Book Review: What You Think You Know About Football is Wrong: The Global Game’s Greatest Myths and Untruths by Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore, or we should say, Dr Kevin Moore, as the bio information on the dust jacket of What You Think You Know About Football is Wrong, informs readers, “was the founding director of the National Football Museum, which he led for over 20 years. An internationally recognised researcher and writer on football history, he holds a key role at the International Football Institute…He is Special Advisor to the Linzi Football Museum in China, and the Fanattic Sports Museum, Kolkata, India” – all in all, he knows a bit about The Beautiful Game.

His book What You Think You Know About Football is Wrong: The Global Game’s Greatest Myths and Untruths, is a wonderful pocket-sized compendium which pulls no punches in debunking fifty of football’s ‘facts’ that have become down the years entwinned as ‘truths’ by the media, fans and the like.

For instance, Moore uses extensive research to back up his views that, the Germans do not always win on penalties (Chapter 28), that football hooliganism is not the ‘English disease’ (Chapter 34) and that the Premier League is not exciting – it’s increasingly dull and predictable (Chapter 48). In addition he is not afraid to give his opinion on a range of other topics, such as his brutally honest belief as to why Wembley is not a world-class stadium, and never has been (Chapter 42) and his assertion that Sir Alex Ferguson is not the greatest ever manager in English football (Chapter 49).

As a reader for me the most rewarding parts were those that presented information I had not previously been aware of, so Chapter 5, FIFA does not make the rules and never has, Chapter 13, Cambridge and not Sheffield is the home to the world’s oldest football club and Chapter 33, The FA did not ban women’s football in 1921, were amongst those that have enhanced my understanding of the game and its history.

Overall, it is a real pick-up, put-down book, one intended to, and without doubt succeeds in, creating discussion which can be the fabulous starting point and source of debate for fans as they travel to and from games, or indeed pre and post-match with a pint.

As a well know football song goes, And if you know your history, It’s enough to make your heart go woah-oh…


(Bloomsbury Sport. October 2019. Hardback 240pp)


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Posted August 31, 2020 by Editor in category "Reviews


  1. Pingback: Top Ten Football Books: Dr Kevin Moore | football book reviews

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