Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics: A History of Football Tactics Hardcover – 26 Jun 2008
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A masterful work, It's all deliciously nerdy - a cross between a coaching manual and a social history - and if its publication helps foster a flowering of interest in the tactical and analytical side of the game in this country, it could be the best thing to have happened to English football in years.**** (TIME OUT - book of the week)
Facts and stats, plus anecdotes, interviews and Wilson's deft touch with football-speak, give colour to a subject that can be a little dry and all-too confusing for those watching (and often those picking the side). (CQ)
For a detailed analysis of how a single striker became the norm throughout football, you had better read Jonathan Wilson's excellent new book about tactics. (Patrick Barclay SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
[A] fascinating history of tactics, a book that is guaranteed to enhance your football watching; your team may still lose, but you'll have a far better idea why they did. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
This must surely go down as one of the most revelatory sports books of the year, as well as one of the best, who would have thought that a book charting the history of football tactics and strategy, from the 1870s to the present day, could be so engrossing and entertaining. (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
Absorbing and informative (GUARDIAN ON LINE)
A gloriously readable, eccentric and informative trawl through the changing tactical mindsets and formations that have helped shape the beautiful game. (METRO)
You will never read a more entertaining or erudite history of tactics (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH-CHRISTMAS BOOKS)
This is a masterful piece of research and lives up to the claim to be nothing less than "a history of football tactics"... Facinating (SCOTSMAN -Books of the Year)
a fascinating analysis of the way the game has evolved tactically from the 1970s until the last season... as a summary of the first 140 years of football tactical history, it is hard to imagine a more readable or thorough effort. (IRISH EXAMINER)
'A masterful work, It's all deliciously nerdy - a cross between a coaching manual and a social history - and if its publication helps foster a flowering of interest in the tactical and analytical side of the game in this country, it could be the best thing to have happened to English football in years.****' (TIME OUT - Book of the Week)
Facts and stats, plus anecdotes, interviews and Wilson's deft touch with football-speak, give colour to a subject that can be a little dry and all-too confusing for those watching (and often those picking the side). (GQ)
Absorbing and informative (GUARDIAN ON-LINE)
You will never read a more entertaining or erudite history of tactics (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Christmas Books)
This is a masterful piece of research and lives up to the claim to be nothing less than "a history of football tactics"... Facinating (SCOTSMAN - Books of the Year)
First-ever comprehensive global history of football tactics by the highly acclaimed sports writer Jonathan WilsonSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The best part is, it looks like a dry technical textbook.. but it's actually madly passionate about the game, the characters, the colour, the place of football in wider-culture and the national identity.
His analysis of Croatia v England during the qualifiers for Euro08 is deeply cathartic; explaining specifically and simply how we were so effectively carved up. I was also amazed by the evidence showing that England's football character hasn't changed in 100-odd years - from the start the game here was about passion and workrate over technique and skill (this is only just starting to change). And by his explanation of how the game spread around the world via trade routes. And by his observation that Real Madrid are habitually the whipping boys of whichever club is the new force in Europe (Benfica, Ajax, AC Milan..) - so hello Liverpool. I was surprised by the heat and violence of the Argentine game, and the bewildering decay of Uruguay and Hungary. And Roy Hodgson, what a bloke!
The one thing I thought is missing from the book is an in-depth analysis of Wenger at Arsenal and the shake-up he's given the UK game, though now I've reached the end I suspect he would say that, as beautiful as they can be to watch, there's nothing new tactically (they're basically a traditional 4-4-2..)
Oh and some technical insight into the great Lampard-Gerrard paradox.
Wilson's research and grasp of his subject is truly staggering. He works methodically, chronologically and geographically through a world history of football, meticulously charting the evolution of every tactical formation. In so doing he uncovers national characteristics of the game that are startlingly enduring. The English, it transpires, have distrusted possession football and the deployment of skill over endeavour since their first opponents were unmanly enough to start passing the ball rather than merely charging blindly down the pitch. The Brazilians were happy enough if the game was beautiful: scoring came second. The Argentinians always knew how to play the man first and the ball second. The Russians treated football like an expression of scientific socialism.
And along the way Wilson explains and tracks all the famous ingredients of the football formation: catenaccio, the libero, the sweeper, the playmaker, the wingback.
Initially his thoroughness and knowledge feel like a refreshing release from the empty cliches of everyday football punditry. But after a while it feels as if he is playing the possession game - showing us he holds all the facts, and that he's going to use them to grind out a result. What the book lacks is a thesis. One longs for a rhetorical flourish; for a position; for the book to seem to have a goal. Instead we get every last thing Wilson researched including every anecdote, relevant or not, and every character, colouful and otherwise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
little hard to read at times and formations diagrams go against what Mr Wilson describes elsewhere in book. Overall very good however.Published 1 month ago by email@example.com
I learnt so much about football tactics that I had never even considered before. If you have an interest in football and want to gain a better appreciation for it, you really ought... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stuart Leyland
Fascinating book. Packed with anecdotes and stories, about the many and wonderful characters that have contributed to the thinking in the beautiful game.Published 2 months ago by I. DAVIS
Very good read - doesn't go off on tangents. Well worth the read if your interested in football tactics.Published 2 months ago by Lilypop
A must read for football historians and tactic geeks. Inverting the Pyramid takes us through the evolution of football tactics in a very compelling way - a very difficult... Read morePublished 2 months ago by H Raz
If you are a football fan you should read this book. You will become far more informed and knowledgable regarding the history of the game and how and why teams play a certain way. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew
Essential reading if you want to have a clu what's going on in football. One of the best read ever.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer