 19, Brian Glanville persuaded Cliff Bastin that he should ghost the winger’s memoirs and he has continued to write honestly and incisively about the game ever since.

The Remarkable Rise of Exeter City
by Nick Spencer
Nick Spencer, £12.50
Reviewed by Howard Pattison
From WSC 278 April 2010

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According to this book, supporters of Exeter City bought their football club in a jewellery shop. It is to be supposed that they left the premises, like so many other customers, wondering to themselves what on earth they had just done. But in 2003 the circumstances were so dire that the Trust felt they had no option but to run the club themselves.

by Robert Endeacott
Tonto Books, £7.99
Reviewed by Duncan Young
From WSC 277 March 2010

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Dirty Leeds is an enjoyable read on some levels, but almost certainly not those envisaged by the author. With its provocative title and its projected first person narrative it seeks to inhabit the same niche as The Damned United by Robert Endeacott’s friend David Peace. However, whereas Peace’s Brian Clough offers a coruscating examination of the motivations of a well-known historical figure, Endeacott’s Jimmy O’Rourke simply reels off a history lesson through the eyes of a fictional would-be apprentice.

 by Archie Macpherson
Black & White, £17.99
Reviewed by Archie MacGregor
From WSC 278 April 2010

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As unlikely alliances go, learning that Archie Macpherson was once good pals with Jeremy Paxman during their days on breakfast TV in the late 1980s must rank right up there as one of the most bizarre double acts in the history of tele­vision. There's no suggestion that they've remained close buddies ever since, rather the rapport was a fleeting mutual support mechanism designed to help both of them deal with the mind-numbing ordeal of early morning broadcasting. Look what it did to Frank Bough after all.

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