Leading article: Booked

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The Independent Online

Leading football figures have revealed their literary tastes to the National Museum of Football, which is game of them, given that their possession of culture is generally held to be confined to their right, or very occasionally left, foot.

And it's true that McNab, Forsyth and Archer all get the nod; I suspect, too, that trying to understand what on earth Dan Brown is on about didn't help Mick McCarthy keep his job at Sunderland. The expected motivational works are also picked; even so, the Preston manager, Billy Davies, must be commended for selecting Sacred Hoops, by Phil Jackson, the Chicago Bulls' coach, who confides: "Not only is there more to life than basketball, there's a lot more to basketball than basketball."

But there's a good literary joke from Wayne Rooney, boy wonder, who chooses Harry Potter. And three top managers come up with a fine trio: The Old Man and the Sea, Animal Farm and Treasure Island, from David Moyes of Everton, Martin Jol of Tottenham, and Sir Alex Ferguson respectively.

Jol is clearly able to transfer Hemingway's view of the sea to soccer: "She is kind and very beautiful. But she can be so cruel ..." Sir Alex surely reveals why he has always been keen on two-footed players, and gives a clue to the source of the game's liking for parrot metaphors. Everton supporters, however, might not appreciate a book with a carthorse as its hero.

Much to commend, then, although Jose Mourinho surprised me by picking the Bible, as this would seem to acknowledge a higher authority. But then I discovered what his manual of commandments and tactical diagrams is called. And now back to you, Gary.

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