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Modern Football History

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To this day, questions still hang over the exact place where football originated. But there is a consensus among those connected to it that the roots of modern football lie in the mob game of 19th Century Britain. In its earliest form, football was chaotic to say the least, and it involved two teams playing with a spherical object on a less than uniform pitch. More than a decade after Sheffield Club beat Hallam FC 2-0 in the world’s first club match in 1857, there seemed to be an acknowledgment to the fact that the arrangement of players on the pitch in a certain way made a considerable difference to the way the game was played. (Wilson 2008, p.13, p.17)
One of the earliest formations conceived was the pyramid shaped 2-3-5 formation. It had
…show more content…
The British left their mark on proceedings wherever they went, and this included sport. The Austrian capital Vienna was the centre of the British presence in central Europe. It was where Scottish football’s greatest teacher, Jimmy Hogan met Hugo Meisl who built up the great Austrian Wunderteam of the 1930s. Technique was preferred over physicality. Both wanted the ball to do the work and the passing game was favoured over an individual’s dribbling ability. Veteran football writer Brian Glanville describes Meisl’s style as “a sort of competitive ballet in which scoring goals was no more than an excuse for weaving of a hundred intricate patterns”. (Wilson 2008, p. 36, p.38, p.40-41, …show more content…
César Luis Menotti’s team of 1978 produced some of the most thrilling football of the tournament with a certain muscularity and directness. With a flat back four, he fielded the ‘W’ attacking shape used by Herbert Chapman nearly fifty years ago. Beauty and effectiveness were two sides of Menotti’s Argentinean coin. In 1986, Carlos Bilardo built his Argentine squad with defending as one of his priorities. His set up was a 3-5-2 which saw the return of the back three. Jorge Luis Brown was used as a libero (sweeper) with Sergio Batista providing cover for the defence along with his passing duties. Up front, Bilardo had less to worry considering the more than able Jorge Valdano had Diego Maradona playing right behind him. (Wilson 2008, p.348-350, p.353)
Bilardo’s 3-5-2 was the last defining formational change before the turn of the century. Since then, Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan, Cruyff’s Barcelona, and van Gaal’s Ajax have managed to make their mark on the European game. Shifting between two forwards and a solitary forward, the use of a midfield diamond and inverted wingers are some of the tactical trends that have taken place after 2000 and will be analysed in the coming

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