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Can We Not Knock It? A celebration of 90s football By Sid Lambert & Chris Scull

Release date: 15th December, 2021
Publisher: Conker Editions

List Price: 15.00
Our Price: 13.80
You Save: 1.2 (7%)
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Hats off to Conker Editions, the Leicester-based publisher, for the latest addition to the company?s impressive football book portfolio, Can We Not Knock It?

?Was football better in the 90s?? ask the book?s authors in their introduction, answering immediately with a resounding ?no?. Undeterred, the duo pose another question, the tone and content of which probably persuaded them to write Can We Not Knock It: ?Was football more fun in the 90s?? they ask, to which the response is ?Unquestionably, yes.? After reading CWNKI, it?s difficult to disagree.

We open with the wonderful tale of Ali Dia, a ?Senegalese international? who, in 1996, called Graeme Souness, then Southampton?s manager, and pretended to be George Weah recommending a player (himself) perfectly suited to the Saints? style of play. Incredibly, following a very short trial and a series of injuries, Souness brought the ?Senegalese star? off the bench to replace an injured Matt Le Tissier in a Premier League fixture. Ali?s top flight career lasted just 53 minutes before everyone realised he wasn?t actually that good?.

Remember Jimmy ?Five Bellies? Gardner, Paul Gascoigne?s best mate? Only a best mate could get you to eat a mince pie filled with something other than mince [Enough said: Ed].

Or relive that moment in April 1996 when Newcastle moved to within six points of Manchester United after they defeated Leeds United 1-0. Sky?s post-match interview with Toon manager Kevin Keegan assumed celebrated status as an emotional KK said, ?I?ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.? Sadly, for legions of ABU followers, Newcastle came up short.

Messrs Lambert and Scull also remind us that despite a phenomenal goals-per-game ratio, Robbie Fowler hadn?t been on the winning side against Everton until he notched a brace in the 1999 Merseyside derby and Liverpool won 3-2. Fowler celebrated by dropping to his knees and pretended to snort the white goal-line in front of thousands of Evertonians. Harmless fun? The FA didn?t think so and fined Fowler ?32,000.

Not only does CWNKI have you wallowing in memories from more than twenty years ago, the book?s fantastic ?Great Own Goals? section prompted your reviewer to search for ?Iain Dowie own goal? on You Tube. In it, we see the West Ham striker bury the ball with a bullet header, ensuring Stockport drew level in the pair?s League Cup tie. It?s such a good header, you end up watching it dozens of times.

There?s loads more where that came from: World Cup wallcharts, Jurgen Klinsmann, El Tel, Cantona and his seagulls. Treat yourself and buy it.

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