Popped out for a walk this afternoon and accidentally ended up in the book shop. Now my pile of books to be read has increased by two and, as so often happens, they have rudely jumped the queue and landed on top. One of the books I bought is Inverting the Pyramid. I had been looking for a book that talks intelligently about football strategy for a while. My assertion that football is as intriguing and fascinating a game as chess tends not to be taken too seriously by people perhaps more familiar with this view of football players.
Another football book I enjoyed was Why England Lose, essentially an economists guide to football. I know that sounds very dull, and to be honest some sections of the book were as dull as it might sound, but it had one absolutely brilliant chapter. A full analysis of a single penalty shoot-out that covered statistical analysis of the players penalty taking habits and an account of some incredible mind-games. A lot of football books don’t excite me, I’m not really interested in the players and all the jazz that surrounds them. I have a long standing love of the strategies and tactics that are employed in games though and so I really like books like these and have done ever since I read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War with a very nerdy card as my frame of reference. Reading is really the only way I can indulge in this particular interest as most other football fans I know are just not interested in talking about it in this way. Sadly I have a habit of taking this masculine, physical sport and making it sound really, really boring.