In what other context do football fans use the words 'aplomb' or 'derisory'? Who don't we use 'rifle' as a verb on the other six days of the week? Why do aggrieved midfielders feel the instinctive need to make a giant ball-shaped gesture with both hands after a mistimed tackle is punished?
Some clichés are ridiculous, some are quaintly outdated, some have survived through their sheer indisputability. In this book, with the aid of some pseudo-scientific diagrams, the language of football is explored in all its glory.
A must-have ... This book, intelligent and sharp but still affectionate, is a spiritual heir to the best of the printed fanzines, to Danny Baker and Danny Kelly's gleeful radio shows, to the irreverent delight in the game's quirks celebrated by websites such as Football365.
This affectionate dissection of the game's well-worn phrases mildly mocks a few of the more tired ones, for instance "slide rule pass" - who uses a slide rule these days? - but points out that new ones are still being coined; apparently, Jose Mourinho first used the now-ubiquitous "parking the bus" as recently as 2004. As for TV pundits, what, according to Alan Hansen, do defenders fear most? All together now: "pace", be it searing, blistering, lightning, explosive, in abundance, bags of, to burn, genuine and on occasion even deceptive. For me, this is a top, top effort by the boy Hurrey, and at the end of the day you can't say fairer than that.
An entertaining, hilarious dissection of the language of football, complete with diagrams and illustrations. Open your chequebook for a last-ditch transfer swoop.
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