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Zonal Marking

Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
5 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Summary

An insightful, comprehensive and always entertaining appreciation of how European football has developed over the last three decades by the author of the much heralded The Mixer

Continental football has always cast a spell over the imagination. From the attacking flair of Real Madrid of the '50s to the defensive brilliance of the Italians in the '60s and on to the total football of the Dutch in the '70s, the European leagues have been where the game has most evolved and taken its biggest steps forward. And over the last three decades, since the rebranding of the Champions League in 1992, that pattern has continued unabated, with each major European footballing nation playing its part in how the game’s tactics have developed.

From the intelligent use of space displayed by the phenomenal Ajax team of the early '90s, to the dominance of the highly strategic Italian league in the late '90s and on to the technical wizardry of Barcelona’s tiki-taka, the European game continues to reinvent the tactical dimension of the game, creating blueprints which both club and national teams around the world strive to follow.

In Zonal Marking, Michael Cox brilliantly investigates and analyses the major leagues around Europe over specific time periods and demonstrates the impact each has made on how the game is now played. Highly entertaining and packed full of wonderful anecdotes, this is the first audiobook of its kind to take an overview of modern European football and lays bare just how much the international language of football can be shaped by a nation’s unique identity.

©2019 Michael Cox (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Create thing to of hanpped

Yes to match of day made listen because in foot ball good book that the history of ball

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but not as good as The Mixer

Another really enjoyable listen, but personally I found it to not quite be as good as The Mixer. Perhaps it's because my knowledge of English football is greater than that of European football more broadly so I didn't quite get the same nostalgia hit.

Also where did the accents go?! I loved the narrator's accents in The Mixer, so I was expecting him to unleash his full repertoire here, but they're totally absent which was a disappointment.

On the whole still highly recommended though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great listen on the different football systems

really enjoyed the context and explanation of the journey of european football. specifically liked the clever transition from the key countries.

don't get some people moaning in other reviews about pronounciation of individuals names. think you listen to this on a fast speed or something as I didn't hear any of these problems.

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Magic history review with facts

Very interesting history review of football for last three decades. So many facts that opens my eyes on many things I didn't even think of.

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Excellent book 10/10 would recommend!

I loved this book, very well written and narrated (barring a few mispronunciations). Well worth the "read"!

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A Masterpiece

This is a landmark in contemporary football writing. Cox constructs an expert thesis in which all the sections speak to each other superbly. This culminates in a wonderful, forward looking conclusion (English football) and a internationalist call to arms as an epilogue.

Colin Mace produces another authoritative performance (with occasional slips in European pronunciation but it's a BIG ask).

It works on many levels: a nostalgia fest, a fill in the gaps and a meditation on the modern footballing landscape.

Cox is emerging as not just a tactical expert but also a sensitive and adroit cultural historian. For me, he takes up David Goldblatt's mantle as the thinking person's football writer.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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interesting Summary of European Soccer Tactics

Enjoyed the book and the parts on the Netherlands,France, Spain and Germany are very good. The English part is the weakest part of the book and their is next to nothing in Alex Ferguson s Man UTD teams that dominated the premier League for 15 years.

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Absolutely Brilliant

Well this book is just fantastic. Explains the tactical details in such a way, it’s a story of action and reaction of different managers throughout the book.

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Superb

Absolutely fantastic story, and beautifully pieced together. A shame that there were so many poor pronunciations of names

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Great book, poor narration

Inconsistent, and frequently wrong, pronunciations of player and place names mars and otherwise excellent book.

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  • Andrew MacPherson
  • 07-08-19

good book, bad narrator

the narrator couldn't pronounce half the names properly. "mar-chello" or "marsa" for Marca it was hard to listen to at parts.