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Sunderland: A Club Transformed

Jonathan Wilson

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Prose: non-fiction, Sports & outdoor recreation, Football (Soccer, Association football)

The revealing behind the scenes account of Sunderland's meteoric rise through the Championship to win the title under Roy Keane

After just a handful of games this season Sunderland were looking early favourites for the drop into League One, despite the arrival of the 'returning messiah' Niall Quinn, who headed up the consortium that had just bought the club. When he took the decision to appoint Roy Keane as manager, most predicted a storm. Instead, out went half the first team, and Sunderland went on to lift the Championship and head off into the 'promised land' of the Premiership.

Wilson tells the story not only of Sunderland's astonishing turnround, but also the transformation of their manager. As a player Keane was notoriously critical of shortcomings in his team-mates. Yet as a manager, he has inspired his side and seems a natural in the role, thanks to his razor sharp wit and insight.

In the course of covering the Championship for the Independent and Independent on Sunday, Jonathan Wilson (himself a Mackem) has followed Sunderland's rise closely. Here he not only probes behind the scenes at The Stadium of Light, and brings an in-depth analysis to the club's achievement, he also celebrates one of the most remarkable seasons in the club's history. It is a football story as dramatic as any of recent years.

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Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid won the National Sporting Club Book of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. His other books include Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football; Sunderland: A Club Transformed; The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches; Nobody Ever Says Thank You, a critically acclaimed biography of Brian Clough; The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper; The Anatomy of Liverpool; Angels with Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina; and The Anatomy of Manchester United. He writes for the Guardian, Sports Illustrated and World Soccer, and he is the editor of The Blizzard.

Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jonawils

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