I know British people love to whine (or whinge) about everything. I was expecting more of a fun tongue-in-cheek look at the modern game of football that has become less of a sport at the top level for fans and more of a corporate entity. I am with them in most aspects especially the lack of goals (and actual action around the nets) in the modern game.
The problem I have with the whole thing is when criticizing the quality of football. You can whine all you want about the big four (Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and to a much lesser extent Liverpool...although now maybe more big bucks Man City has bumped Liverpool out of the top four) dominating the EPL but overall the EPL is arguably showcasing a far better brand of football than the past era the author pines for. After all, maybe we were spoiled in the '80s by Liverpool's passing but further down the table it wasn't all "champagne" football.
After all, Rodney Marsh left England back in the '70s to play in sunny Florida with the Tampa Bay Rowdies after describing on the game in his homeland as "Football is a grey game played by grey people on grey days." The football the authors seem to forget was not exactly all George Best dribbling round everyone to score spectacular goals. It was more Norman Hunter bites yer legs.
So I was expecting much more humor in the writing as I do agree that much of modern football is rubbish but also much of football throughout history has been rubbish period and always has been. It is a very low scoring game with very little action (yes, people talk about the "non-stop" action of football but have they actually watched matches. I don't see non-stop movement let alone action around the goal at most football matches) and I actually like "football." I just don't go on and on about it being supposedly the greatest sport invented by man. Popularity does not equal quality as any fan with, say, musical taste will know.
There is a goldmine of material as to why the modern game of football is rubbish, especially on why the premier event in football--the World Cup Finals--has not had a truly spectacular tournament since about 1986 when Diego Maradona put his stamp on the tournament (OK, 1998 came close but 1990 was the worst and the past two in 2006 and 2010 were pretty much forgettable overall).
Anyway, I got tired of the complaining. It's one thing to complain but another to do it with a sense of humor and some perspective on the game as a whole. Everyone gets nostalgic for their youth and nothing ever replaces the sheer joy of discovering anything at the age of 12. Some of us grow out of that and see that you really cannot look backward through rose-colored glasses.