Top 5 New Football Titles – August/September 2017

August

Outside the Box: A Statistical Journey through the History of Football by Duncan Alexander (Century) – 10th Aug 2017

As the co-founder of the OptaJoe Twitter account, Alexander has the best football data at his fingertips. So, he’s perfectly placed to tell the story of the first 25 years of the Premier League through facts and figures. If OptaJoe’s Football Yearbook 2016 is anything to go by, Outside the Box should make fascinating reading.

Outside the Box

Keegan & Dalglish by Richard T. Kelly (Simon & Schuster) – 10th Aug 2017

In 1977, Kenny Dalglish became Liverpool’s replacement for Germany-bound Kevin Keegan. Despite never actually playing together, these two British football legends have been intricately linked throughout their careers as players and managers. Kelly is best known for his novels but this looks like a fascinating joint biography.

Keegan & Dalglish

The Billionaires Club: The unstoppable rise of football’s super-rich owners by James Montague (Bloomsbury) – 24th Aug 2017

Thirty-One Nil: On the Road with Football’s Outsiders was named Football Book of the Year at the 2015 Cross British Sports Book Awards. Two years on, Montague is back with a book about the super-rich owners of the football clubs we love. The Billionaires Club is more travel football investigative journalism from the man who invented the genre.

Billionaires Club.jpg

September

On The Brink: A Journey Through English Football’s North West by Simon Hughes (De Coubertin Books) – 7th Sept 2017

Hughes is one of the most prolific and insightful football writers around, so this book comes with a quality guarantee. On The Brink is his personal and geographical journey through England’s most successful football region and its characters, places and changes. Think Michael Walker’s brilliant Up There, but for the North West rather than East.

 On The Brink

Hijacking Laliga: How Atletico Madrid Broke Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Duopoloy on Spanish Football by Euan McTear (Pitch Publishing) – 22nd Sept 2017

McTear’s first book, Eibar the Brave: The Extraordinary Rise of la Liga’s Smallest Team, came out in 2015. For his second, he looks at a success story on a bigger, European scale. This is the story of Atlético Madrid’s unbelievable rise from mid-table mediocrity to La Liga champions and Champions League finalists.

Hijacking La Liga

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The Invincibles

Preston North End – The Rise of the Invincibles

Written by Michael Barrett, Illustrated by David Sque

Invincible Books, 2016

Invincibles.jpg

The football fates haven’t been particularly kind to Preston North End. The 1888-89 Football League Division One and FA Cup double winners are yet to feature in the modern Premier League. In fact, during the 2011-12 season, PNE were in danger of dropping down into the fourth tier of English football. Their fortunes have improved since then but many football fans, especially outside of the North West, will have little idea of the club’s prestigious past.

Which is where Preston North End – The Rise of The Invincibles comes into this. Local author Michael Barrett has teamed up with Roy of the Rovers illustrator David Que to produce a beautiful graphic history of the successful early days of North End. The 152 full-colour pages offer an accessible and informative look at the founding years of Preston, but also English association football as a whole. So you can leave your club allegiances behind on the first page.

For a comic book, The Invincibles feels a little narrative-heavy and dialogue-light, but there is little else to fault in this charming history. Delivered with helpings of humour, intrigue, heroes and happy endings, the amazing rise of Preston North End is recommended reading for football fans young and old.