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*Starred Review* Soccer fans will not want to miss this chronicle of the rise of Total Football (soccer, of course, is known as football everywhere but in North America). What is Total Football? Here you have to get a little philosophical; you have to learn to handle phrases like "a new theory of flexible space" to wrap your mind around the idea that a football pitch isn't merely a big rectangle. The Dutch, who invented Total Football about three decades ago, are, according to Winner, a nation of special neurotics. Because space is always at a premium in their small country, they've learned to use it in wildly innovative ways. This is seen in their architecture, their art, their society--and their soccer. While other teams were playing the traditional every-player-in-his-position style of game, the plucky Dutch team called Ajax began playing a whole new game based on position-switching: defenders would suddenly become attackers and vice versa, thus substantially reducing the amount of repetitive back-and-forth running. This technique was revolutionary for its time (the 1960s), and it propelled Holland to the top of the soccer world. This extremely well written and exciting book, like Nick Hornby's immensely enjoyable Fever Pitch (1993), catches us up in its enthusiasm and puts us right there in the grandstands cheering for the Dutch coaches and players who changed the game of soccer forever. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of those strangely informative books that will... entertain those who have little interest in either soccer or the Netherlands. -- The Economist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
A bit of a slow moving book but if you love the game in any way, shape, or form, and you don't mind being "challenged" when you read, then this is a sublime choice,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Iain Harvey
For its entertainment value, its creativity, its humor, and its depth of insight, this is perhaps the best book ever written on soccer. Read morePublished on July 9 2004