Tuesday, 29 June 2010

"The funniest book about football ever written ..."

Deserved praise for David Stubbs' Send Them Victorious from Scott Murray in The Guardian's World Cup blog on Sunday:

    Anyway, the English papers have been embarrassing themselves today, as you'd expect. It's been war this, blitz that, Churchill speeches the other. Any English fan thoroughly sick of this myopic nonsense – and anyone else interested in football, frankly – is advised to read a new book called Send Them Victorious: England's Path To Glory 2006-2010 by David Stubbs. A series of England match reports written by "biased but fair" jingoistic Boer War veteran The Wing Commander, it gives both the Fourth Estate and the players they overhype a right old shoeing, and is pretty much the funniest book about football ever written. Here's a tinder-dry snippet from an England-Germany report:

    "It is no exaggeration, but rather an imaginative simile, to compare this game to World War II – World War II, that is, minus the participation of Churchill, Field Marshall Montgomery, Adolf Hitler, Herman Goering, and Douglas Bader, who like our own Frank Lampard, suffered from the handicap of not being able to use his legs in any effective way."

    You have got to love this book.

1 comment:

  1. To convince any waverers, the book also contains the most heartfelt and accurate tribute to Steven Gerrard ever committed to paper.

    "Gerrard picks up ball in midfield, surges forward in search of glory despite other options being available, is picked off by Russian defence who swiftly counterattack. Hoorah! Gerrard makes surging run into penalty box, is shrugged off by Russian defence as he falls over own feet, Russians exploit gap in midfield to counter-attack dangerously. Hoorah! Gerrard picks up ball 20 yards out, shoots and blasts against the window of one of the corporate boxes high up in the stands. Hoorah! Gerrard stands, hands on hips, looking Gerrard-like, doing nothing. Hoorah! Gerrard hoists the ball high upfield with hope in his heart that, who knows, it may end up vaguely near an English player or at the very least an English ball-boy. Hoorah! Gerrard exhorts his team-mates with a "C'mon! Run! Kick it! Eh? Eh? Run! Kick? Kick and run! Eh?' Hoorah!"