Always Managing. Harry. My Autobiography by Harry Redknapp. Pub.Ebury press, 2013.
I first saw Harry Redknapp play for West Ham in 1971. He wore his shorts down to his knees at a time when it was fashionable to show 4 cheeks. Whenever he got the ball and ran with it the crowd would yell ‘Arry.
He played with some wonderful players like Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking and he talks about these players and other famous players like George Best in a most illuminating insight into the evolution of English football from the 1960’s to present day.
To say football at the time England won their only World Cup and football played in the Premier league today is vastly different would be an understatement. Harry played and managed 6 clubs who are in the Premier League today or have been recently, he knows what he is talking about.
The bullying nature of the English school system meant he came out of school barely able to write. He was a wizard at ball control and running and he soon made his name in football. He married an Essex girl and is still with her after more than 40 years. He almost lost his life in an Italian car accident and he made and lost many friends while involved with the beautiful game. He almost became England Manager but held his mouth wrong.
An immensely enjoyable autobiography for football fans all over the world no matter what your affiliations. Harry Redknapp is a witty man and tells a good yarn. I will never view Bobby Moore and West Ham club in the same light again.
Football is one of my passions. I follow everything about the game. When handed this book on Luis Suarez, I thought do I really want to know about a guy who bit 3 players during games, deliberately handballed to stop Ghana getting into the semi finals of the World Cup and was accused of being a racist after calling Patrick Evra a Negro in a game against Manchester United.
The guy who gave me the book was a Liverpool supporter and I though aye aye, but my interest was kindled. I thought the book was fantastic it gave me insights into the character of Luis Suarez and about the way football is played all over the World. He played at the top in Uruguay, Holland, England and Spain and now plays alongside Messi at Barcelona.
The overwhelming opinion that comes over about Suarez is that he is a family man and lays the reasons for his success to his wife Sofi whom he met when she was 13yrs and he 15 years. She is always there for him and is his best and harshest critic. She keeps his feet on the ground, he is not flash, doesn’t squander his money and is not a womaniser.
Secondly Suarez is a nonstop competitor who plays with passion and instinct. Everything he does on the paddock he does instinctively whether is is scoring a goal, handling the ball or biting a player. He feels responsibility, tries to lead from the front and these pressures cause him to do unforgiveable things. Suarez does not try to exonerate himself, he knows he has done unforgiveable things. He leaves nothing out.
If you want to read about passion in football read the chapter when 25 years after Hillsborough Liverpool were chasing the Premier league Title and drew 3-3 with Crystal Palace after leading 3-0. You can feel the emotion. It is all about pressure. It is what made Suarez do what he did.
Great reading for anyone who wants to compete at the top. The chapter on how to handle the money especially when you are young and the pressures on players when everybody wants to know you, is exceptional. I don’t believe everything he has to say about his actions but I sort of liked the guy by the end of the book.
Doing the Double by Alan Durant, Pub. Evans Brothers Ltd, 2010.
Joe and Dale are twins and often pretend they are each other for a laugh and sometimes to help each other out. They are talented footballers but Joe has given the game away to play basketball.
Their father was a great footballer with a household name but after breaking a leg he hit the booze and ruined his career(shades of George Best).
When Dale starts going down the same path he asks Joe to stand in for him in an important game. Will anybody notice? and what are the ethics of doing this?
Read it and find out. Aimed at Intermediate to junior high school.