I want to be like Jürgen Klopp, written by Oscar Oberg, is a collection of forty essays that all focus on the European-based sport of football. Riddled with grammatical errors and underdeveloped thoughts, it has an episodic feel and lacks a holistic purpose. Each essay is extremely short and sometimes offers just the briefest hint of originality. Sections are finished abruptly without the minimum amount of necessary expansion required to complete a thought, and perhaps connect it to a larger meaning. Some of his essays revolve around rudimentary personal observations, but others contain flashes of true insight. Regardless of the quality, each brief topic appears to exist within a vacuum.
This book is meant for fans of European football. There are often and specific references to players, teams, and instances that are sure to speak to those who intimately follow the sport. However Oberg’s essays and thoughts, to a degree, are able to reach those who are interested in any team-based sport. Interspersed with longer essays are passages titled “Hypothetically”. These segments are truly whimsical and pleasurable, and bring the reader into the text by asking specific “what if” questions. Fans of hockey, baseball, basketball, or even American football will be able to sympathize and ponder Oberg’s musings, even if some of the finer details are beyond their grasp.
Oberg’s familiar and informal way of writing mirrors the unsatisfying organization of the book. While sometimes charming and endearing, his turn of phrase often descends into grammatical errors and stream-of-consciousness writing. This, unfortunately, makes many passages difficult to read.
If this book has a central focus, then it is that of the professional and personal life philosophies of famous football coach Jürgen Klopp. Although only alluded to in the title and the very last essay, this theme is a strong one and would do the book well to be developed more and distributed throughout the entire book. Oberg does his best work when writing about Klopp, and it is in such passages that the writer’s deep true feelings about football, and life in general, are exposed.
Melanie Cutietta loves to read and loves to be outside. Ironically, however, she does not like to read while outside, as it is never as comfortable as she thinks it will be. She currently lives in Huron, Ohio and works in the library at Oberlin College and Conservatory while simultaneously working on her Masters degree in Library and Information Science through San Jose State University. Aside from reading she is passionate about conservation and loves to hike, ski and listen to the sounds of nature. Other interests of hers include archaeology, music, fitness and all things concerning Disney theme parks.
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