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There's a lot of awfully good football writing out there, but there's also a lot of dreary guff - and this tends to take the form of the season-diary. It's easy to stick to the formula and trot out a load of trite narration that's only of interest to die-hard fans of the club in question - and presumably they don't need the blow-by-blow recap, as they were there in the first place.
Happily, this bucks the trend. Probably because it's about more than just a season - it's a kind of dissection of the author's relationship with the club and an introspective look at himself. Crace - a journalist by day - notes early on that he is well-matched to Tottenham, the subjects of this tale during the 2010-11 season. Both have delusions of grandeur and an inflated sense of entitlement only matched by a stunning abilty to self-destruct.
This was the season that didn't fit, though - after decades of underachievement, Spurs had qualified for the Champions League. Crace documents the ups and downs of this campaign with a keen eye for insight and a concise writing style that makes this immensely readable, entertaining stuff. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but then it doesn't really try to be - it's wry and amusing and engaging, and that's pretty good going.
All in all then, a good buy - diverting rather than engrossing, but it's a well-written account of a crucial season for the club and an interesting look at fandom and what it entails.