Michael’s obvious problem, and one that faces many football writers, is lack of access to the 20 players listed here. But he makes up for this by pulling together a compendium of quotes and descriptions which, together with an engaged writing style which he also employs to great effect on his All Action, No Plot blog, makes for a pretty thorough one-stop history of some of the club’s greatest names.
The Cult Heroes title allows for some leeway when countering the inevitable arguments about any list of greats, and it’s the inclusion of players such as Cyril Knowles and David Ginola that lifts this book. That’s not to disparage the great skills of either player, but such has been the talent to turn out for Spurs over the years even they would be pushed to make a top 20. But Knowles is here because of the extraordinary affection the Spurs crowd had for him, Ginola for his work in casting light during one of the club’s grimmest periods. Such is the role of the cult hero.
What’s also nice here is the inclusion of the observations of many ordinary fans who watched these players, some original research which the author was able to do and which adds another dimension to the evaluation of these legends which is often overlooked.
This is an ideal one-stop primer for Spurs wishing to really ‘know their history’, and is a promising first book from a new Spurs author.