The presenter of Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland has used his regular contact with Scottish football managers to good effect by asking
for their stories, impressions and memories of their days in the dugout.
The very existence of this book pays testament to the
domination of managers of football coverage in the media. Those of us old enough, and with sufficiently long memories,
will remember when dug outs were occupied by a trainer and a (single) substitute. Managers were more likely to occupy
a seat in the Directors' Box, keeping in reserve a dramatic and purposeful journey downstairs and along the track when things were
not going well on the field. Standing on the touch-line? No chance. They would have got their
highly polished brogues dirty on the red blaes of the running track.
The 210 page book gets off to a rollicking start, and there
are a number of truly hilarious tales of managerial mis-behaviour pitch-side. Towards the end of the book, the tales get
a bit repetitive, and the reader's interest flags a bit. Not if you are an Aberdeen fan, however. The
majority of the interviewees seem to have some form of Pittodrie connection, reflecting the author's support of the club.
are extended contributions from Craig Brown, former referee Kenny Clark (who strangely, does not recall the Duncan Ferguson head-butt
that he, alone, did not see), fellow broadcaster Chic Young, Gordon Strachan and Pat Nevin.
Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile read
and benefits greatly from being a well-written, authentic transcription of managers' words. At a time when too many football
books are a lazy regurgitation of well-known histories, it is a welcome breath of fresh air - exhaled straight from the horses' mouths.
softback, from Black & White Publishing,
29 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh,
EH6 6JL, ISBN 978-1-84502-989-0