Maurice Brosnan provides us with five sports books that should help us to get through this Autumn.
A good autobiography is a rare thing. Tony Cascarino’s ‘Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino’ and Tony Adam’s ‘Addicted’ spring to mind, but for every startling honest and insightful story there are hundreds of ordinary and uninteresting editions riddled with tedious catchphrases and giving no real insight into the person behind the book.
Yet as book season approaches, I can’t help but feel excited, rather naïve I know. Here are five of the books to be most anticipated.
1. Roy Keane Autobiography – The Second Half
Roy Keane has had an incredible twelve months; appointed Irish assistant manager, appointed Aston Villa assistant manager, linked to Celtic job, continuing feud with Sir Alex Ferguson. Keane has linked up with Roddy Doyle to write his newest autobiography, ‘The Second Half’, which will be released on October 9th.
Doyle has said Keane was fully involved in the project and that he would try capture the former footballer as best he could. What I hope we get from this book is the true motivations and beliefs of the fiery, furtive Keane and not an attempt by Keane to settle scores, most particularly with Ferguson who criticised Keane in his recent autobiography.
Excitement Level: 4/5
2. Brian O’Driscoll Autobiography – The Test
The man was an inspiration to young rugby fans everywhere and demonstrated all the qualities necessary to be labelled a world-class player. While he released a book in 2005 about his year as a rugby player and there have been a few biographies released, never before have we gotten a real insight into his passion and career.
From being spear-tackled, to being dropped for the Lions, O’Driscoll has had a remarkably fascinating career and this book has the chance to demonstrate what inspired the man to perform as he did and his own feeling on the various controversies through-out his career.
Furthermore, a split from original ghost-write Paul Kimmage and the project being taken over by Alan English only adds to the excitement. ‘Brian O’Driscoll: The test’ will be released on the 23rd of October.
Excitement Level: 5/5
3. Paul Galvin Autobiography – Defiant – In My Own Words
Galvin is probably the most controversial Gaelic footballer in history. A Kerryman with four All-Irelands and three All-Stars, Galvin’s book is to be called ‘Paul Galvin Defiant – In my own words’ and that’s what I hope it will give.
It would be enthralling to hear Galvin’s side to so many stories such as his alleged assault of comedian Oliver Callan, the infamous swat of a referee’s notebook which earned him a twelve week ban, the long-running feud with Noel O’Leary, the ‘spitting incident’ in an All-Ireland club game.
An insight into the man himself, his emotions and opinions could prove to be the best sports book this winter.
Excitement Level: 4/5
Phil Taylor autobiography
I find it difficult to enjoy Darts as a sport. It’s long, repetitive and often lacklustre and yet, I am really looking forward to Phil Taylor’s book. This book will look at the year of 2013 for Taylor. What impresses me about this man is not his sporting ability, not his aim or throwing capability but the physiological side to him.
What I hope this book will bring is not an account of his year but details of his confidence and mental strength to bounce back from a second round world championship knock-out, of how Taylor kept his emotions in check during one of the greatest games of darts ever in the grand-slam semi-final against Adrian Lewis.
While I’ll be interested to read about Taylor’s feud with Michael van Gerwen, I certainly don’t want to read Taylor use this as a chance to insult him. This book will either be brilliant or awful, and the pessimist in me says I may not get anything that I asked for.
Excitement Level: 1/5
5. The Pep Confidential: Inside Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich
Pep Guardiola is somewhat of an enigma. His success with Barcelona is undoubtedly impressive but he then oversaw the decline in Bayern Munich’s standards last season when compared to the season before. It was suggested to Guardiola after his year-long sabbatical that it was a shame that his years of stunning success at Barcelona waere not documented.
While he felt a camera would have been too intrusive, he soon agreed to allow Marti Perarnau spend a season alongside him in order to understand his mind and methods. Everything from dressing room team talks to his reaction after the Champions League semi-final is said to be included. It is set to be released on October 2nd.
For many this book while be a chance to get a better insight into the behind the scene of one of Europe’s elite, for others a chance to understand the mentality of a ‘footballing’ choice. I just hope I can gain some useful tips to kick on with my football manager career.
Excitement Level: 2/5
Maurice Brosnan, Pundit Arena.