Book Review: The Beautiful Game: A book of football inspiration by Rory Callan
“The quotes in this book convey the motivation and inspiration of the legends and current stars of the game, in the hope that their words provide a new appreciation of why football really is The Beautiful Game.”
This is the final sentence taken from the Introduction of this book. So quite simply, does it match up to what it sets out to do?
Well in terms of “legends and current stars of the game” it ticks the box in that there are quotes from England’s 1966 World Cup winning skipper Bobby Moore, legendary managers such as Brian Clough, Matt Busby and Bob Paisley, through to modern day heavyweights such as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Whilst on the subject of those named as providing quotes, it is a shame though that there is a typo which attributes quotes to Brian rather than Bryan Robson.
Moving on as to whether the quotes inspire “motivation and inspiration”, the jury is possibly out on this one.
There are many quotes in this book which fit the bill and have now found their way onto the walls of dressing rooms of sports teams up and down the country in order to motivate and inspire. Amongst those are, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” (Roy Keane) and “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect” (Franz Beckenbauer).
However, there are a number of quotes which seem either to fall in the category of tips, such as, “If you want to play a high-energy game you obviously need to be super fit. There’s no substitute for playing football, but there are other things you can do to supplement your fitness” (Jack Rodwell) or just reflections, such as, “I love football and come from a football family…I always watched football on the TV. I had a big interest in it. Every chance I got to get the ball out that’s what I did” (Steven Gerrard). As such, whilst they may be interesting to readers of the book, it’s pushing the point to describe then as either motivation or inspirational.
The book has an attractive yet simple cover, with a layout inside that reflects the appealing design, but with content overall that just doesn’t quite hit the back of the net.