For the very first time, and straight from the horse's mouth, a top manager's intriguing insights into the daily trials and tribulations, the joyous peaks and soul-destroying troughs of life as a football 'gaffer'. Ever wondered how a transfer deal is done? What a manager says during his pre-match team-talk? What he screams from the technical area? What goes on in training sessions, and on those long away trips? How a manager carefully builds a team, and what he does when the planning is disrupted by injuries? How he lifts a team after a crushing defeat, and keeps their feet on the ground after a resounding victory? How the man in charge handles the ever-present danger of getting sacked in the ultimate results business?
In short, how one of today's top professional footballer managers somehow copes with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, with having to live, breathe and sleep football 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Then listen to the The Gaffer.
©2013 Neil Warnock (P)2013 Headline Digital
Neil Warnock could lay claim to being one of British football's most divisive characters. For someone who has held relatively little experience managing in the top flight, there can be few fans that don’t hold an opinion on him, regardless if he has managed at one of their clubs. Often described as “footballing Marmite”, Warnock (not unlike one of his former players Joey Barton) is a figure either loved or detested by most who have witnessed his outspoken post-match interviews, or opinions on others in the game (opinions which, as Warnock himself admits in this book, were occasionally given before he was fully aware of the facts surrounding them.)
I will admit to being a fan of Warnock, and someone who was often rather baffled by the vitriol spat his way. In a sport where opinions from the biggest names are sanitised by publicists to the point of inanity, characters like Warnock are often a fascinating diversion, whether referring to El-Hadji Diouf as a “sewer rat” or accusing an opposing goalkeeper of falling a little too dramatically after being assaulted by a fan of Warnock’s Leeds team. This book is unlikely to transform opinion of him one way or another, but there is a great deal to admire in this audiobook.
Not least of which is Warnock’s fine reading of it. It would have been very easy to allow some gruff Yorkshire-twanged thespian to apply their tones here, but Warnock is clearly proud of his book, and manfully works through it in a clear, pleasant manner, whilst never tempering his accent. Olivier he ain’t, but audible biography usually works so much better when read by the subject, and Warnock’s media work (particularly his radio-presenting experience) is much in evidence here.
Warnock also deserves credit for his approach. There is little mention of the “working-class roots…..loving parents…all I wanted to do was play football” humdrum that the first 100 pages or so of most football autobiographies are wasted on. Instead we are thrown into the ordeal of a major club (Crystal Palace) being hit by administration, and – save for a few references to Warnock’s days as a journeyman professional player and rookie manager – we stay in the world of modern day football management. Critics of Warnock’s tactical nous will point out that we learn comparatively less about the strategic side of organising a team on the pitch compared to the political and financial side of assembling one, but there are still some interesting insights to be had there, and to his credit Warnock doesn’t shy away from his side of stories he knows we want to hear. So we get his take on the aforementioned Diouf story, which took an extra twist when Warnock later signed the player for Leeds. He also gives his thoughts of losing his position at Queen’s Park Rangers, and supplies a fascinating insight into what goes on away from the Sky Sports News cameras on transfer deadline day.
It’s not perfect by any means. If Warnock is to be believed, little that has gone wrong in his career or at any of his clubs is even remotely his fault, and his writing at times strays from the point a little easily, which can lead to some rather bizarre “Alan Partridge” style moments in the audiobook, such as where he gives an amusingly in-depth description of his regular motorway service haunts.
Ultimately though this is a fine effort by Warnock. An interesting and well-read look at a maddening, fascinating and sometimes very lonely profession, by a man who may at times be accurately described the same way.
This book gives an extremely insightful view of life as a football manager. Warnock has come from grassroots level and seems to have taken the rough with the smooth in his stride. Currently football is full of autobiographies from players at the very start of their career however this gives a great overview of what Warnock's career and some of the characters he has come across on his journey. The fact that he narrates the book himself gave me a reminder of some of his famous quotes and press conferences. Well worth a listen!
What I like about this book is it's insight into the game, without spending all its time devoted to the Premier League. As a Palace fan, it was interesting to get his view of the Jordan Years and he offers a warts and all account of a lively career. You may not agree with all he has to say, but he says it with passion and humour. He reads well and holds your attention.
Thought there might have been a bit of humour in the book but there wasn't.
It was a bit like a diary where everyone is against him and he is the only one who is right. .
Stuck with it but the overall read was a bit depressing.
Love Autobiographies especially by comedians
An extremely enjoyable read, highly recommended on the ups and downs of a football manager. Concentrating on Palace and QPR this book goes into the back room turmoil and player relationships. The authors style is refreshingly honest and is well read.Anyone with interest in football will certainly enjoy this book.
I really liked listening to this audiobook, I am not the biggest football fan but I do like sports. As I was gearing up for the start of the football season (it's good office banter) I thought I would get in the mood by listening to Mr Warnock and his career. I enjoyed the stories and found the life intriguing. I guess times have changed and for a football manager it must be hard to have to deal with so many people to get a transfer done.
Anyway if you are a sports fan it is worth a listen.
you get the full story
the story of being a Scunthorpe player in the cup at Newcastle and how this experience contributed to his time in management
listen to it - it's good
Neil's teams aren't always pretty but they're effective
this is a fascinating insight to how the day to day running of a football club is like as a manager. Mr Warnock gave a great account of himself and change my thinking as to my expectations of how he came across as a person.
this is a must read/listen book and you will not be disappointed.
as a whole the story was bril.
Although Neil Warnock usually divides opinion amongst football fans Ive always quite liked his down to earth, honest style and this really comes across in his book. Its basically his life story but with alot more focus on the recent history especially at QPR. The QPR part of the book is very interesting and shows how modern football management works with the chain of command, foreign owners, takeovers and transfer deadline day. This is a great listen for any football fan, really enjoyed it
This has to be the best british football audiobook going
An insight into the problems a football manager encounters through a takeover of his club
This book totally chanced my perception of Neil Warnock,
It would be good to see more audiobooks done by the author like this one, and more football audiobooks please
"Interesting Tale ..."
sometimes the delivery is a bit wooden, but Neil Warnock's tale rings true. I don't doubt the events he described unfolded much as he describes them, and as a footie fan they are interesting stories and anecdotes. An easy listen.
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