Football is not just a game of 11 vs 11 bodies of flesh exhausting themselves physically and mentally for straight ninety minutes after a ball. There is football we watch on television, alone or with known ones, watching a nineteen year old whose market value is almost equivalent to the eleven players of opposition who are trying to get the ball off from his feet. At front of that television set we all are football pundits for ninety minutes. There is no denying in that.
If you are football fanatic, in ninety minutes you are going to feel each and every emotion inside us- anger, ecstasy, astonishment, aversion, admiration, vigilance and yet one game is not enough. Similarly, Mat Guy in the title Another Bloody Saturday expresses himself through the beautiful game in various anecdotes collected over his famous blog Dreams Victoria Park.
Football isn’t about the Premier League or the El Classico. Though that’s all we can watch on television but the world of football is much more vast than that. It’s a whole universe in itself. There are teams which are part of the sport for the passionate people who love it. Such teams and green fields are explored by Mat Guy in his book. He tells us about his experiences and match telecasts of teams such as Welsh Bangor City and Icelandic UMF Stjarnan.
From Glasgow to Northern Cyprus, Bhutan to the Faroe Islands, Mat discovered the same hope, sense of community, and love of the game that first led him to a life in the stands at Salisbury FC’s Victoria Park, where his own passion for football was formed.
The most amazing thing about Mat’s journey is that he finds a football club that he can enjoy as a football club, for his love of the sport, regardless of the money the club spend on its players. Mat’s love for Accrington Stanely which he himself likes to call a ‘spiritual’ attachment, is more like finding a true essence, something very abstract but one feels attached to it.
I always believed that, in game of football, a passionate lover of this sport, is tend to follow two clubs. One he follows, and one he is spiritually attached. With latter one might end up enjoying more. Mat Guy’s book is a well written prose for the fans of the game.
4 out of 5!