Soccer – Modern Tactics

Italy’s Top Coaches Analyze Game Formations Through 180 Situations

Alessandro Zauli, 2002, Reedswain Books & Videos

If it is said, that the players of a team shift there positions according to the textbook, this book might be the one their coach has read. Just reading the chapter titles will tell you that these are the basics of the game. For example: Chapter 1: Defensive stage with 4 players, 1.1. Coming out and control the opponent in possession, 1.2. Passing the marking duties from one defender to the next, 1.3. To neutralize deep penetrating runs, a.s.o.
The book covers the basics of defending for the defense and the midfield, for 3 or 4 players in defense and also how to play the ball in the offense. Step by step all possible situations are explained, some training exercises are recommended and finally two Italian top coaches are interviewed after every chapter, when their preferred system was described before. Therefore this book is ideal to learn about the basic tactical movements, to follow them later watching a game. It is not about the overall match plan but the little things, how to move to one side with the whole defense line, how to double a player the right way, how to play with inferior number. Additionally to that the interviews allow some insights in every coaches philosophy and therefore they are a wonderful introduction to Italian soccer. For me, the book made me appreciate Italian soccer the first time and allowed me to understand the strong tactical education players will get in Italy. Usually that is seen in a negative way, when it is used to defend perfectly, but it created dominance of Italian clubs in the 80s and 90s because the players were more intelligent and educated.
There is one downside to the book and that is the translation, which is, quite frankly, horrible. One get’s used to the slang and can read through it but it limits the pleasure of reading a lot. A got English editor could improve the book so much, that it could get the credit for the excellent content, it deserves.

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

Must read for: No One >> Fans of soccer tactics >> Soccer fans >> All readers