Book Review: I Am The Secret Wag

3 Jul

article-2656060-1EB191CD00000578-265_306x478I can’t tell you how psyched I am that my girl Kelly Welles (formerly of Kickette and currently writing/editing at The Football Ramble) was able to take some time away from her World Cup viewing to give us her thoughts on I Am The Secret Wag.  She read this so you don’t have to, people (unless, of course, you really want to). IMHO, we all owe her a beer for this heroic act of  selfless sacrifice. Take it away, Kelly!

– Lozil

The Secret Wag

Ladies, if you’re hoping ‘The Secret Wag’ will walk you through the process of ensnaring and retaining the marital services of a tanned, muscular, sexually incontinent ball kicker, move along, please. There’s nothing to see here.

Indeed, the author makes it clear from the outset that behaviours known to entice such gentlemen – hanging around in their local haunts, wearing lycra, the ability to twerk effortlessly around your knock-off Chanel handbag without skidding on an olive from someone’s discarded cocktail – are reviled by those who have broken through the VIP tape and officially been accepted onto the wage bill, despite the majority using precisely those methods to edge their way in.

Your first lesson? Revisionism can work for you too.

The theory behind this increasingly popular literary phenomenon is simple. An insider writes about their ‘fabulous’ life, be it footballer, call girl, ambulance driver or drug smuggler, from behind a wall of anonymity. Because, at least in theory, no one knows who they are, they can spill the beans on the dark stuff without implicating themselves or their (presumably slightly nervous) mates.

This device has worked brilliantly for some, but unfortunately ‘The Secret Wag’ articulates its limitations perfectly. While ‘The Secret Footballer’, for example, offers a genuine insight into a much speculated about but rarely experienced lifestyle; what it feels like to run onto the pitch at a packed stadium; the impact that the relentless boredom of weekday afternoons can have on one’s mind; how bafflingly dim some players actually are, a shopping trip to Selfridges is a fairly universal experience, only differentiated by how much you’re prepared/able to slam onto your already screaming credit card.

As our protagonist advises, a footballer will, under most circumstances, be the main breadwinner and his needs are a priority. A WAG’s role is to be there for him, care for his children and move house every time he changes club and inevitably any aspirations she might have had towards a career are inevitably crushed beneath the weight of obligation.

It’s not all beaches and Balenciaga bags, but then you know that already. Don’t you?

That’s not to say ‘The Secret Wag’ is completely bereft of entertaining moments. The insight into the complex stratifications of WAG culture is fun and it’s reassuring to have it reiterated that those women suffer from the same insecurities as the rest of us, although it would be even better if they said so publicly, rather than from behind a botox infused mask.

It’s exactly what you might expect from a book entitled ‘The Secret Wag’. If that title appeals, give it a whirl, but expect to have the most fun from trying to work out who it is.

If you’ve got as sharp an eye for football trivia as you have for a bargain, you should have no trouble at all 😉

– Kelly Welles


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