Still Dreaming: New book out on 4 September
My new book, written alongside Alex Fynn, puts the unique story of Tottenham Hotspur at the centre of a wider portrait of the modern game
I’ve got a new book coming out on 4 September, and I make no apologies for using The Football Fan to plug it. I’m hoping regular readers at least will be interested as the book encapsulates many of the themes I write about in this newsletter.
The plot was hatched when Alex Fynn approached me almost two years ago. I’ve known Alex for years through my writing and activity in and around the football world, and we’ve collaborated before to produce One Step From Glory, the tale of Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs and the club’s remarkable run to the Champions League final in 2019.
In 1996, Alex and a mutual friend, H Davidson, wrote a book called Dream On. It was a commercial and critical success, and the authors said at the time that “In telling the story of one club, we are really telling the story of English Premier League football today.” Alex wanted to follow up on the themes in the book, drawing on the many conversations we have had over the years. I was honoured, and a little trepidatious as I wasn’t sure I could bring the deft touch H, who sadly passed away far too young some years ago, had brought to Dream On.
We wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original, so we told the story of the 2022/23 season in real time, resisting the urge to be wise after the event and revise our observations on the unfolding events of the season. There was certainly drama aplenty to cover, no more so than when Antonio Conte launched his extraordinary tirade after the draw away at Southampton in the Spring.
But we wanted to deliver more than just another match-by-match account of a season, and so the book also looks at how the Premier League has developed, the game’s relationship with TV, the changing nature of ownership and definitions of success, and the way the game treats its fans.
At the centre of the book, though, is always Tottenham Hotspur. In the introduction, we say that “Dream On reads now as a chronicle of a club losing touch with the modern world”, and much of our story is the tale of how, uniquely among the self-appointed Big Six, Spurs have failed to benefit in the same way that others have from the brand they created. That has necessitated some blunt assessment of the club’s ownership, which means you won’t be able to buy this from official outlets.
We tell the tale of how two of the most successful managers in Premier League history almost ended up managing Spurs, take a trip to the World Cup with Spurs fan extraordinaire Doug Bagley, and hear broadcaster and true Lilywhite Danny Kelly’s trenchant take on Antonio Conte. Alex provides insight into the finances and business of the modern game, while I provide the colour with a flavour of what it was like to follow the team home and away throughout the season and more of the takes on football business and culture that regular readers will be familiar with.
If you’re not a Spurs fan, we hope there will be enough to interest you in our exploration of what success means in today’s game, and what out takes to achieve it.
The book can be pre-ordered now from Hawksmoor Publishing, and ordering direct helps support authors and publishers, rather than middlemen.
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