Book Blog

Pouring the Mixer: Michael Cox on Football's Revolution

Michael Cox’s website Zonal Marking has become a magnet for those who live and breathe football tactics. The Mixer, out now in hardback, is his comprehensive analysis of how a new kind of tactical play sealed the success of the Premier League. Matt Gardiner  sat down with Cox to talk back-passes, false nines and the future of English soccer.

The Price of Dreams: Michael Calvin on Football's Dangerous Lottery

"Imagine the moral outcry if the banks started recruiting boys as young as nine, training them up, and then trading them between each other. That’s the reality of youth football today." Multi-award winning author, Mike Calvin is building a reputation as one of the finest sports writers currently at work.  The first two books in his football trilogy, The Nowhere Men and Living on the Volcano, looked at talent scouting and football managers respectively.  Now, in No Hunger in Paradise, Calvin has turned his investigative eye on the world of youth football. Exclusively for Waterstones he introduces a world of secrecy, pressure, financial gain and staggering human cost.

Doctor Socrates: The Footballing Legend Who Fought For Democracy in Brazil

Who was Socrates?  What is certain is that he was so much more than simply a footballer. While he was at his most iconic as captain of, arguably, the greatest team not to win a World Cup, Socrates was a qualified doctor and carried with him an intellect atypical of the game. Based on the unpublished memoirs of the man himself and including hours of previously undiscovered interviews, Andrew Downie's Doctor Socrates is the definitive life story of one of football’s true enigmas.

Above Head Height: A Five-A-Side Life

James Brown is probably most known for founding the culture-defining magazine Loaded and his subsequent helming of GQ: these days, Brown is a frequent contributor to the media, including his hugely popular talkSport podcast, The Late Tackle. Above Head Height – a book Tony Parsons has already called ‘the Fever Pitch of five-a-side’ – explores Brown’s passion for the amateur game, collating hundreds of real-life tales of cameraderie, commitment and comedy.

Mark Chapman on Parenthood, Sport and The Love of The Game

Mark Chapman is a familiar face to anyone watching or listening to sport on the BBC.  He first came to prominence as a sports reporter on BBC Radio 1 when he became a regular on the Scott Mills show.  He now presents Match of the Day 2 as well as the NFL show.  His brilliant new book, The Love of The Game, explores the many ways sport can shape our attitudes, our ambitions and, ultimately, our lives; it will resonate with anyone who has participated in sport, at any level, whether a coach, a supportive parent, or a mid-week five-a-sider. In this piece written for Waterstones, he outlines the inspiration for the book and the many positives he discovered while researching the role sport plays in his own family.

William Hill Sports Book of The Year 2016 Shortlist: Q & As (Part One)

Reaching the shortlist of the world’s longest-running and richest sports writing prize is a great achievement in itself. The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award has established itself as the true measure of the best the genre has to offer; their long- and shortlists teem with cracking reads that inspire lively debate. To celebrate 2016’s shortlisted contenders, Waterstones Online's Matt Gardiner has interviewed all seven writers of the books the award's chair has dubbed 'The Magnificent Seven'. We will be posting the interviews over the next week. To kick-off, we have Rory Smith and Rick Broadbent.

Eyes On The Pies: At the Coalface of the Amateur Game

Nige Tassell is a music and sport journalist whose work has featured in The Guardian, FourFourTwo and The New Statesman. Here he introduces his new book, The Bottom Corner: A Season With The Dreamers Of Non-League Football, which explores the dedication, love and, of course pies, needed to keep the amateur game alive.

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part Three)

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France today, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We finish with James Montague and Rory Smith introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part Two)

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France this Friday, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We continue the series with James Lawton and Ed Hawkins introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part One)

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France this Friday, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We begin with Anna Kessel, Peter Chapman and Oliver Kay introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

5000-1: The Leicester City Story

Rob Tanner's new book explores Leicester City's phenomenal and unexpected recent success from his standpoint as a true insider: he is Leicester Mercury's chief football writer. Bookseller Matthew Gardiner introduces three extracts from the book.

Mister: The Men Who Taught The World How To Beat England At Their Own Game

Football writer Rory Smith introduces his new book Mister, which tells the history of football coaches who have strayed from Old Blighty and gone on to coach teams to extraordinary success. Introduced by Waterstones Online's Sally Campbell.

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