The Sweeper: Read Of The Week

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The Independent Online
SOUNESS - THE MANAGEMENT YEARS by Graeme Souness with Mike Ellis (Andre Deutsch, hardback, pounds 17.99).

THIS FRAGMENT of an autobiography focuses on Souness' turbulent career managing, with varying degrees of success, in Scotland, England, Turkey, Italy and Portugal. An unlikely candidate for victimhood, he nevertheless portrays himself as a largely misunderstood man whose intentions were always honourable. Moreover, he seems to believe sincerely that his fall from grace at Liverpool owed more to a lack of patience and unrealistic ambitions rather than his own failings in the transfer market and his disastrous relationship with The Sun.

Among the gossip and revelations there are some genuinely moving moments as he describes his reactions to the diagnosis that he was suffering from a life-threatening heart condition. He emerges from the operating room as a more rounded person with a much better perspective on life. If you don't care for the man, you won't much care for his lack of humility, but this compelling account succeeds in revealing Souness's singular obsession with the game.

Courtesy of Sportspages bookshops, 94-96 Charing Cross Road, London (0171 240 9604); & St Ann's Square, Manchester (0161 832 8530). www.sportspages.co.uk

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