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The Football Men Kitap yazarın çeşitli zamanlarda pek çok gazete ve dergide yayımlanan makalelerinden bir derleme Okuduğunuzda dünyada ne kadar kaliteli futbol yazarlığı yapıldığını görüp imreniyorsunuz The great footballers and coaches are rarely glimpsed from up close They shield themselves from the tabloids hide their personalities behind professionalism and in the words of the cliché 'do their talking on the pitch' This book gets up close to them The Football Men is not a series of celebrity profiles and it doesn't attempt to unearth secrets in the players' private lives Rather it portrays these men as three dimensional human beings It describes their upbringings the football cultures they grew up in the way they play and the baggage that they bring to their relationships at work This multimillion pound multinational world is mostly inhabited by ordinary men The profiles in this book are sometimes funny but never breathless or sensational Some of the profiles in this book are based on interviews; others are the results of time the author spent with that person; sometimes the profile is a story of a country All are fascinating and shed light on their subject to reveal things you wouldn't expect From one of the great sports writers of our time this is a penetrating and surprising collection of articles on the figures that have defined the modern sporting world Like any compilation of journalism The Football Men is something of a collage; a collection through which it’s often tough to discern any overall threads The nature of journalism rarely lends itself to such things unless they’re planned from the start David Lodge’s The Art Of Fiction for example This book essentially acts as the best snapshots of Simon Kuper’s writing over just over a decade the bulk of whom are players and managers The portraits range from a brief chat over a drink to in depth analyses about footballing philosophies; the book benefits from the variety but occasionally you’re left wanting It’s something that bedevils the book with the pieces from the earlier phase of Kuper’s career but tends to ease off laterFor a British reader the best pieces lend us a perspective we perhaps can’t have by virtue of looking outwards I was fascinated for instance to see how Lothar Matthaus is regarded by the German footballing public There’s also an early piece on how clubs were looking to use statistics to game the transfer market an issue that only continues to grow important in the game My favourite piece though was an interview with Guus Hiddink around the time he was sounded out about becoming England manager In the space of a few paragraphs he dissects the problems of the England international team and its star players and outlines what needs to be done to combat it Watching the English side in the recent World Cup it’s abundantly clear those problems still exist – perhaps the greatest ‘what if’ in England’s recent history isn’t the Scolari debacle but what might have happened if they’d had the courage to acknowledge the appalling lack of a top level English coach and appointed him over Steve McClaren Instead eight years on the problems remain with an incumbent journeyman coach who only exacerbates those tendencies somehow the second best paid coach in the world Given I picked this up in a World Cup Kindle sale I can certainly claim that this piece was worth the price of the book on its own Worth a read as an introduction to one of the smarter modern writers about the game Started really well and some chapter were good but awful overall Bit like any English campaign For anyone interested in soccer biography or a combination of both An assorted collection of portraits uite Amusing about soccer playing but Very funny a lot of great little knowledge nuggets written by someone with a huge amount of knowledge and a very sharp intellect Kuper can't seem to resist digs against Germany and England but that's a minor uibble Will definitely try and read of his books Interviews with the great and the good from a man who has followed a few