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

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.

The Inside Story
by Harry Harris with Martin Jol
Know the Score, £19.99
Reviewed by Luke Chapman
From WSC 253 March 2008 

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This is one of Harry Harris’s better books. Faint praise in view of the standard of some of his previous efforts, but, in picking over the bones of the Martin Jol era at Tottenham, Harris’s gossipy style is well suited to an omnibus edition of the long-running Spurs soap opera, in which catty politics and melodramatic intrigue are features of the script. Steering a steady course through events, Harris is neither feverishly pro-Jol nor anti-ENIC. Instead, he provides a tour through recent Tottenham history, charting the rumours and machinations, the brief highs and customary setbacks, while offering his “inside view” gleaned from “high level sources”. In fact there’s little that is particularly revelatory to anyone who has followed the story, and much of the sloppily edited material has the unmistakeable mark of filler.

A Life in Football
by Egon Theiner & Elisabeth Schlammerl

Liberties Press, £10.99
Reviewed by Jonathan O'Brien
From WSC 259 September 2008 

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Giovanni Trapattoni couldn’t have enjoyed a smoother entrance to the Republic of Ireland job. An initial whirlwind of adulatory obeisance was followed by two inept friendly performances that helpfully dampened down expectations, though Trap was wily enough not to lose either game.

The Hard Life and High Times of Malcolm Allison
by David Tossell
Mainstream, £16.99
Reviewed by Harry Pearson
From WSC 262 December 2008 

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I once met Malcolm Allison in a pub in County Durham. The thing that struck me about Big Mal was that he was really quite small. Admittedly he was by that stage an elderly man, but the fact is that in football “bigness” has always been about more than mere physical stature.

Portait of a Winner
by Gabriele Marcotti
Bantam, £18.99
Reviewed by Matthew Barker
From WSC 263 January 2009 

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Gabriele Marcotti’s profile of Fabio Capello is a brisk (though at 400-plus pages not short) summary of the England coach’s career, putting his appointment in charge of the national team in the context of his achievements at club level. After the briefest of glimpses at his childhood and family background we’re off and running, rounding-up a quietly distinguished playing career: beginnings with Spal; the big move to Roma under early influence Helenio Herrera; joining Juventus; that azzurri goal at Wembley; and on to Milan. One constant that features in the various anecdotes and reminiscences is of a player old before his time, a bit of a loner, a little too focused, a little too intense. Classic managerial material in, other words.

by Wilf McGuinness with Ivan Ponting
Know the Score, £17.99
Reviewed by Joyce Woolridge
From WSC 265 March 2009 

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Roy Keane’s response to his recent managerial difficulties was to grow a patriarchal, piebald beard. At least he could shave it off after a few days. Wilf McGuinness’s hair began to fall out in clumps and turn white when he was “relieved of his duties” at Manchester United and all he could do was briefly sport a trimmed ladies’ wig until an overenthusiastic Greek goal celebration dislodged it. McGuinness could teach Keano a thing or two about stress. As he says in his introduction, football has given him some tremendous highs, but has also “shattered his world” on several occasions.

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