Friday, February 19, 2010

Book Review

From my days in seminary, I have been interested in English soccer. My roommate was a fan of Arsenal and I often went with him to an English pub in Atlanta to watch the games on satellite. I read, and enjoyed, Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch and I now like to watch Premier League games on ESPN.

I thought I was ready to take my enjoyment of English soccer to the next level and it turns out that I was not quite the connoisseur I thought I was. My attempt came in the form of reading David Peace's tale of soccer legend Brian Clough's disastrous managerial tenure of Leed's United titled The Damned Utd. Peace's book is considered a modern classic and for good reason. The probing of the inner workings of Clough's mind is brillant.

The problem is I lacked the requisite understanding of 1970's English soccer. I felt like I was adrift in a world that I knew little about. It just seemed like I knew very little about he inner workings of a soccer team and the writer wrote with what appeared to be an assumption that his readers would be die-hard soccer fans. An American writer would probably have similar assumptions about baseball or football.

Perhaps in another few years, if my understanding of English soccer grows, then I might return The Damned Utd. and enjoy it more.

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