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My Winning Season - John Terry

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Genre: Biography / Author: John Terry / Hardcover / 296 Pages / Book is published 2005-08-22 by HarperSport

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      17.06.2007 14:05
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      A book that missed the opportunity to express so much passion about winning

      On 23rd April 1955 Chelsea beat Sheff Wed 3-0 to win the then Division One title. That was 9 years and 3 days before I was born. On 30th April 2005 Chelsea beat Bolton 2-0 to win the Premiership for only their second top flight title; a week and 50 years since their last success and in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge of the club.

      I’ve been a Chelsea supporter from the age of about 6 when I watched, for the first time, the 1970 FA Cup Final where we beat Leeds Utd in a replay at Old Trafford. In that game the legendary Peter Osgood scored with a fabulous diving header which thereafter was known as ‘the flying hammer’.

      This is where my love affair started with Chelsea.

      The one major personal disappointment in the time I’ve been a Chelsea supporter since that FA Cup of 1970 is that I had never seen us win the old Division One or Premiership title…well until 30th April 2005 that is.

      Now that we’ve established my life long support for Chelsea and all the heartache associated with that let’s move to this book.

      I must also add that in the current, modern Chelsea team, John Terry is a kind of hero of mine and, for me, epitomises all that is great about the ‘British bulldog’ fighting spirit. An excellent defender, a natural leader and plays every game with total commitment, passion and belief.

      Sadly though, all those qualities are missing from this book. I wish I could have said different but I have to be quite honest in my opinion despite my obvious high regard for John Terry. It would be so easy as a Chelsea and John Terry fan to say this book is brilliant and flower it with praises but I won’t and I can’t.

      After such a long wait to finally see Chelsea win the premiership title, and naturally expecting all the title winning memorabilia merchandising that would follow, I was looking forward to reading this book. I was hoping for a book, especially one that was penned by the winning Chelsea Captain and arguably the modern club talisman, which would be full of passion and emotion that reflected the blood, sweat and tears of the season’s campaign to win probably one of the most prestigious titles in modern world football.

      Uh-oh!

      I’m not going to waffle on and bore with a chapter by chapter précis of the book and I have no real words to try and balance this review with an objective overview either. If I wanted to do that I’d just lend you the book!

      My Winning Season could, and should, have been an excellent opportunity as an outlet to express all the pent up frustration, passion and a myriad of other emotions of Chelsea not winning such a prestigious and coveted title, or even never really fulfilling their true potential over the past 50 years. Every true blue knows that hurt and disappointment over the years and it would have been really nice to see that reflected by probably one of the greatest English players in the modern game in such a book. It never happened though.

      The way the book is written it is as if John Terry was watching the end of season DVD and scripted an accompanying commentary for it.

      Now, I know some footballers may write books that can be rather controversial and they often attract criticism for just sensationalising and/or cashing in on their lifestyle or a situation but in this case there was a legitimate reason, if there ever was one, to do such due to the nature of the subject, however the opportunity was well and truly missed.

      Sure, there are some behind the scenes insights, but not nearly enough to make this book an interesting and satisfying read. The only insight that sticks in my mind from the book is where John Terry talks about Mourinho’s meticulous planning for every match including full pre-match reports and briefings for each player; whether those players chose to read the reports/briefings was up to them but they knew if they didn’t and a game plan wasn’t followed then their first team place was on the line.

      Aside from that, and probably one or two other interesting titbits, the rest of the book is pretty much filled with some really bad football clichés and a plethora of ‘…had a good game’ or ‘…scored a great goal’ and other such ‘everyone’s my mate’ back slapping comments.

      My gripes with this book don’t stop there. Other problems for me also include the fact that I know some of the games we played were rather fast-paced and a bit passionate with probably a tad too much commitment; however this again is not really portrayed properly in the book either as only some of the ‘highlights’ if you like are barely mentioned and then they are kind of ‘glossed’ over. However, John Terry does dedicate one whole chapter to the away game against Blackburn in February 2005 which was particularly eventful.

      My other criticism of this book isn’t probably John Terry’s fault, more likely the book’s publisher, Harper Sport (part of Harper Collins); the book is littered with extremely bad grammar/punctuation/comprehension mistakes with the odd spelling mistake too. There are a lot of very short sentences with some only 3 or 4 words long! It makes the book a little hard to read and follow in places and where this happens there is no flow. I know John Terry doesn’t speak that way and I’m sure where this happens the publisher could easily have left out a lot of the full stops and let the paragraphs run their natural course.

      There are some nice photographs included though!

      Overall though, I wasn’t overly impressed with the book and in summary that is down to two things; it felt like an accompanying written commentary of the end of season DVD and the bad grammar/punctuation/comprehension.

      This book is a definite no-no for a book reader who likes anything ‘biographical’ and I’d probably even stretch that to most people who like reading books about football. In fact I would only barely recommend it to the most die-hard of Chelsea fans who want to collect some memorabilia to mark the first title winning season in 50 years. Luckily I didn’t pay for this book as it was bought for me as a gift.

      If you really want to read this book then it’s probably cheapest through the Amazon marketplace for about a fiver. However, remember I did warn you not to!

      John, mate, if by chance you read this then please stick to the football!!

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    • Product Details

      John Terry's own account of Chelsea's 2004/05 season, culminating in the championship trophy the Stamford Bridge fans have been craving for more than half a century. It is a remarkable story and a tribute to the Chelsea captain's influence on and off the field. With endless column inches devoted to the latest sensational stories coming out of Stamford Bridge, it seems the 2004/05 football season has been dominated by the colour blue from the day that Jose Mourinho set foot on the hallowed turf of London's most fashionable football club. In his role as the heartbeat of Chelsea Football Club, their leader on the pitch and arguably their most important player in a generation, 24-year-old John Terry re-lives the excitement and the passion of a record-breaking season that saw the arrival of a new manager and a startling turnaround of the club's fortunes after the heartbreak of the Claudio Ranieri years. From the start of Chelsea's campaign and the emergence of the likes of Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben, through the unforgettable Champions League tie with Barcelona and UEFA's fracas with Mourinho, to the epic climax of the season!it's all here, as told through the eyes of Chelsea's capt Terry is the driving force behind a club that threatens to dominate the English game for years to come. This celebration of a remarkable year in the life of Chelsea FC will be a must-read for all Blues fans as well as general football followers seeking an insight into one of the most talked-about clubs in any sport.