Synopses & Reviews
Soccer fans love to argue about the tactics a coach puts into play sometimes years later, they wake in the middle of the night and curse a decision Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson made in 2000 and this pioneering study traces the world history of tactics, from modern pioneers such as Johan Cruyff, Arrigo Sacchi right back to the beginning, where tactical chaos reigned. Along the way, author Jonathan Wilson, an erudite and elegant writer who never loses a sense of the grand narrative sweep, explores the lives of the great players and thinkers who shaped the game.
This brilliant work of historical detective work explains the tactical development and innovations of soccer and how geography, history, culture and politics also affected the game's development. Wilson shows how tactics spread around the world:
- How the South Americans shrugged off the 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 strikers up front; now a lone striker is not uncommon;
- How and why it was the Scots who introduced passing into the game. Why did the Scottish introduce passing into the game?
And in this new edition the first for the North American market Wilson will provide a definitive understanding of the tactical genius of Barcelona, arguably the greatest team ever, whose innovations on the field: hard pressing, the inter-movement of players, a focus on the retention of possession with close passing, and a team composed of players who grew up together, in their case through the academy at La Masia, have made it the team both to beat and emulate.
The first North American edition of the book regarded by many as the best book ever on soccer tactics.
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.
About the Author
Jonathan Wilson is the author of seven books. Inverting the Pyramid was named NSC Football Book of the Year in 2009 and won the Premio Antonio Ghirelli prize as Italian soccer book of the year in 2013. His books Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football; The Anatomy of England; and The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper were shortlisted for the NSC award in 2007, 2011, and 2013. Wilson is the founder and editor of the soccer quarterly The Blizzard, writes for the Guardian, SI.com, the National, FoxSoccer, and Sports Illustrated, and is a columnist for World Soccer. He was voted Football Writer of the Year by the Football Supporters Federation in 2012.