Knowing me, Knowing you, Saha

Louis Saha’s book is not your bog standard ex footballer text; its not packed full of boozed up shenanigans or recollections of post-training visits to Nando’s , not is it used as a tool to have the last laugh against former foes Partridge style. The former Blue reflects candidly on his upbringing, morality and modern day culture in football along with reflections on the players and key moments which have shaped his career.

Saha on his day was one of the best forwards I have seen play at Goodison. He wasn’t the explosive talent with rapid movement running deep that characterised his time at Fulham and early on at Man United. Injuries clearly took their toll on Saha’s body and by the time he rocked up at L4 he had began to modify his game and specifically his movement around the pitch but his quality and explosive finishing were still sublime. Saha was often unfairly accused of not giving 100% and this critique was perhaps more because he didn’t fit into the striker specification fans prefer of being able to run themselves into the ground even if it is the detriment of their acceleration during key moments of games.

In the book Saha talks highly of Everton and his time at the club although there is significantly more inches dedicated to his days down the M62 at Old Trafford. Perhaps the best recollection from a blue perspective is of a game between the two sides and one of Saha’s first experiences of Goodison. In it, he describes Alex Ferguson being wary of the ‘soul’ of Goodison with Tommy Gravesen being ‘an illegal pitbull biting through to the bone’ as the Toffees recovered from 0-3 down to 3-3 only for a last minute winner to clinch a dramatic win for United. There is interesting anecdotes about how Saha almost played for England and sad reflections of how he missed out on the two biggest games of his career due to suspension and injury.

There were some some aspects of the book I didn’t totally get. Whilst he talks with great respect for former boss Alex Ferguson, there is minimal coverage of his relationship with David Moyes. We can perhaps draw a correlation with his rocky relationship with former Metz coach Joel Muller – due to the physical demands Muller placed on players – with his strained relations with Moyes. The Chapter written by his wife about WAG’s wasn’t really my bag and I didn’t  buy into some of his arguments – notably his loyal / misguided defence of former colleague Carlos Tevez for his Munich no show.  In conclusion, you couldn’t deny that Saha is someone with plenty of opinions and he tackles a lot of issues in the book head on and the text is well worth a purchase for your summer holidays.

EB

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