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

The Amazing Story of the Islington Corinthians 1937-38 World Tour
by Rob Cavallini with Colin Duncan
Dog ’n’ Duck, £14.99
Reviewed by Pete Green
From WSC 267 May 2009 

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Fans sometimes like to think that football is popular across the world because it’s somehow more universally, intrinsically appealing than rugby, or baseball, or kabaddi. It’s not: it’s because of people like Tom Smith.

by Steve Stammers
Hamlyn, £18.99
Reviewed by David Stubbs
From WSC 268 June 2009 

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The very first match played by Arsenal Football Club took place on December 11, 1886, after a whip round a few days earlier at the Royal Oak pub in Woolwich had raised the necessary funds (three shillings and sixpence) to purchase a football. The “pitch” was on the Isle of Dogs. It was oblong, with boundaries provided by adjoining back gardens. An open sewer ran across the playing surface.

Love, Death and Football
by Jason Cowley
Simon & Schuster, £14.99
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
From WSC 270 August 2009 

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Michael Thomas’s last-gasp goal for Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 1989, has proven to be hard to top, in terms of live and unscripted televised sporting drama. Possibly the most replayed clip from a domestic football match of the last two decades, what has happened to the game in the intervening years forms the basis of Cowley’s persuasive argument that nothing was ever the same again.

The Biography
by Xavier Rivoire
Aurum, £16.99
Reviewed by David Stubbs
From WSC 248 October 2007 

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There is, among the photographs included here, a picture of Arsène Wenger in a line-up for FC Duttelheim, at the age of 11 in his native Alsace. So exactly did he look then as he does now, from the neck up at any rate, that you might suspect a mischievous bit of photoshopping. The combined, hawkish air of scrutiny but also inscrutability is already engraved on to his countenance. For Wenger, despite numerous examples cited of his thoughtfulness and considerateness, doesn’t always seem quite human. Arsenal supporters have loved and revered the man but have also found him, emotionally, to be a bit of a closed book. Which is why the rise in his spats with a succession of managers, including Glenn Roeder, Alan Pardew, Martin Jol, and, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho, have almost come as a relief to some fans, despite the fact that they have coincided with a decline in the club’s fortunes.

My Story
by Neil Warnock
Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99
Reviewed by Pete Green
From WSC 248 October 2007 

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Neil Warnock should be more popular. Sure, you wouldn’t want to watch his players lamping the ball up to the big man every week, but his moaning about referees is far from unique and, in an age when distinctiveness is at a premium among managers, Warnock stands out as one of very few with a personality rather than a checklist of banalities. When most football autobiographies seem as achingly dull as their authors’ TV interviews, then, Made in Sheffield ought to shine out as Warnock lays into his long list of adversaries.

The Uncut Story of a Football Genius
by Daniel Taylor
Aurum Press, £16.99
Reviewed by Ashley Shaw
From WSC 247 September 2007 

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Daniel Taylor of the Guardian has penned a diary of the last two seasons at Manchester United from a pressman’s point of view. Rarely have two seasons brought such contrasting fortunes – after the loss of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roy Keane in the first, most writers predicted United would struggle in the second, only for Alex Ferguson to turn the tables spectacularly with a title win that earned the astonished admiration of fans, players and journalists.

The Toughest Job in Football
by Brian Glanville
Headline, £18.99
Reviewed by Harry Pearson
From WSC 246 August 2007 

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“I didn’t see any reaction in the team. That was the thing that left me amazed; there wasn’t the rage you expect from an England team that’s losing.” So said Fabio Capello after watching Bobby Robson’s team thrashed humiliatingly by Holland at Euro 88.

20 Years with Brian Clough
by Duncan Hamilton
Fourth Estate, £14.99
Reviewed by Al Needham
From WSC 244 June 2007 

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Provided You Don’t Kiss Me starts with Hamilton as a terrified teenager in Brian Clough’s office doing an interview for a local sports paper (naturally, Clough asks more questions than the author) and ends on the sofa of his girlfriend’s Leeds flat on the day that Clough died, tearstruck over a father figure he barely realised he had. The story in between – the memoirs of nearly two decades serving as Clough’s mouthpiece in the Nottingham Evening Post – blows away anything The Damned Utd came up with.

The Story Behind the Legend
by Clive Youlton
Stadia, £12.99
Reviewed by Simon Bell
From WSC 243 May 2007 

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Geoff Chapple never took charge of a League team. His managerial career never extended beyond the Conference and, although he saw his teams win five times at Wembley, they did so not in the FA Cup but in the FA Trophy, with the ground at best a quarter full. At first glance, then, an odd subject for a biography, let alone one that bears the startling subtitle “The Story Behind the Legend”.

My Story
by Tommy Docherty with Les Scott
Headline, £18.99
Reviewed by Joyce Woolridge
From WSC 240 February 2007 

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In these times, when making a few appearances for a Premiership club and being caught brawling outside a lap-dancing club is deemed enough for a three-book deal, Tommy Docherty’s weighty life serves as a salutary counter to such instant celebrity. This is a genuine autobiography, covering in detail his hard but respectable upbringing in a Glasgow tenement, his playing days as an uncompromising but skilful and accomplished wing-half for Preston and Arsenal, and his eventful managerial career at club and international level. Social change and the transformation of the status of footballers probably mean that future autobiographies can never have such depth of interest, replacing stories of early privation and struggle with 300 pages about the contents of their garages, address books and wardrobes.

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