Mapping the Pitch: Football Formations Through the Ages is an entertaining exploration of the history and evolution of soccer formations from the Victorian age to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The author analyzes the thinking behind the popular formations and shows how the thinking behind the game influenced the evolution of soccer tactics. The book also includes contributions by former players and coaches.
Mapping The Pitch analyzes and explains the thinking behind the popular soccer formations and tactics that came with the introduction of semi-organized play and shows how the thinking behind the game changed with the steady implementation of rule changes in soccer from the late 19th century onward, specifically one which remains among the most contentious in the game to this day: the offside law. The book also explores how the beautiful game might have evolved, changed and existed today if the offside law had never been implemented.
While braking down the Pyramid and making a case for the 4-4-2 the author’s ideas are illustrated with photographs, illustrations, and diagrams. From the offensively minded early formations of 1-2-7 and 2-3-5 to the revolutionary styles of play introduced by such club sides as Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan and the contrast from the thrilling Hungarian international team of the 1950s to the Netherlands’s ‘total football’ and the pragmatic yet hugely effective manner of play adopted by Spain and beyond, the book concludes by looking at where soccer is at the present time and where the game might be in another 50 years and, ultimately, if it is one where formations, tactics and style of play are driven by commercial considerations rather than purely footballing ones.
Edward Couzens-Lake is the author of Norwich City: The Seventies, Norwich City Miscellany, Fantasy Football and Norwich City’s Greatest Games. A passionate supporter of Norwich City, Edward regularly contributes to the Canaries’ official matchday programme as well as numerous other sporting and lifestyle publications. He contributes regular features to numerous magazines and other publications, both hard copy and digitally published as well as contributing to Norwich City’s official match-day programme. He is currently researching and writing his first novel. Edward currently lives in reluctant temporary exile near Chichester, but divides his time between Sussex and Norfolk.