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The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, from Route One to False Nines Hardcover – 1 Jun 2017
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‘Thanks to his meticulous research and his focus on strategy, Mr Cox finds a fresh perspective on a story that football fans will think they already knew’ – The Economist
‘The Mixer, by Michael Cox is a very unusual football writer in that he specialises in the game as it’s actually played, rather than the gossip or folklore around it. The Mixer is a tactical history of the English Premier League, with telling anecdotes on every page. It’s deeply informed and a pleasure to read.’ – Financial Times
‘If you’re in mourning that the footie season is over, this is for you. Delving deep into the beautiful game, it’s a look back at how the sport has changed over the years. Nostalgia will hit as you’ll remember iconic matches, too’ – The Sun
‘Intelligently written. Impressively researched. Fascinatingly addictive. Michael Cox is like a cartographer, remapping the landscape of the Premier League so we see the contours of it afresh. That’s some feat.’
– Duncan Hamilton, two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year
‘Michael Cox provides brilliant tactical context to our favourite moments of Premier League nostalgia.
The Mixer is as entertaining as a Wanchope dribble, with the authority of a Shearer finish and the panache of a Cantona celebration. And you may even learn to love Tony Pulis a little bit.’ – Ben Lyttleton, author of Twelve Yards: The Art & Psychology of the Perfect Penalty
‘This is more than the impeccably researched and authoritative account of the English game’s tactical evolution over the last quarter of a century you’d expect from a master of the genre. It is also packed with anecdotes and stories – some familiar, others far less so, a number of them hilarious – which give it flesh and ensure this book will be revisited many times, not just by those looking for imaginative and sometimes profound analysis, but by any football fan who enjoys a good tale well told.’ – Philippe Auclair, author of Cantona: The Rebel Who Would be King
About the Author
Michael Cox is one of the most respected football journalists working today and he has made his name through writing highly entertaining in-depth tactical analysis. He is the editor of Zonal Marking, a football blog dedicated to tactics, and writes regularly for the Guardian and ESPN. The Mixer is his first book.
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The chapters on Man United's triumphs are a highlight (and I'm not a United fan), as is the Jose/Rafa rivalry section. The Leicester title winner season is beautifully described, and everything wraps itself up so well at the end.
Looking forward to Michael's next book already.
But then the writer's style began to grate; it almost seemed towards the end as if the editor had fallen asleep. You will not find the tight editing of a Jonathan Wilson here, sadly, but rather repeated occasions of players being credited for their 'footballing intelligence', an over-reliance on the words 'wonderful' and 'bonkers', and clangers such as 'he took advantage of his height advantage.'
Shame really, because Cox is delightfully insightful, and his criticisms of the way teams played - and how their line-ups and tactics were misunderstood by the majority of fans - proved particularly eye-opening.
Previously to this book I’ve only really read fantasy novels, Harry Potter series, lord of the rings and a song of ice and fire. So I’m not much of a reader, I’ve always had a love of football but I’ve never actually read any books about it. I heard about this book on a football podcast I was listening to a while ago and once I started reading it, I found I couldn’t put it down, it took me about 3 weeks to read from cover to cover, it probably shouldn’t take that long if you read a lot but I don’t and I’m a slow reader. But I was forever finding excuses to read it anywhere I could, it is thoroughly interesting and I was glued to the insight of the history of the premier league and will thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who even has a passing interest in football! A great buy
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