Book review: Red on Red

Red on Red

Phil McNulty and Jim White

HarperCollins UK

Review: Phiri Cawe

What football can do in one’s mind and heart looks easy but it has deeper layers.

The battle on the field and sidelines has always been intense. But this is what you expect when the word “rivalry” is mentioned.

Red on Red by Phil McNulty and Jim White has all the answers one has about the two biggest rivals, Liverpool and Manchester United.

As both a soccer follower and a Liverpool fan, not once did I find the book biased.

There are great characters like the fans themselves, former coaches Sir Alex Ferguson, “King” Kenny Dalglish, and the former captains of Steven Gerrard, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher who even today are adding spice to the rivalry.

The two teams and their fans dislike each other and there is no beating about the bush about that.

The banter goes to the point where no one wants to lose to the other.

But for years Liverpool dominated until Sir Alex Ferguson took over Man U and things changed for the better. The book goes deeper in those years of change and the hatred that started growing between the two big teams.

The “Fergie times” were the greatest times in Manchester and the book does well to illustrate why this is.

If one has never read any book on the two sides or wants to know why such rivalry exists, this book will be revealing.

I found it interesting and insightful.

What I enjoyed a lot was when the rivalry off the pitch was at its most intense.

There are more untold stories about the two teams.

Titles such as “It’s like Vietnam out there” gives one the idea of how fans of both teams hate each other. Hooliganism was at its peak.

But it is the silverware that defines both teams. I would recommend this book to any United or Liverpool fan looking for a nostalgic and insightful look into the battle of England’s two greatest clubs.