Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

Front Cover
Orion, Apr 22, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 384 pages
29 Reviews

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 fifth-anniversary edition of a football modern classic has been fully updated to include an investigation of the modern-day Barcelona and how their style of play developed from Total Football, which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park and taken on by Tottenham in the 1930s. It also analyses different styles in the early British game and the changing mentality of South American football in the 1970s, as well as looking at the birth of the 3-5-2 system so prevalent today.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

User Review  - Goodreads

Enjoyed this. Discussion of tactics seems to fall in line with the use of statistics: boring, (lots of the time), but when used in the right way adds colour and depth to what I'm watching. So this ... Read full review

Review: Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

User Review  - Tim - Goodreads

It's rarely that I give a non-fiction book 5 stars, but Inverting the Pyramid completely delivers to what it promises. Jonathan Wilson is spot on if it comes to the book's structure: using a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Jonathan Wilson is the football correspondent for the FINANCIAL TIMES, and writes for the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH and GUARDIAN ONLINE. His work has appeared in the INDEPENDENT, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, FOURFOURTWO and WHEN SATURDAY COMES.

He is the critically acclaimed author of a series of sports titles, including INVERTING THE PYRAMID: A HISTORY OF FOOTBALL TACTICS, which won a NATIONAL SPORTING CLUB AWARD and was shortlisted for the WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR.

Follow Jonathan Wilson on Twitter at

Bibliographic information