HAPPY WORLD BOOK NIGHT!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉This year is the event’s 10th anniversary! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 I’ve been on the ball (see what I did there?!) this year and read one of the chosen books. And it’s in keeping with my 2021 self-promise of more non-fiction.
You can find more out about World Book Night on their website. Quoting from the website, World Book Night, run by The Reading Agency, “brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more.” Each year a selection of books are chosen to give out to encourage people to read – here is this year’s selection.
So I chose to read James Milner’s Ask A Footballer which I already had snuggled on my kindle. And this definitely fits the theme of Books To Make You Smile.
Ever wondered what it’s REALLY like to be a Premier League footballer?
My name is James Milner and I’m not a Ribena-holic.
Let me share insights into what it’s like being a professional footballer, across my different experiences with Leeds United, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Manchester City and now Liverpool (not forgetting a six-match loan spell at Swindon). Plus my highs – and a few too many lows – playing for England.
There isn’t a current player who’s been playing Premier League football as long as I have, and that gives me a pretty rare perspective into how the top-flight game has changed over the past seventeen years.
In this book, I explain how a footballer’s working week unfolds – what we eat and how we prepare for matches technically, tactically, mentally and physically – and talk you through the ups and downs of a matchday. I reveal my penalty-taking techniques, half-time team talks and the differences between playing against Lionel Messi, Wilfried Zaha and Jimmy Bullard.
I’ve played for managers ranging from Terry Venables, Peter Reid and Sir Bobby Robson to Martin O’Neill, Fabio Capello and Jurgen Klopp. I tell you what it’s like sharing a training ground and a dressing-room with team-mates such as Lee Bowyer, Mario Balotelli and Mo Salah. I also reveal the behind-the-scenes work that went into Liverpool’s Champions League success – and the celebrations that followed.
So this isn’t an autobiography. The whole point of Ask A Footballer is that you, the fans, asked me questions and I have used my own experiences to answer them. I hope you like it, and don’t find it too boring.
What Did I Think?
Graeme Souness was quoted as saying ‘You will not win anything with a team of James Milners’; this may be so but Milner has been in the premiership for over 17 years (other than a month at Swindon on loan) which is no mean feat in this day and age so he must be doing something right. What it is, well Ask A Footballer gave me an insight into part of this Yorkshireman’s success, mentality and drive to perform at the top flight of English football.
His passion for the beautiful game leaps of the page. He’s loved football from an early age going to games at Elland Road with his dad and playing football in the school playground before joining a local team.
It’s very different to other memoirs I’ve read. But it’s not a memoir really. It’s like a Q&A session, smattered with anecdotes. The little recollections jump around Milner’s career (which isn’t over yet). The story about him sharing with Robertson in Evian and the sleep talk recording app made me giggle. I really liked the chapter when Jordan Henderson asks the questions – they’re slightly less random than those fans have asked as Hendo knows Milner.
As it was published late 2019, he doesn’t cover off the past 12 months, playing behind closed doors, winning the league, his rather entertaining Insta posts during Lockdown #1. This is a fascinating (and definitely not boring) insight into the life of a premier league footballer. This entertaining read would appeal to any football fan or sports fan.
Who Is James Milner?
James Milner has played in the Premier League for almost 17 years now, for Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool. He scored his first goal for Leeds United aged just 16 years and 309 days – a then record. Now 33, he has scored 55 Premiership goals, has more assists than David Beckham and has 61 caps for England.
He is regarded as a modern era legend by most football fans, and Jurgen Klopp calls him Millie.