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Living on the Volcano The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager by Michael Calvin
  

Living on the Volcano The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager

Sport from the Armchair   Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   
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Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2015.

Living on the Volcano charts the progress of more than 20 managers, in different circumstances and in different phases of their career. Some, like Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, are at the peak of their profession. Others, like Chris Hughton, Brian McDermott and Gary Waddock, have been sacked, and are seeking a way back into the game. They offer a unique insight into a trade which is prone to superficial judgement and savage swings in fortune. Management requires ruthlessness and empathy, idealism and cunning. Stories overlap, experiences intermingle, and myths are exposed.

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Synopsis

Living on the Volcano The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager by Michael Calvin

A man punches the wall in a strategic show of anger. Another complains he has become a stranger to those he loves. A third relies on my three a day: coffee, Nurofen and a bottle of wine. Yet another admits he is an oddity, who would prefer to be working in cricket. A fifth describes his professional life as a circus . These are football managers, live and uncut. Arsene Wenger likens the job to living on a volcano: any day may be your last . He speaks with the authority of being the longest serving manager in the English game, having been at Arsenal for 17 years. The average lifespan of a Football League manager is 17 months. Fifty three managers, across all four Divisions, were sacked, or resigned, in the 2012-13 season. There were fifty seven managerial changes in the 2013-14 season. What makes these men tick? They are familiar figures, who rarely offer anything more than a glimpse into their personal and professional lives. What shapes them? How and why do they do their job? Award-winning writer Michael Calvin provides the answers. Insecurity is a unifying factor, but managers at different levels face different sets of problems. Depending on their status, they are dealing with multi-millionaires, or mortgage slaves.

Reviews

'Arguably the greatest asset of Michael Calvin's previous, award-winning book The Nowhere Men was its human insight into a shadowy, under-appreciated world. The trials and tribulations of scouting were vividly portrayed through interviews with figures unaccustomed to the limelight... What Living on the Volcano does so brilliantly, is pick up the recurring threads. The 'band of brothers mentality that emerges is built on a mutual world of uncertainty, frustration, and 'recurrent rejection and renewal'. Each chapter is cleverly connected to the next to reflect the fluid nature of the managerial merry-go-round... As a series of individual portraits, Living on the Volcano may seem like a book to dip in and out of. However, in doing so, there's a danger of missing the power of the overall narrative. Bookended by former Torquay manager Martin Ling's emotional story, this is a book about people and what it takes to do their intoxicating and exhausting job. Just as with The Nowhere Men, Calvin gets to the personal core of an impersonal industry' Of Pitch and Page

'The honesty in Living on the Volcano suggests that in an era of anodyne press conferences where so many managers speak a lot while saying little, giving fans an occasional glimpse of these feelings might be no bad thing' The Guardian

'Calvin's book takes us into many enthralling areas. It is especially strong on the nuts and bolts of ambition. And how ambition often sits uneasily alongside dreams... superb Irish Examiner an illuminating new book...vivid journey on what it is really is to be a football manager' Independent

About the Author

Michael Calvin is one of the UK's most versatile sportswriters, having worked in more than 80 countries, covering seven summer Olympics, and six World Cup finals. He was named Sportswriter of the Year for his despatches as a crew member in a round the world yacht race, and has twice been named Sports Reporter of the Year. He is currently chief sports writer with the Independent on Sunday, and has held similar positions at the Daily Telegraph, Times and Mail on Sunday. His last book, Family: Life Death and Football, was shortlisted in the 2011 Sports Book Awards. It was a critically-acclaimed study of a season embedded at Millwall, one of English football's most notorious clubs.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th August 2015

Author

Michael Calvin

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    recommendations

Publisher

Century an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback
448 pages

Categories

Sport from the Armchair
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners

Football (Soccer, Association football)
Sports management & facilities

ISBN

9781780893273

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