Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The English Sombrero: The Little White Ball by Doug Goddard and Anthony Randall

It's been a while since I've read the fist book in the series; Nothing to do but run. But it certainly was a book that stayed on my mind and I wanted to go back to. Second books are always difficult, the writing in the follow up was good and the dialogue funny, but I found myself a bit less engaged with the story. Maybe because I'm not a mad football fan and used to run myself. Maybe it was a dislike for people throwing money about. Anyhoo a 4 star plus.

I loved the first book in the English Sombrero series, where we met the brash but lovable character of Don Simmons. There he set himself the seemingly unattainable task of running the marathon. Here he buys, after a rather large windfall, a struggling non-league football club. Armed with a squad of semi-professional no hopers he sets out to win the FA cup; the highest price in English football. You have to love and admire Don as he sets about building a winning squad, deals with the press and the football authorities. Don is a self-made man who does things in his own way, which wins him as many friends as enemies. I still found this book hugely entertaining and some of the problem solving inspired. Where it lost me a little was that it was just a bit too beyond the realms of possibilities and that a lot of the problems were solved by just throwing huge amounts of money at it. Would I read the third book if it was released? I probably would and if the writer is in the process, I’d say to make it more about personal struggle and less about the money. Well written and great fun, especially if you like English football.

Sunday, 22 June 2014


The world cup football is in full swing, but until yesterday there was not much evidence that France was taking part. In countries like Holland you would have seen many buildings and businesses festooned in orange and in England you would've seen many flags of st.George. I can't speak for the rest of France, but here on the Côte d'Azur things are different.

The Côte d'Azurians care about appearances. A baggy t-shirt and jeans just won't do. So when it comes to supporting Football, you don't want to look silly. I can feel for the many England supporters who are having to put all their flags of st.George away until the next big sporting event. Here in the south they wouldn't risk looking that embarrassed, non Monsieur, here they waited until France had convincingly won their first two matches and are safely out of their qualifying group.

I was rather amused when I walked into the village today and suddenly spotted a number of tricolours outside businesses and hanging from balconies. They haven't gone completely over the top yet with their decorations, I think they will wait with that until France has reached the final. Yes we're getting right behind our national team, but côte d'Azur style, we wait until it is fashionable to do so.