REVIEW: 'Who Put the Ball in the Munich Net?'

  • December 16, 2014 | By Largehat
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Looking for a last minute Christmas stocking filler? Largehat reviews Chris Flanagan's highly acclaimed book, 'Who Put the Ball in the Munich Net?'.

'Who Put the Ball in the Munich Net?', a blow-by-blow account of Bolton Wanderers' forays into major European competition between 2005 and 2008, was clearly a labour of love for fan and author Chris Flanagan.

Painstakingly researched, it delivers not just as a record of footballing events, but also as a genuinely fascinating potted history of the clubs and regions visited by Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup during this era.

Real insight is provided into a landmark era for the club by first hand accounts from former players and club officials and by a fan who attended all eighteen games, home and away. The tone is heavy on candour and light on humour.

The writer's passion for Bolton Wanderers shines through, but I have to disagree with the way the book characterises BWFC as something of an upstart pauper dining at the Ritz.

BWFC's participation in the UEFA Cup was the culmination of a decade of continuous footballing growth, canny moves by successive managers, and sporting innovation within a club which has spent the majority of its history in the most famous and competitive league in European football. I found myself wincing after the seventh or eighth reference to 'Little Bolton'.

To be absolutely clear, though, this is an excellent read for Wanderers of all ages and at £11.99, it could come in handy as a stocking filler for the Trotter in your life.

Although lacking the 'tell-all' sensationalism which is characteristic of much contemporary sports writing, the book serves a more important purpose and provides a more enduring legacy. It can be used as a mirror which anyone associated with Bolton Wanderers can hold up to the club, now and in the future.

A mirror with which we can celebrate the past, reflect on the present, and maintain hope for the future of our famous old club.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
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