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Summary

Tenth Anniversary Edition - now fully updated.

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 10th anniversary edition of a footballing modern classic has been fully updated to include the development of gegenpressing as pioneered by German coaches such as Ralf Rangnick and Jürgen Klopp, and its subsequent influence on the world game. It also analyses the tactical evolution of Pep Guardiola, the increasing alternatives to possession-based football and the changing role of the goalkeeper, as well as investigating the trend of full-backs developing into midfielders and the consequent return of three at the back.

Read by Damian Lynch.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Jonathan Wilson (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Inverting the Pyramid

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

pen and pad

Probably need a pen amd pad to listen to this, so many names and dates made it all a bit difficult to keep on track. should of read this one maybe

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Absolutely Spectacular

After hearing Jonathan Wilson on the brilliant Tifo Podcast, I decided to listen to the book, and oh boy I wasn't disappointed. Between hearing the tales of how the English and Scottish Game diverged, to how the coffee house culture of Hungary and central Europe came to dominate the game of the 1920's and 30's, and how they shocked England into recognising that they were no longer the best footballing side in the world with a 6-3 defeat to Hungary. But my favourite bit of the book was the chapters centered around Russian Football. Massilov (excuse my horrific spelling) and Lobanovskyi's stories were incredibly interesting. Looking forward to reading more of Wilson's work.

1 person found this helpful

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Stick with it

There was a lot of detail in this book , many, many names and dates, delivered with relish for their local accent , it felt a bit of a marathon at times .
That said, if you are interested to understand how systems of play have evolved and why, the social background that led to them , this is a good book for you - an accomplished reference to get to grips with positional tactics .

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excellent

Detailed and extensively researched. Interesting narratives which consider broader historical trends across countries as well as across time.

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Excellent overview of the entire history of football tactics

Meticulous researched and excellently written, Jonathan Wilson provides a thorough overview of football tactics linking trends, styles and systems between coaches and their influences from England in 1800s to Bayern Munich in 2017. I became hooked and longed for more, particularly on the current game. I must admit that I found I had to commit to get through some of the detailed analysis, for example, of Argentinian football in the 1950s, but that is the purpose of the book, a wide-ranging and detailed examination of the world game. With these passages it would have been a highlights package - more thrilling, but lacking the whole picture. The audiobook is well read and I enjoyed Damian Lunch’s voice and style. An excellent listen. Thank you.

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The story of the game through the story of tactics

This is definitely the book about football tactics. Mind that it's not a manual or anything, it's more of a story about the ideas how football should be played and how they have been developing in time and why. So this book is packed with facts, stories, names, and countries to the point it starts resembling a suitcase with a bit too much clothes in it or a crazy wall from a detective series. Here come the only remarks I have: it was really helpful to add a pdf with the photos from the printed edition, but it would have helped me much more if it had included tactical schemes of the matches mentioned instead. And the narrator, unfortunately, struggles with most of the non-English words. Don't get me wrong, I haven't the heart to blame anyone for mispronouncing Dutch, Hungarian, or Russian surnames, especially when they are coming in dozens, but I do feel he could have done his work better in this regard. Apart from that, the narration is good and the book makes a really good listen.

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history of football through the lens of formations

stunning audiobook about formations and history in football. uses changes in back 3 and front 5 to show how history and priority changed the game.

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A Beautiful Book

This is beautifully written history of football tactics. Self indulgent in all the best ways. I loved it.

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Excellent insights into the evolution of football!

Excellent details into tactics from the begining of English football to the dominance of Barcelonas Tic-a-tac style.

I honestly think any football coach or fan with an interest in the tactical side of football, must read/listen to this book.

Not always knowing the players was different when learning about Austrian, Danish or other forgotten teams, but it was worth listening to the end.

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Great book but...

It’s a delightful insight to the history of modern tactics however - as it is a book on football tactics you don’t have the joy of any diagrams (apart from the visualisation in your head - which could be wrong)

I also feel there was too much time spent on the historical elements leaving me sometimes detached by the mention of unrecognisable names

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  • Francisco Camps
  • 17-04-21

Epic book!!

Extremely detailed and well documented work by Jonathan Wilson. I really enjoyed every transition through the history of football.
The start is very slow but the book gets better as you advance.
A must for every football fan that wants to understand the evolution of this sport.