Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:42 am

"Bloody Confused" by Chuck Culpepper

Our library had this book, "Bloody Confused", it looked like it was going to be a great book, the amazon reviews show many think it is a great soccer/football book. For a book from the library or at a good used price, it's not too bad but I think it's far from great. The American, Culpepper follows Portsmouth soon after their promotion to the PL and in one of those years they were new to the top flight, they won, of course the FA Cup, quite a feat really. Maybe Redknapp was coaching them.  Anyway, it's a popular book, it's not too bad, it's fun reading, nothing to really weigh you down, it's not a hooligan book Maybe good but not great .

This came to mind about the book because the Big rivals of Portsmouth are??? Everyone??? Everyone knows this?? Of course, Southampton who are off to a very good start in the Championship league and while in the book, the Portsmouth fans would look down their noses at Southampton, the Saints, now it is Portsmouth who are on the skids and the way they dropped down, administration and all about 2 seasons ago but at least they did not go totally out of business. I always wondered what the author thought of his beloved Pompey with the subsequent events, something to research I suppose.

I look to see Southampton in the Premier League next year though it is a bit premature to assume they will be there.


Adopting Portsmouth as his team, he charts the strains that the 2006/07 season had on himself and the club and is completely taken over by Premiership fever. With a combination of fear, anxiety, desperation and envy, Culpepper finds out just what it is like to be a fan of a mediocre Premier League side. And not only does he find the pain, but he somehow wheedles out the joy as well.

I'd say the book "Bloody Confused" is more for those who are not real familiar with the Premier League, English football or in fact, European Soccer. "A season in Verona" is probably a similar type book about Italian football and in my opinion, in my opinion it was probably first. But all of these seem to be somewhat modelled on 'Fever Pitch' and then again, 'Fever Pitch' is modelled they say on "All played out".

But in the end, if you want a good soccer read, explore the library, they may have some. What one likes is really subjective and often depends on your preferences, your favorite teams, etc. and used, one can often find some good deals, especially when it seems a dozen books come out every month in the UK about football/soccer.

A bit off the topic but "Gas masks for Goal posts" is about British soccer/football during World War II, I've read bits of it and have had the book for a few years but I really need to buckle down and read the whole thing through. When World War II first started, I believe most football was cancelled and then, slowly came back. I've also gone through games for the English football team, the 3 Lions biggest rivals use to always be just in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. England and Wales played a match at the Molineux during World War II, I need to refresh myself as to that story.

Category: Soccer
Tags: books
Posted on: September 16, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 8:21 pm

Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinnis

Edit on, I need to proof read these stories first.Laughing

 This book The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro is generally regarded as a top soccer book, written by an American. In fact, it is written by the same person that just came out with this book on Sarah Palin, "Rogue" I believe is the name, I have no idea of how much of this book on Palin is true. We all have a right to our past personal life but "The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro" I would think does give one some valuable insights into the Italian soccer game as the little team of Castel di Sango advances from their lower league. If memory serves me correctly, I think Castel di Sangro actually makes it to Serie B not Serie A so I don't believe they were up in the top flight with teams like AC Milan and Roma and the rest.

Castel di Sangro Calcio is an Italian association football club from Castel di Sangro in the Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo. Their moment of greatness came in 1996, when they were promoted to Serie B, a noteworthy accomplishment for a team coming from a town of only 5,500 residents. Even greater, they were able to survive in that league another year. The story of their first season in Serie B is chronicled in the book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss.<sup id="cite_ref-nytimes_1-0" class="reference">[2]


Castel di Sangro is in the province of Abruzzo. This is the same area of Italy where Dean Martin's ancestry hails from, Martin who was a famed singer in America along the lines of say, Frank Sinatra and Martin of course, made movies with Jerry Lewis. Dean Martin himself was born I believe in Steubbenville Ohio. Abruzzo I have to add in, is basically a land with a harsh environment and somewhat barren.

This book is worth reading and I have seen is usually included in lists of "best soccer books" though usually down a ways, I think FourFourTwo listed it in about 18th spot.  I would say for Italian soccer, try also "A season in Verona" I believe. Of course, "Winning at all costs" by John Foot is a bit of an encyclopedia on Italian soccer history but "Miracle of Castel di Sangro" provides that sortof light reading many of us enjoy. There is a book on Portsmouth who never did much and then were promoted and I believe won the FA Cup a few years ago that would seem to have a similar type of plot concerning American  soccer er I mean English football. The McGinnis book should probably be called humourous reading as well.

Castel di Sangro has since gone way south as a team in the leagues, here is the Soccerway page for the club.

Category: Soccer
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