Once the squad is selected, Lineker provides a day-by-day account of England's progress. Based on his own experiences of two World Cup tournaments as a player, plus his ongoing role in the media, Lineker gives a fascinating insight into the unique pressures of the World Cup and assesses England's performances. With plenty of behind-the-scenes drama, this first-ever African World Cup is sure to be one of the most dramatic sporting stories of the year, and who better to record what happened than Gary Lineker?
Five years later, Theo Walcott is one of the most recognizable names in football. As the English heart of the brilliant young Arsenal team, he has become a firm favourite at the Emirates Stadium. He represents everything that is good about the beautiful game: a player with his feet on the ground, but lightning quick on the field. He carries the expectations of the nation on his shoulders, especially since one night in Croatia made him the youngest player in history to score a hat-trick for England.
It has been an incredible adventure, an unbelievable story for a quiet boy from a small village who only started playing football when he was 10. But how does it feel for your dreams to come true? In Theo: Growing Up Fast, Theo Walcott takes you right inside his world.
After the phenomenal success of Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby tried to avoid writing about soccer, for fear that he'd be writing about it forever. But occasionally over the years he’s found it impossible to turn down a particularly enticing assignment or, in the case of the 2012-13 Premier League, just unable to resist writing about that most spectacular of seasons.
Fortunately for those who love great writing about soccer, all these fugitive pieces are collected in Fan Mail. You can follow the fortunes, as Hornby did, of a hopelessly out-of-their-depth Cambridge United in the old Second Division, discover why Perry Groves was an unlikely hero among Arsenal fans, enjoy Hornby trying to explain the World Cup to Americans, and share with him the pain of watching his national team.
Motty is essential reading for anyone who has grown up with the undisputed voice of football.
With introductions from the 606 team for each topic, plus a foreword by Robbie Savage, The League Doesn’t Lie is the ultimate book of football trivia and opinion for Sunday League players and armchair referees alike.
As well as the technical brilliance that makes Paul Scholes such a breathtaking player to watch it is the determination and integrity which he demonstrates both on and off the pitch that means he is a fascination to fans of the sport. In an age of overpaid, workaday players, Scholes has become an icon of professionalism and club loyalty, admired by fans everywhere.
Now in this book for the first time Paul Scholes shares his story: from his beginnings at United under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson as part of the 'golden' youth team, to the treble-winning season and twice capturing European Cup glory, the importance of family and friends in keeping his feet on the ground, as well as his many triumphs and tribulations with England.
This is without question the sports book of 2011, from a player as popular and as revered as any in the game today.
Graham Poll, England’s highest profile referee of the last two decades, refereed over 400 Premiership games, involving more than 1.5 million spectators, and at two World Cups, placing him at the centre of some of the most controversial incidents in football.
So what does Poll make of some of the biggest rows in English and World football down the years? Would modern referees have reached different key decisions? What can the game learn from the mistakes of history?
In this follow-up book to Seeing Red, Poll’s bestselling memoirs, we get an informative, frequently provocative but always entertaining romp through the pages of football history and the major incidents that sent shockwaves through the game. The book revisits in startling clarity all those much talked about football moments that continue to be the topic of pub debate among football fans the world over – and turns everything on its head.
What was the real reason for the linesman giving Geoff Hurst’s ‘goal’ in 1966 at Wembley? In the infamous Maradona ‘Hand of God’ game, why should the behaviour of Argentine players have helped the ref disallow the goal? How does Kim Milton Nielson, the official who red-carded David Beckham against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, view the decision now? And was video technology used to 'convict' Zinedine Zidane of his World Cup Final head-butt?
Framed with other fascinating football facts, personality profiles and colourful anecdotes, these stories and more – including football's most recent controversies – provide a rich seam of material for Graham Poll, in his usual no-nonsense style, to set the topical football agenda and to enrich our knowledge and understanding of the beautiful game.
Since their first appearance in the competition in 1950, England's World Cup story has been one of broken dreams, bad luck, shock losses and penalty nightmares, with one shining exception in 1966, when they famously won the Cup after beating Germany 4-2.
In Three Lions Versus the World, Mark Pougatch talks to those who have shaped England's World Cup odyssey, from Brazil 1950 when England lost to the amateurs of America, through the triumph of 1966 and the subsequent failure to retain the Cup in 1970, to the spirit-sapping quarter-final defeats in Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.
Household names such as Sir Tom Finney, Don Howe, Martin Peters, Trevor Brooking, Gary Lineker, Tony Adams, Glenn Hoddle and Danny Mills share their personal recollections of playing for England both on and off the pitch in the World Cup. Some reveal how they were affected by the demands placed upon them and by the mounting pressure of expectation from the English public. Others comment candidly on the myriad controversies to befall the England squad over the years. Massive highs are recounted and crushing lows painfully recollected. The contributors are united in the pride they shared in wearing the Three Lions shirt for their country in this most special of tournaments.
The players' stories and anecdotes woven around the narrative of the World Cup itself, this is an unbeatable, entertaining and enlightening journey through half a century of English World Cup action that no football fan can afford to miss.
In the public mind, Kieron Dyer came to symbolise so much of what was self-destructive about a group of football players known collectively as the 'Baby Bentley generation'. Nicknamed 'The King of Bling' by the tabloid press, Dyer was caught up in many of the scandals that characterised the history of a talented crop of players who promised so much and delivered so little, a generation whose wages and lavish lifestyles began to alienate them from the fans who once worshipped them.
The brash young man is gone now, and in his place is the quiet, caring, wise man who was such a favourite on I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! in 2015. Dyer narrates, in uncompromising detail, how a generation of talented English footballers, taken out of working class childhoods and presented with a world of glitz, glamour, wealth and temptation, failed to cope with the riches that were presented to them and often fell apart.
Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late is about a moment in time, a social and historical record of English football at the start of its gold rush. For Dyer, the end of the book brings a measure of personal redemption and peace but for the English game, there is only a lingering sense of waste and regret for an opportunity lost.