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Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics (2008)

de Jonathan Wilson

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7141732,603 (3.87)12
"An outstanding work ... the [soccer] book of the decade." --Sunday Business Post Inverting the Pyramid is a pioneering soccer book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe. Through Jonathan Wilson's brilliant historical detective work we learn how the South Americans shrugged off the British colonial order to add their own finesse to the game; how the Europeans harnessed individual technique and built it into a team structure; how the game once featured five forwards up front, while now a lone striker is not uncommon. Inverting the Pyramid provides a definitive understanding of the tactical genius of modern-day Barcelona, for the first time showing how their style of play developed from Dutch "Total Football," which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park in the 1870s and taken on by Tottenham Hotspur in the 1930s. Inverting the Pyramid has been called the "Big Daddy" (Zonal Marking) of soccer tactics books; it is essential for any coach, fan, player, or fantasy manager of the beautiful game… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
4.25. Lost a bit of interest in the middle but then it really clicked. ( )
  iaross | Sep 21, 2021 |
This book discusses the history of football (Am. soccer) through different cultures, following major figures and how they affected the game’s strategies. To that end, it certainly delivered what it promised, but I found it a bit lacking.

There are a lot of people discussed that I found it difficult to keep track of. Maybe in the U.S., we aren’t exposed to these people. At each evolutionary phase of the game, you have one or two significant people as the proponent of change, one or more opposing it, and any number of players on both sides of the pitch. For me, this made it a bit difficult to follow.

The book has a lot of images of the pitch of various games, identifying the players on both sides. Some of them are even diagramed suggesting strategies or tactics involved. This was a big selling point of the book for me, but the discussion never references the diagrams. It discusses the players, and you can figure out which image is involved, but it does not use the diagrams to further the discussion and understanding. Second, the diagrams are often a few pages removed from the discussion, so it requires flipping back and forth a lot. The diagrams on the different images are never referenced, so they only raise questions that are never answered.

I did not find the book particularly bad, just disappointing. If you have an interesting in football’s history, you will probably enjoy the book. Otherwise, I suspect there are better available. ( )
1 vota Nodosaurus | Aug 11, 2020 |
What a detailed thesis on the development of football strategy over the ages and regions. ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
Like it says in the tittle, this is a history of strategies and formations since the very beginning of football. Really had more detail than I could possibly have wanted about the evolution of football through every decade from the start of the twentieth century, but all this history does give you a sense of the swing of fashion backwards and forwards, overlaying an underlying trend towards pressing and greater mobility as the players become fitter, better conditioned and better prepared. Often I would not understand the explanations of changes in formation, but overall worth reading. Should re-read the last couple of chapters. ( )
1 vota Matt_B | Jul 31, 2020 |
More History and less Tactics than I was expecting. ( )
  eccol | Aug 14, 2018 |
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"An outstanding work ... the [soccer] book of the decade." --Sunday Business Post Inverting the Pyramid is a pioneering soccer book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe. Through Jonathan Wilson's brilliant historical detective work we learn how the South Americans shrugged off the British colonial order to add their own finesse to the game; how the Europeans harnessed individual technique and built it into a team structure; how the game once featured five forwards up front, while now a lone striker is not uncommon. Inverting the Pyramid provides a definitive understanding of the tactical genius of modern-day Barcelona, for the first time showing how their style of play developed from Dutch "Total Football," which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park in the 1870s and taken on by Tottenham Hotspur in the 1930s. Inverting the Pyramid has been called the "Big Daddy" (Zonal Marking) of soccer tactics books; it is essential for any coach, fan, player, or fantasy manager of the beautiful game

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