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Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics by Jonathan Wilson
Highly recommend this for any football fan with an interest in the history of the game. It’s absolutely fascinating. It’s also very cheap on the kindle. There’s a few grammatical errors on the kindle version but it doesn’t take away from what’s a fantastic read.
This is the correct answer. It's also why we have the terms full-back and why centre backs are sometimes referred to as centre-halves (they used to be the central half-backs). It's also where the inside-forward comes from (8 and 10 being the inside-right and inside-left).
There's a very informative book called Inverting The Pyramid which is a history of tactics and includes this information. The Pyramid was what the old 2-3-5 formation was called.
> formations are largely the same
Year to year this is mostly true (varying between countries and even divisions based on skills of players) but over a longer period it has changed quite a lot. If you're interested in this sort of thing I really recommend Inverting the Pyramid which is an amazing overview of how the "standard" formation has changed
ive never read this but people recommend it for what your asking there
Best / Worst thing you can do is start playing Football Manager
This is a good history and introduction
Not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but consider Inverting the Pyramid
Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics
This is an excellent book about football tactics and the influence of the Magical Magyars is covered quite a bit in it:
Late to the party here but for once it's a CMV I can contribute to.
1 - Ties
As mentioned here numerous times a tie/draw can mean different things to different teams. A draw away against a top team is often considered a good result (at least in Europe) whereas a draw at Home to a shite team is not considered good if you are expected to win. On a more general level - a tie/draw is a result - soccer is not a zero-sum game.
2 - Players faking injury
Agree is annoying. It is part of the game whether you like it or not. It is considered somewhat of art in parts of the world. Not ideal, for me at least, but it is part of the game that is discouraged with varying degrees of success.
3 - Gametime
Not really sure what to say about this. Each games is 90 mins long coupled with added/injury time - a few mins at the end of each half to compensate for in-game stoppages. Added time is rather loose compared to other sports but again it is part of the culture of the sport and adds another layer to both the game and the culture of the game. In regards to your specific criticism the last 10 minutes of a game are usually the most exciting with at least one team pushing hard for a goal.
4 - Uniforms
Again kinda agree with you here. It's a massive industry and everyone wants their slice. Many will argue soccer sold its 'soul' 20 or so years ago with the push for greater revenues etc. US sports are still some 'socialist' in this regards with collective sponsorship and rights. Another point for another time. But try not to let the ascetics of the shirt get in the way. In fact some shirts are applauded for their style with their sponsorship included - See here
5 - Action
Knowledge of the game really helps you understand and appreciate the moments of the game that are not directly involved in scoring. There are so many strategies/tactics involved that result in many styles of play. Some teams play very gung-ho game looking to score at every opportunity some are more conservative and look to control the game and attack weaknesses at opportune moments. I would suggest watching a few games on TV with analysis at half/full-time to learn about more about this.
6 - Strategy/tactics - linked to the above. But soccer is very tactical game. It has been around for over a century and the tactics over this period have become very complex and are still evolving to the point where you can really see a difference year-on-year in trends e.g. 3 man defences in the Premier League this season. If you really want to learn about this check out [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inverting-Pyramid-History-Football-Tactics/dp/1409128644].
7 - Athletic nature.
I don't really know what to say about this. Different sports require different fitness types. I enjoy watching MMA but can't stand watching a fighter who spunks his load in the first load. Stamina is important in all sports soccer especially. Players are expected to run circa 10k and still maintain the energy levels throughout the match. Again I would say it is part and parcel of the game. I personally don't get that excited watch 2 giant NFL players run into each other at speed but appreciate it is a part of the game.
8 - Skill
I haven't played American Football or Baseball beyond throwing the ball, trying to hit a ball but I know it's fucking hard to do it to a professional level. I would suggest taking a soccer ball and trying to score from 30 yards, trying to hit 30 10m passess with the level of accuracy professionals do and taking it from there. I think the best way to appreciate it is to try it. I've been playing soccer for 25 years and I'm fucking shit.
To recap - soccer (football) is one of two sports I care about and I really do care about it far too much. I genuinely see it as the greatest sport in the world and I can see why so many others do to. I am very biased though. I would also say 1 - I appreciate your quest to understand the beautiful game more and 2 - I live and was born and raised in England where soccer (football) is the national sport and forms a considerable part of the media, schooling, work chat etc which makes it easier to understand the nuances much easier than an 'outsider' would find it. I hope you take the feedback on board and become a soccer fan.
I would recommend you read Inverting the Pyramid: the history of football tactics.
It would make things easier when you watch a game.
I haven't read it myself (planning too though), but I've heard a lot of praise about inverting the pyramid:The History of Football Tactics.