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Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics Paperback – November 5, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,146 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There are books about soccer teams and soccer men, soccer nations, the culture of soccer, the business of soccer, and fans of the game. But rarest of all are really cracking books that explore the way the game is played. (And, no, we’re not talking about manuals that show you how to kick the ball.) Wilson, a respected journalist with a half-dozen books to his name, has produced a landmark work that explains what happens on the field and why. Beginning with the earliest days of soccer, he charts first the adoption of rules, then tactics, and the evolution of tactics, with profiles and mentions of the geniuses (Viktor Maslov) and dunderheads (Wing Commander Charles Reep) who stamped their marks on the game. National character plays a role, of course, with chapters devoted to the blood-and-thunder English (“The English Pragmatism”), the defensive-minded Italians (“Catenaccio”), and the share-and-share-alike Dutch (“Total Football”). While a remarkable work of sports scholarship, this isn’t for casual fans, and those who don’t know their 4-4-2 from their 4-2-3-1 will definitely require a less challenging book. --Keir Graff

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson is the author of eight books, including Inverting the Pyramid, which 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, 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.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bold Type Books; 1st edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 464 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1568587384
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1568587387
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.25 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,146 ratings

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Jonathan Wilson is the editor of the Blizzard and a freelance writer for the Guardian, World Soccer and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of eleven books, including 'Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics', 'Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe', 'Angels with Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina', 'The Barcelona Legacy' and 'The Names Heard Long Ago'.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,146 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Michael Pieri
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant. As a fan of Mr Wilson's writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2018
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Juri G
5.0 out of 5 stars Super !!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2016
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Jape
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, fascinating book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2015
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David Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on the History of Football Tactics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2020
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Ian Thumwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Football as science
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2012
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