All Played Out

All Played Out

by Pete Davies

Italia '90 - Gazza cried and football changed forever.

Now that's not possible because on 4 July 1990 in Turin's Stadium of the Alps gazza cried, England lost and football changed forever.

Pete Davies witnessed all of this first hand.

All Played Out - the first and last book to give the inside story of the greatest show on Earth.

'Pete Davies is incapable of writing a dull sentence.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Football
  • Rating: 4.30
  • Pages: 480
  • Publish Date: November 5th 1998 by Yellow Jersey
  • Isbn10: 0224059548
  • Isbn13: 9780224059541

Read the Book "All Played Out" Online

Along the way as the author follows England there is a lot of talk of the fans and the thuggish behaviour of a minority, always written about in the English press in an over-exaggerated manner, and the thuggish behaviour of the Italians too, plus their baton-wielding police. There is also a lot of talk about the English press, the worst disciplined press in Western Europe, because the author of the book was a fully signed-up member of the press pack with all the privileged access that brings, this access allowing him to conduct several interviews in the book with members of Englands playing squad, as well as the manager. Also retrospectively it looks odd why Bobby Robson got so many negative headlines as England manager with his impressive record of a world cup quarter-final followed by a semi-final, but when the author maligns the press behaviour through much of the book you can probably begin to see why that happened. The book also delves into football more technically than other offerings, with lots in particular on systems with 4-4-2 being said to be all played out.

Reading this was even better than watching the tournament.

Perhaps more importantly, from the authors perspective and ours, the work expands and reflects on an great sporting event that beckoned a sea change in the mood and cultural outlook of a generation of football supporters. The excellent writing is from the fans perspective and has originality there in comparison to the close to the action memories and insights of players and managers biographies and autobiographies.

Amid all this, Pete Davies followed the England team through the final few qualifiers in Sweden and Poland and on to the tournament in Italy. What Davies produced is quite simply the best behind the scenes football book Ive ever read. The access Davies enjoyed allowed him to bring such depth to this book that not only takes us through the World Cup adventure but makes the reader feel they were travelling along with the team too. An enlightening exchange given what happened in the second match of the tournament when England suddenly abandoned all theyd previously held dear, allegedly at he behest of the key players, and cut loose in a 5-3-2 system that allowed the more creative players to express themselves. It culminated in tears for Diego come final day of course, but in a tournament lacking in real quality there was more than enough of a dramatic narrative to make this an epic read. Davies tells a tale of a broken national game that is All Played Out, which rose in unlikely circumstances to come within a kick of the final itself.

Seems a bit weird to be reading and reviewing this book 28 years or so after it was written. Ireland were also in Englands group, so while we feature tangentially in this book, I do have absorbing memories of the events that are referenced as the author charts Englands progress to the semis, Gazzas tears etc.

The book is a transformative experience of football returning to being a sport of the heart.

Paradoxically, I bought this book to see about the "old times" (at least for me) of the early 90's but it seems to have been written by one of those "pretends-to-be-funny" football pundits which are infesting the sports channels in the years 2010's. I cant realize why this book is so good rated since its boring and too much informal. I ve read some football books written in an informal way, but they were written by hooligans or common fans.