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Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2018 Jonathan Wilson (P)2018 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Soccer definitely has game. It’s played by more than 200 million people around the world, and it's the world's most-viewed sporting event. If you're in America, Canada, Ireland, or Australia, you probably call it soccer, and if you live in most other parts of the world, you call it football. Whether you're a casual player, a serious fan, or just interested in learning more about the game and its staying power, these audiobooks capture what makes soccer such a sensation.

What listeners say about Inverting the Pyramid

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Mind Changing

I picked this up as a time killer and was awestruck at the amount of information laid out. This game wasn't played in my neighborhood and was never fully introduced to me until now. The depth and delivery are second to none.

3 people found this helpful

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Lots of information poorly organized

For an author so informative about organization and tactics on the pitch, it was disappointing that the book had no discernible structure of its own. Lots of detail sometimes presented in terms of formations, coaching lineages, historical periods, geographic trends, club traditions, and national styles, all sometimes mixed in the same chapter!

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outstanding but very much a history book

Great detail, enriching historical context. But, as with many audio history books hard to keep up with the various actors throughout the book.

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Top of the Pyramid

I have read a lot of books relating to football - some good, some terrible. This historical assembly by Jonathan Wilson is by far the most impressive book I have read. I have listened, and read this book at least 15 times. Each time, there is something new to be gained. After completing it, I always have the same reaction - "Damn, it's done. I wish there was more." I find myself googling some of the early foundation-laying coaches it references to learn more about them; in particular Jimmy Hogan (the modern-day equivalent of a Football-Influencer). Listen, if you even remotely like football tactics and/or history you need to get this book imprinted on to your grey matter! Masterclass.

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Database of tactics

Packed with quality information and observations of tactics for those profoundly interested in the modern game.

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Bets football book I’ve read

I’ve always been impressed by Jonathan Wilson when reading his articles in the Guardian or listening to him on their football podcast, as he’s so knowledge about both football and its history.

This is a superb book on football and the evolution of football tactics, with stories from throughout the last 100+ years on:

- how the game has evolved, changed, grown and at times receded
- many details and stories about the key influencers, coaches and managers
- descriptions of some of best teams in history, including how they played and evolved

One of the best sports books I’ve ever read, definitely the best football book.

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Great Book

Soooooo much information though! Can take away from the storyline at times, but still excellent!

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Comprehensive and Excellent

A tremendous education on the game in general through the specific lens of tactics. An invaluable resource for a fan like me who wants to learn more and a deep level about the game.

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Brilliant!

Very informative and insightful from all corners of the globe according to Football. Deffo put me into the people I should study who were the masters and innovators in how the game is strategised.

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