Total Zone Play

Florian Sirbu, 2013,

The book of Florian Sirbu discusses, as the front cover says, concepts regarding zone play in soccer. The four major concepts are Space, Time, Positional Shifting and Transitions and there is a general description of them in every chapter and then exercises explained to train them. Whereas the positional shifting, which is explained in nearly every book about soccer tacticts, is nothing new, the other three concepts I did not find described in more detail so far, therefore the texts and exercises were quite interesting to read. Especially the concept of creating space and playing to the players which have space are, which I think is hard to teach, was trained quite innovatively by using a game of tag where the defending players can get the ball by touching the ball controlling player of the opposite team. Also the clear descriptions of the transitional phases from attack and defense but also from one attack to a different one, where revealing, especially because an example was given using a game of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in whcih these transitions were the reason for the loss of Madrid. These topics make the book interesting to read, because it seems Sirbu has something new to tell.
The writing style however is not really good. On one hand the text is very short and more written in bullet point-style, therefore it is hard to follow if you are not an expert. On the other hand there are several repetitions which would not be necessary with some good editing. As written before for several books, real game examples to describe the concepts would be wonderful, some scientific or journalism writing classes could help, too, so that the text is easier to read and understand. Some better layout of the pictures for size but also for the colors, so that they are easy to read in black and white, would also have a positive effect on the quality of the book. A good example are Peter Hyballa’s books, which have all that.

Biography: 0/3
History: 0/3
Background: 0/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 3/3

Next book: Goal-Post


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