Top positive review
Much maligned, but make your own mind up
on 23 July 2010
I'm not sure if the other reviewers realise but this is THE Charles Hughes and THE book which was lampooned and lambasted for the failure of English football in the early 90s when Hughes' major disciple, Graham Taylor, led England in the disastrous Euro 92 and failed World Cup 94 qualifying campaign.
Hughes is often blamed for promoting "long ball" football and not "playing the right way". Well, I've read the rule book and there ain't no points for style, you win by putting the ball in your opponent's net more often than he puts it in yours! And that indeed, is what Hughes book teaches.
It well laid out in sections covering the usual attack, defence,etc with some more detailed chapters on through balls and other specific techniques. The book is more of an analysis than a training manual and unlike other books doesn't really detail drills to be used on the training pitch, although they are easily enough extracted from the analysis.
The analysis itself is clearly presented with plenty of diagrams and photos, and also supported by in depth statistical data.
Whether you are a coach, player or spectator this is an excellent book in my opinion which will teach you a lot about the game, no matter how much you think you know already.
The fact that this book and author are much maligned owes much to the idea that football is fully formed and that new ideas are "muggy-bonehead" together with this myth of "the right way". Some of the tactics may well be out of date now but the basics are still as valid today as they have ever been.
I'm giving this 5 stars - it was a groundbreaking book. Where Hughes went wrong was that he based his analysis on the peroformances of Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the Liverpool of the late 70s and early 80s. His mistake was not in his work or conclusions but trying to apply it in England where players just lacked the skill and ability to apply the tactics.
I suppose some thing haven't changed!