Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

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Orion, Apr 22, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 384 pages
8 Reviews

In INVERTING THE PYRAMID, Jonathan Wilson pulls apart the finer details of the world's game, tracing the global history of tactics, from modern pioneers right back to the beginning when chaos reigned. Along the way, he looks at the lives of great players and thinkers who shaped the sport and probes why the English, in particular, have 'proved themselves unwilling to grapple with the abstract'.

This fifth-anniversary edition of a football modern classic has been fully updated to include an investigation of the modern-day Barcelona and how their style of play developed from Total Football, which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park and taken on by Tottenham in the 1930s. It also analyses different styles in the early British game and the changing mentality of South American football in the 1970s, as well as looking at the birth of the 3-5-2 system so prevalent today.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jackdeighton - LibraryThing

This book does exactly what it sets out to, describing the evolution of football tactics from their formless beginnings when everybody on the pitch, apart from the goalkeeper, dribbled towards the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

This book traces this history of tactics, formations and styles over 100 years of soccer. The title refers to the general trend toward defensive play moving players from the top of the formation to ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Jonathan Wilson is the football correspondent for the FINANCIAL TIMES, and writes for the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH and GUARDIAN ONLINE. His work has appeared in the INDEPENDENT, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, FOURFOURTWO and WHEN SATURDAY COMES.

He is the critically acclaimed author of a series of sports titles, including INVERTING THE PYRAMID: A HISTORY OF FOOTBALL TACTICS, which won a NATIONAL SPORTING CLUB AWARD and was shortlisted for the WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR.

Follow Jonathan Wilson on Twitter at

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