Why England Lose: Good, not great


Why England Lose: And Other Curious Football Phenomena Explained

By Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski

(Read via Audible).

Bullet-point review:

a) A book of stats, tables and numbers, this does not translate very well to audio
b) Cannot fault the narrator, he does a good job
c) The content is new, fresh and innovative. A book like this should have been written a long time ago. Kuper is a legend, of course…. ‘Football with the enemy’ remains one of my favorite sports books.
d) The content is also the bane. I believe the authors try to say too many thing in this book. What’s covered here has the material for maybe three books…. Therefore, there are individual chapters of impeccable analysis and brilliant insight, and other rather tepid ones.

As a book, it is somewhere down the middle. And for all the people who say that football (soccer) is too low scoring, too random and too fast / continuous even, to be figured out via stats, you are wrong. They said similar stuff about baseball before Bill James, and moneyball.

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