PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland


Pointless - A Season With Britain's Worst Football Club by Jeff Connor
; Headline Books; 212 pages; hardback; £16.99

The team in question here is East Stirlingshire FC. I quite like them because they've won me a lot of money at the bookies over the years by being hopeless, and if you think that the only reason Jeff Connor wanted to follow them around for a season - he actually paid the directors two grand for the privilege - is to have a laugh at their expense then you'd be right.

Having said that, it's funny in a not too derogatory way. Not that the author has to try very hard. Such are the goings on at the Shire that simply reporting the facts is hilarious enough.

Anyone looking for insights into how much of a tactical genius you have to be in order to send out a team to play the beautiful game the way it should be played had better avoid this one, though, and go for Jose Mourinho's book instead. With Connor as the fly on the dressing room wall - and by the dilapidated state of their stadium he probably had a few more unsavoury things for company up there - manager Dennis Newall reveals the secret of his team's lack of success through his masterful delivery of such inspiring team talks as, 'get your arse into gear' and, before a match against those pansy-arsed prima donnas from Gretna, 'When they have the ball you go right through them, I want their physio to be living on that pitch.'

Chairman Allan Mackin occasionally turns up as well, backing up the manager's message with gems like, 'Let's leave those Cowdenbeath bastards in cement.'

A very funny look at life on the other side of the Scottish football tracks.

MARMADUKE BAGLEHOLE

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