Saturday 29 October 2022

Guest Review: Behind Closed Doors By Gary Lineker and Danny Baker

'Football is a simple game. 22 players chase a ball for 90 minutes, and at the end the Germans always win.'

This book is inspired by the stories Danny and I have shared with each other about what life in football is really like: in the dressing room, in the commentary box, on the pitch and - with the appropriate pixellation - in the showers afterwards.

What's it really like to play with Messi? I wouldn't know, but I have starred alongside him in an advert for Walkers crisps. And, well, his performance was world-class.

And what is a life in football really like? You won't learn much from the dull-as-dishwater post-match interviews - it's a world of secrets, superstitions, laughs and personalities, and let me tell you, half of it you won't believe.

I've looked back at my playing days, from England to Leicester, Everton to Barcelona, Tottenham to, er, Nagoya Grampus Eight, and shared the chaotic behind-the-scenes secrets of Match of the Day - and Danny has chipped in with stories from a lifetime following the game as a fan.

From Italia '90 to Leicester's Premier League fairytale, from yellow cards to World Cup trophies (I've never been awarded either), from Gascoigne to Maradona, you'll find it all here - everything you always wanted to know about football, but didn't realise that you did.

Inspired by the No.1 podcast Behind Closed Doors

Review: The TV presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker, and the broadcaster, journalist and writer Danny Baker have presented a series of lunchtime podcasts recorded in Gary’s kitchen. This book is based on, and is an expansion of, those podcasts, discussing aspects of football not always apparent to the public.

Gary, who holds the record for goals scored for England in FIFA World Cup finals and who won the Golden Boot for being the top goalscorer during the 1986 World Cup (he may mention this in the book) gives a professional footballer’s perspective, whilst Danny, a lifelong Millwall supporter, gives the fan’s perspective. The resulting volume is a very amusing, and sometimes irreverent, account of the beautiful game. A flavour of the book is given by the chapter headings, which are a collection of footballing clich├ęs or famous quotes from matches. Hence, there are anecdotes from World Cup campaigns, nights out with Paul Gascoigne, and what happens in the “Match of the Day” studio with Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy. At the end of the book is an appendix giving the recipes of some of the dishes enjoyed by the two authors during their lunchtime sessions.

I found this a very amusing book and would recommend it to all football aficionados. It was also interesting to read the biographical details of the two authors and their different routes to enjoying the sport.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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