Phil West recommends...
The Funniest Sunderland Quotes...Ever, by Gordon Law (£6.99 on Amazon)
Filled with some of the most memorable, pithy, and downright hilarious quotes from the likes of Mick McCarthy, Howard Wilkinson, and Roy Keane, this book provides some fabulous insight into the humour that can often be found in the hot seat of the Stadium of Light, and how some of our coaches and key figures brought their own unique views to the job.
Highly recommended, and a really funny read!
Next up: Promotion-Winning Black Cats, by Rob Mason (£16.36 on Blackwell’s)
John Guy recommends...
Shots In The Dark by David Kynaston (£9.99 in Waterstones)
It’s a good read about lower pyramid football against the backdrop of the Brexit vote. It gives a real insight into life in non-league football, from a fan who has seen the highs and lows of Aldershot Town.
Next up: Roker Roars Back by Geoff Storey (from £2.94 on Amazon)
Andrew Smithson recommends...
Tales from the Red & Whites Volume 3: Managers, by Anderson, Hardy and Mason (£7.99 direct from the publishers)
The whole ‘Tales from the Red & Whites’ series is worth reading if you are a Sunderland fan, but the manager's version is the most recent. It brought together three of my favourite writers and covers a wide span of eras, so should appeal to different ages. There are plenty of good stories in there too, and it’s very readable - just what you want on holiday!
I’ve got a long list of other books I want to get so I’ve not decided what I’ll read next. I’m looking forward to Rob Mason’s latest about last season as that is due out soon though, and at some point, I want to reread Give Us Tomorrow Now by David Snowdon. It charts Alan Durban’s reign at Roker and is a great piece of writing so will be well worth revisiting.
Next up (maybe): Give Us Tomorrow Now by David Snowdon (£18.99 on Foyels)
Matt Smith recommends...
Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics, by Jonathan Wilson (£9.99 in Waterstones)
A title including both history and football was always going to win me over but finding out that it was written by a Sunderland lad, Jonathan Wilson, sold me on this. It chronicles the development of tactics: principally, but not exclusively, formations from the early 2-3-5 to the strikerless age of Pep and co.
Taking in a range of interesting personalities, law changes, and contextual cultural and historical influences such as Fascist Italy, Francoist Spain, and junta-era Argentina, it made for a fascinating read.
There were a few penny-drop moments such as discovering why certain numbers denote certain positions (e.g. the 2 & 3 being the early ‘fully back’ full backs, the withdrawn inside forwards of 8 & 10 and the evolution of a more left attacking rhombus midfield shape giving greater attacking prominence to the 10) and the strong Scottish and Austria/Hungary (and Austria-Hungary) influence behind developments as far afield as South America.
A cracking read overall.
Next up: Soccernomics: Why England Lose, Why Germany, Spain and France Win, and Why One Day the Rest of the World Will Finally Catch Up, by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski (£9.99 in Waterstones)