Top 6 reads for football fans

All you need to know about the most spectated sport in the world.

These books are timeless acquisitions for both long-time EPL fans and newbies alike (Photo: Kinokuniya)

Satiate your interest in English Premier League (EPL) football with these fascinating new reads that run the gamut from player profiles, team tactics and travel and touring tips to a look at how this tournament has become one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Informative and delightful, these books are timeless acquisitions for both long-time EPL fans and newbies alike.


Done Deal: An Insider’s Guide to Football Contracts, Multi-Million Pound Transfers and Premier League Big Business by Daniel Geey

Whether it is a manager being sacked, the signing of a new star player, television rights negotiations, extreme player misconduct or the million-pound club takeovers, lawyers remain at the heart of all football business dealings. Written by leading Premier League lawyer Daniel Geey, who has dealt with all these incidents first hand, this book, made up of 50 standalone essays, explores the issues — from field to boardroom — that shape the modern game and how they impact leagues, clubs, players and fans. Unafraid to explore the underbelly of football, Geey covers areas such as bribes, player strikes, drug use, underhand tactics and the way agents, clubs and players can manipulate the system.


The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, from Route One to False Nines by Michael Cox

The creation of the Premier League in 1992 coincided with one of the most seismic rule changes in football history: the abolition of the back-pass. Suddenly, defenders had no-get-out-of-jail-free card, goalkeepers had to be able to field and play the ball and the pace of the game was quickened immeasurably. Tactics evolved dramatically, helped by an increased foreign influence. The Mixer is the first book to delve deep into the tactical story of the Premier League and take a long view of how the game has developed over the last quarter century. From Sir Alex Ferguson’s directness and Kevin Keegan’s relentless attacking of Newcastle’s outfit and José  Mourinho’s cagey, reactive Chelsea to Claudio Ranieri’s counter-attacking champions, this book is an incredibly rich and knowledgeable tome that every fan should own.


The Sports Tourists’ Guide to the English Premier League by Blair Morse and Brian Burden

To fill out the pages of The Sports Tourists Guide to the English Premier League, authors Blair Morse and Brian Burden walked the towns, drank at the pubs and talked to the locals — creating a body of work that is simultaneously informative, experiential and delightful for young and old fans alike. Expect to learn the history of all 20 current EPL clubs, their greatest rivals and players and precious tips should you ever visit your favourite club, including how to buy tickets, where to drink before the game, what songs to sing and what not to do in every Premier League stadium. On top of that, the authors have written an entertaining essay capturing their experience, so even if you do not get to England, you will be able to live vicariously through the authors and gain deeper knowledge of these clubs, their town and their fans.


The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg

The Club is the previously untold inside story of how English soccer’s Premier League became the wildest, richest, most popular sports product on the planet. This is a sports and business tale of how money, ambition and 25 years of drama remade an ancient institution into a 21st-century entertainment empire. No one knew that when they began their experiment without any particular genius or acumen, the motley cast of billionaires and hucksters behind the modern Premier League would strike gold.


The Pep Guardiola Centurions — Against All Odds by Avijit Das Patnaik

It was at the start of the 2017-2018 Premier League season that his obsession with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola began with banker and football writer Avijit Das Patnaik. He was convinced that it marked the start of a glittering phase where football fans around the world would be wowed by this team. This book collates all the notes Patnaik scribbled during the season — the dozen odd red-card-worthy decisions that were not given to City’s opponents; the collapse at Anfield, twice; the frequent injuries; the breathtaking demolitions; the bullying of opposition to submission; the role of the best owners in the sport; and the majestic win to cap it all off in the end.


Nuno Had a Dream by David Harrison

Nuno Had A Dream is a celebration of Wolverhampton’s triumphant 2017-18 Championship season inspired by Portuguese manager Nuno Espírito Santo, who created a team and a football philosophy that revitalised and revolutionised the club while entertaining and exciting the whole city. Lovingly written by local journalist and lifelong Wolves supporter David Harrison and illustrated with fabulous photos from official access-all-areas photographer Sam Bagnall (including many never previously published), Nuno Had A Dream describes and analyses the emotional journey to the Premier League travelled by the team and its faithful fans, a powerful force hailed by Santo as “The Pack”.


All the books are availabe at Kinokuniya. Buy here


This article first appeared on Aug 5, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. 


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