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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fan's tale of the club, February 16, 2011
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This review is from: Manchester United: The Biography: The complete story of the world's greatest football club (Kindle Edition)
This book does a great job of telling the tale of Manchester United - warts & all. Obviously this is a great story no matter if you are a fan of United or not. It is unbiased in the sense that the author isn't afraid to critize ownership, both past and present, team icons and the fans themselves in some cases.

Unlike most fans there is not the fear to remark that Cantona, Keane, Ferguson, Ruud, Meredith weren't always so great towards the club. However, there is a notable shift in these criticisms that start from when the author was no longer a fan just attending games in the 70s and 80s to when he became a journalist covering the team in the 90s and beyond. While he does point out that the mid-80s drinking culture of Ince, Whiteside and Robson hurt the team in terms of winning the league, he never questions these players' dedication to the club. By comparision, he consistently questions the spirit of several notable players that are some of the most decorated players in club history: David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the case of Beckham it is hard to defend his more prima donna actions off the field during the latter stages of his United career, but you can't possible ever question his dedication to the team both while at Old Trafford and since leaving. In Ronaldo's case, it is easier to understand -- this book was published just after Ronaldo's acrimonious exit and any wounds that United fans felt were still very fresh. I would hope that the author, like myself and many other United fans, has moved on and can appreciate Ronaldo for what he brought to the table and the class he has shown towards United and its fans since. You can't fault the guy for wanting to play for his favorite team after he had achieved everything there was to in Manchester. The remark about Ronaldo probably have a glittery pair of stiletto heels was too much and is very petty.

This pettiness is also amusing throughout the book in terms of his true fandom. Make no mistake this isn't some polished up, politically correct "official" history that says all the right things about Liverpool, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Roman Abramovich, John Terry, Leeds, etc. While the United official illustrated history speaks highly of other teams and can be read by fans of other teams, I wouldn't recommend this book to any fans of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City or Real Madrid but somehow I don't think they'd be too interested lol.

All that said this is a great read for any United fan -- new or old to either study the club's history or remember past glories you hadn't thought of in awhile. It doesn't shy from such incidents as Keane's exit, Rock of Gibraltor, Ruud and Ronaldo's fight, the plc, the Glazer takeover, the 70s hooliganism, the aforementioned 80s drinking culture, FC United of Manchester or the club's failure to do everything right by the Busby Babes that survived. This combination makes this an essential read for any fan of Manchester United.
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Location: Alexandria, VA United States

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