Book Review: Outside The Box



You maybe aware of Duncan Alexander from his work as @optajoe and indeed his own twitter handle @oilysailor. So imagine @optajoe tweets in book form. Obviously this book is so much more than that, but if you enjoy Opta Joe's informative and dry tweetings (not sure if that's a real word) then you will love this book. The essence of the book is looking back at the 25 years of the Premier League. Now when 40somethings like myself reminisce about 1990s football, it is often with a twinkle in the eye. However Duncan's statistical look, and humourous comments tend to suggest that football wasn't actually that great. For example in the first Premier League season, do you remember how Norwich did so well and were in the title race till the final months of the season. They finished 3rd with a minus goal difference! This book when it looks back over each of the 25 Premier League season's is jam-packed with stats and facts, that even the most ardent of football fans would be unaware of. But that's not all this book gives you. To be honest I'd be prepared to give this book a five-star review just for the reviews of the Premier League season's alone. However the author Alexander, also delves into the Forgotten Men of the Premier League, Why Liverpool haven't won the League for 27 years, a chapter on Football's worst Title defences and also a chapter on the Blueprint for a perfect football match. If that's not enough, the final three chapter's interspersed with his Premier League reviews are excellent and eye-opening pieces. Firstly Alexander looks back at the history of the FIFA World Cup and what it's future holds. This is a superb chapter of football writing. Secondly Alexander takes a quirky look at Lionel Messi's career. Again another superb piece of football writing. Lastly, Alexander tackles the Arsene Wenger "In", Arsene Wenger "Out" conundrum. Some of the statistical analysis from the so called fallow period of Wenger's Arsenal tenure may well surprise you. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it is one of the best book's I have read this year or indeed any year. For that, it get's the full ***** review. You can buy "Outside The Box" from Amazon at this link....