James's Reviews > Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan  Wilson
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Jan 07, 14

it was amazing
Read in April, 2010

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. 1-4-4-1 or 4-5-1). There's much more to it than that, of course.

Of particular contemporary note is the emergence of "pressing" (or "pressurizing, here in the States) as an important tactic. Barcelona's recent successes in both the Champions' League and La Liga can be attributed, in large part, to this tactic, one that doesn't really emerge, according to Wilson, until AC Milan's European Cup winning sides of the late 80s/early 90s.

Also fascinating is his treatment of English soccer. While he doesn't privilege it the way I might, he emphasises how influential the English game has been while, at the same time, being among the most retrograde styles. As a Fulham supporter, I was also amazed to see Roy Hodgson mentioned as a prime mover in the development of Scandinavian football. (Of course, after what he's done for my team, I'm in favour of having him canonised.)

I can't recommend this book highly enough for any reflective fan of soccer/football. You'll be saddened when you get to the coverage of Morinho's 4-5-1 at Chelsea, because you'll know you are up to today.
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01/07/2014 marked as: read

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message 1: by Abubakar (new) - added it

Abubakar Abdulrahman Do you know where can i appload this book from ?

Thanks


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