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  • Very interesting sports nerdy stuff

    Interpreting the history of football through the changes in formation that have led the great teams (and some lesser known ones) to great successes against relative dinosaurs of the era. As football is the only true universal language this book drifts from its origins in England and charts it's adaptation through Austria, Hungary, South America, Italy and later the USSR, Holland and the Balkans as the old 2-3-5 pyramid of yore undergoes it's many transformations into the tactical varietals we recognise in the modern game. In giving analyses of the origins of the changes, we understand it's not just the emergence of the great players, but their integration into a wider system that breeds the success that in turn sees the system spread, often without the dynamism provided by the greatness of the player who originally inspired it. On other occasions (as with the 4-3-3) a response to other changes provokes the emergence of a tactical system that appears similar to one long considered obsolete, albeit populated with players who can adapt the system in radically different ways to how it was first developed. This book is a very helpful, though perhaps somewhat intimidating to the newer fan or those more interested in the stories of the players as opposed to those pulling the strings, guide to the evolution of football and sings the praises of those who helped shaped some of the most historically important teams in the sport's history. As it's now approaching two World Cup spans old, unaware of the changes in the game over the last half decade it's in need of an update but the book is interesting in its scope as it attempts to follow the source of football most defining systemic changes. Well worth a read

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