Dresden – Wiege des Fußballs

Jens Genschmar, 2012, Edition Sächsische Zeitung

Wer die Anthologien Goal-Post Vol.1 & Vol.2 gelesen hat, weiß ja schon, dass England bereits im viktorianischen Zeitalter eine reiche Fußballkultur hatte. Aus Deutschland hat man weniger Informationen über diese Zeit, deswegen ist Jens Genschmars Buch über die Anfänge des Fußballs in Dresden, die ja auch die Anfänge des Fußballs in Deutschland sind, so interessant. Man muss dabei aber direkt erwähnen, dass man in dem Buch keinen historischen Abriss oder Zeitzeugenberichte finden wird, wie in Goal-Post, sondern hauptsächlich Bilder. Der Autor, der auch das Fußball-Museum in Dresden leitet, hat seine Archive durchsucht und zahlreiche Bilder und Dokumente über den Fußball bis zum zweiten Weltkrieg zusammengetragen und in dem Buch zur Schau gestellt. Jedem Zeitabschnitt ist ein kurzer Text vorangestellt, doch der Fokus liegt darauf, dem Leser die Atmosphäre der damaligen Epoche mit Zeitdokumenten näherzubringen. Das funktioniert ohne Zweifel, umso mehr, wenn man sich in Dresden auskennt und die verschiedenen Orte zuordnen kann, doch eine Fußballgeschichte Dresdens, die mit Quellen und Zitaten gespickt ist, wäre sicherlich auch ein interessantes Projekt für die Zukunft.

Biographie: 0/3
Geschichte: 3/3
Hintergrund: 1/3
Taktik & Spielphilosophie: 0/3

Next book: Training Soccer Champions


Herbert Chapman on Football

The reflections of one of Arsenal’s greatest managers

2011, GCR Books Ltd.

Herbert Chapman had a long-lasting influence on English soccer with his “invention” of the WM system, which was adopted by most English teams and much longer kept than it was good for them. The book reprints a collection of newspaper articles written by Chapman which cover all aspects of soccer, whether it is tactics, how to lead a club, how players should behave or what influence the media and the public have. Although Chapman’s career as a manager took place between the first and second World War many of the views shared, seem to be timeless and if adjusted to the modern leagues would fit into a current newspaper as well. Want to know why the possession play of Barcelona and Spain never came to England? Maybe because it was old news to them:
“How different from the football of my time, when the hallmark of class was the way in which wings worked in close triangular fashion, making headway by means of six-yard passes, and taking a dozen kicks to advance as far as is often covered by two or three today. Those were supposed to be the days of science, and there was, of course, much to admire in the close work.[…] The modern style, if not quite so spectacular, undoubtedly brings quicker results, and I doubt very much whether the public would appreciate a return to the old conditions.”
Chapman’s ideas, whether it is that he gives his player’s the freedom to decide themselves how they spend their free time, or that all player’s have to participate in defense play or that he includes his players in tactical discussions all shows that he was a modern coach, not only at his times but also measuring with today’s standards.

Biography: 0/3
History: 2/3
Background: 2/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 1/3

Next book: Das L steht für Leben (Aug 17th, German)

The Blizzard: Issue Eight

Jonathan Wilson (editor), 2013

The eight issue of The Blizzard discusses a lot of personalities. First there is a detailed analysis of Mourinho’s style of managing and coaching a team which at that time was still exercised in Madrid and whereas Chelsea was still working on a detox of him. We know now they preferred to keep the addicition and dependency from the “Special One” and the article tells you what that means for them, the club and the players. The other personality discussed is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who’s personality is also described and explained in more detail and why he is how he is, so that the picture of the egomaniac center forward is a bit softened and more put into perspective. I would even go so far to read his biography now. Further on there is also an interview with Sepp Blatter which seems to be comical to read two years later but just shows again the double nature of his reign, which I described in “How They Stole The Game”.
The start of sports/soccer journalism in Europe is discussed in an interview between Philipe Auclair and Brian Glanville and is a nice addition when you already read “Goal-Post Vol. 1”, the Victorian soccer journalism anthology.
The Cup of Nation provides again an opportunity to talk about the state of soccer on the African continent, including some history around the national teams of Nigeria and Mali, as well as a review about what happened in South Africa after the World Cup 2010.
Finally Steve Menary writes about how the Champions League revenues destroy the balance in Europe’s smaller leagues, like Cypres or Luxembourg. It just shows the problem to create a fair system. If the small teams get a significant share of the revenues, even when they just participate in the qualification rounds, they dominate their local leagues with the money earned. The alternative would be to make the money gap between the big and small teams in Europe bigger, which then would unbalance the European competitions even more. I personally prefer the first and hope that sometimes other teams in the small leagues have a chance to break through the ceiling, just because of the number one teams might stumble about their own aspirations. Fairness is also the topic of the article about the fall of Glasgow Rangers and why it was absolutely necessary to crush the duopoly of the two Glasgow teams in the Scottish Premier League. From the pure results it seems that it did not help, with Celtic winning all the Scottish Championships in the last years, but let’s see what the future will bring, when the Rangers are back in the SPL.
And at the very last I would not like to miss to point out the article about becoming a Millwall fan from Mike Calvin, which shines a wonderful light on how we become what we are as supporters of certain clubs.

Biography: 2/3
History: 3/3
Background: 1/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 3/3