2nd out of 148 books — 102 voters
Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics
For soccer fans, following, discussing, and arguing about the tactics a manager puts into play are part of what makes the sport so appealing. This fascinating study traces the history of soccer tactics back from such modern pioneers as Rinus Michels, Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Catenaccio, and Herbert Chapman. Along the way, author Jonathan Wilson, an erudite and detailed writer...more
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Orion
(first published June 26th 2008)
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(showing 1-5 of 500)
One of the best, if not *the* best, soccer books I have ever read. It approaches the history of soccer through a series of tactical innovations in the game. If, like me, you grew up thinking the English 4-4-2 is soccer the way God intended it and had been played since time immemorial, this will be a real eye-opener. The title refers to the fact that, for much of the history of soccer, their has been a trend from purely attacking football (2-3-5) to more defensive, possession-oriented play (e.g....more
Jan 14, 2013 Abhinav rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Summary: For soccer fans, following, discussing, and arguing about the tactics a manager puts into play are part of what makes the sport so appealing. This fascinating study traces the history of soccer tactics back from such modern pioneers as Rinus Michels, Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Catenaccio, and Herbert Chapman. Along the way, author Jonathan Wilson, an erudite and detailed writer who never loses a sense of the grand narrative sweep, takes a look at the lives of the great players and thinkers wh...more
This book is admirable for its erudition and its focus on the evolution of tactics from the playing fields of nineteenth century public schools to the present. One really must admire a British specialist who digs into the entire global picture of football and comes up with a relatively comprehensible narrative out of what must have been reams of club histories and match reports that probably contain very little of the information the author seeks. It is readable, informative and occasionally fun...more
A monumental achievement when you consider the far-flung number of sources that Wilson had to weave into a seamless narrative. I was hoping to learn more about tactics to help me improve in Football Manager, the fact that I didn't get that is probably my fault. I did learn a lot about the history behind the tactics, which is just as important. This book is a smooth blend of both, Inverting the Pyramid traces the evolution of tactics from the late 19th century to the tika-taka of Barca. Profiling...more
Nice overview of the history of football (soccer) tactics. The book tracks down the major ideas that changed the way the game is played, starting with the idea of actually having tactics (late 19th century) to the 2000s. I thought it was an interesting "intellectual history" narrative, where ideas can only be tested on the field, with large effects from uncontrolled factors and luck. In terms of watching games today, the book helps you appreciate the origins of the stylistic differences in some...more
Jonathan Wilson (born in Sunderland) is a British sports journalist and author who writes for a number of publications including the Guardian, the Independent and Sports Illustrated. He also appears on the Guardian football podcast, Football Weekly.More about Jonathan Wilson...