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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: "Das Reboot" by Raphael Honigstein

Image credit: Nation Books.

Rafael Honigstein details the renaissance of German football in an enlightening and informative presentation.

Discussion Items:

1. Organized Format
2. Writing Style
3. Klinsmann's Role
4. A Few Notable Quotes
5. Conclusion
6. About the Author

"Germans would regard anything short of a heroic final by hosts, and favorites, Brazil as an inexcusable failure by Löw (Joachim) to do justice to this golden generation. And yet they weren't at all convinced that this team and their coach had what it took to bring an end to eighteen years of hurt since the last trophy, the 1996 European Championship. Surprisingly, one well-placed expert seemed to agree.

'It's almost impossible for a European team to win in Brazil, the South Americans are basically one step ahead,' (Oliver) Bierhoff had said in March."

--- Raphael Honigstein, author of "Das Reboot," quoted on page 5, published by Nation Books in October 2015 with a list price of US $17.99.

Eighteen years without a European Nations Cup (Euro) or a World Cup win would be the same as decades for any other program. Few experts, or the rest of us, gave the Germans any chance of raising the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Yet they did so in convincing fashion to place the fourth star on their famous shirts.

In this incredibly detailed and researched book, Raphael Honigstein chronicles the reasons behind a German football renaissance that was capped off by a humiliation of Brazil and eventual extra time victory over Argentina.

Let's take a look at the contents of this intriguing book.

1. Organized Format

There were 19 chapters which were mostly spread out in an equal fashion for consistency. The length of this book was 274 pages before the author's acknowledgments. There was one negative feature in my opinion: A lack of a detailed index was not included in my review copy.

2. Writing Style

Honigstein is a veteran football journalist who communicates in a detailed and informative style. Interviews with leading figures in German football (Oliver Bierhoff, Philipp Lahm, Jürgen Klinsmann, Thomas Müller and Ralf Rangnick to name a few) added significant credibility to this project and made the book an even more compelling read. The author also went to great lengths to educate his readers which will be of special import for those without knowledge of the German football model and/or philosophies.

3. A Detailed Look at Jürgen Klinsmann's Role

Image credit:
Old School Panini.

There has been much speculation about Jürgen Klinsmann's exact management role and influence in the renaissance of German football. Specifically, how he managed the Nationalmannschaft (German national team) remotely from California while still a Vice President at a US consulting company, SoccerSolutions. The author went to California to quote Klinsmann directly on a variety of topics. This editorial decision added much hitherto unseen information about Klinsmann's key contributions during a make-or-break juncture in the German program.

4. A Few Notable Quotes

Image credit: Nation Books.
Jurgen Klinsmann quoted on page 50 
about Criticism. 

Image credit: Nation Books.
Sami Khedira quoted 
on page 64 about Multiculturalism.

Image credit: Nation Books.
Uli Hoeness quoted on page 134 about Youth Development and how 
the 2006 World Cup changed the perspective of football in German society.
Image credit: Nation Books.
Jürgen Klopp quoted on page 177 about learning Wolfgang Frank's
zonal marking system at Mainz in 1995.
Image credit: Nation Books.
Joachim Löw to Mario Götze quoted on page 266 during the World Cup final versus Argentina.

5. Conclusion

Raphael Honigstein has presented a seminal work on the renaissance of German football from youth development, tactical evolution, coaching techniques, training pitch enhancements, technological innovations to the bottom line in the boardroom. Das Reboot will make a welcome addition to your world football library and increase your knowledge base of German football. In a word, wunderbar.

Please Note:

I have received a complementary review copy of this book from a representative of the publisher, Nation Books. I was not financially compensated by the author, publisher or any party who would benefit from a positive review.

6. About the Author

Image credit and
text courtesy of
Nation Books.

Raphael Honigstein is the top expert on German soccer. He is a columnist for the Guardian and ESPN, writes for Süddeutsche Zeitung and Sport 1 in Germany and appears as a pundit for BT Sport and ESPN as well as Sky Sports in Germany. He is also a regular fixture on the Guardian's award-winning podcast, Football Weekly. Born in Bavaria, he lives in London.

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Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015.

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