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The profound stupidity of football

A brilliant new book lays bare the idiocies of the beautiful game

By David Goldblatt   October 2009

Why England Lose and Other Curious Football Phenomena Explained By Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski (Harper Collins, £15.99)

“Anyone who spends any time inside football soon discovers that just as oil is part of the oil business, stupidity is part of the football business.” Well, football may not spend billions of pounds actively seeking out stupidity, piping, refining and selling it, but as Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski demonstrate over and over again in Why England Lose, it is certainly swimming in the stuff.

For starters, take the case of the striker Nicolas Anelka, whom Real Madrid purchased from Arsenal…

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