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on 29 October 2013
While I think this book has some wisdom to offer, I find it a bit dated and a bit old school. I've found the coaching the coach series better suited to my needs.
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VINE VOICEon 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 Some of the tactics may well be out of date now but the basics are still as valid today as they have ever been.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!
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on 17 February 1999
For someone like me who has never been coached in football, I was faced with a problem - How could I coach my son in the basic skills of football when I didn't know what they were.
This book provided the answers.
Using it I could devise games to play with my son which were good fun AND taught him the basic skills.
My only reservations about the book were that the tactics covered in it (a friends who knows about football coaching advises me) are out dated. I.e. it covers only the long ball game, the so called Route 1 technique.
On the whole this book solved my problem.My son and I had fun reading it and putting it into practise.
6 people found this helpful
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on 16 June 1999
This is the football associations offical book and it is easy to see why. The skills and tactics in this book are clearly explained and have been devised over a number of years. There are hundreds of diagrams illustrating how practices should be organised, along with key factors to look for in all skills. The book is very old as the photos clearly show, and the author has a reputation for long ball football. However the book is more concerned with direct football and the basic skills all players need.
Excellent value for money , I have one other book , that I thought was worth the money , but page for page, this book is superb.
11 people found this helpful
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on 1 January 2005
This book was bought for me as a present when I was a teenager and my intial thought was what do I want with this book? However when I started coaching in my early twenties this book proved invaluable in helping me pass my FA coaching license. Hughes breaks down the key factors of basic techniques (passing, heading, turning, dribbling, shooting etc.) and of basic tactics (defending, creating space, movement off the ball etc.)In terms of helping you know what to coach you won't find a better guide. However if you are looking for this book to teach you how to put on a coaching session you will be disappointed. Also it is based around Hughes flawed study that states the majority of goals (85%) come from 5 passes or less. This becomes his foundation for why teams should play direct football or what is commonly known when England tumble out of major competitions because we can't keep possession as the 'English Disease'
Take away this daft and dated concept though and you have yourself a valuable coaches handbook
5 people found this helpful
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on 26 September 2011
So much useful information in here to develop good technique and skills. Descriptions of drills and techniques are all well written and easily to follow with text and pictures.
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