The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches

The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches

Hardback

By (author) Jonathan Wilson

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  • Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 220mm x 40mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 20 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1409113639
  • ISBN 13: 9781409113638
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, ports. (chiefly col.)
  • Sales rank: 314,297

Product description

Having invented the game, for England and its national football team, everything that has followed has been something of an anti-climax. There was, of course, the golden summer of 1966, when Alf Ramsey's radicalism in unveiling his wingless wonders in a World Cup quarter-final paid dividends. And there was the great period of English dominance on the world stage, which fell roughly between 1886 and 1900, when England won 35 of their 40 internationals ...But before long foreign teams, with their insistence on progressive 'tactics', began to pose a few questions. And much of what followed for England constituted a series of false dawns (a thrashing of Italy in 1948; one World Cup triumph; the demolition of Holland in Euro '96), muddling through and by and large panicking under pressure. In The Anatomy of England award-winning journalist Jonathan Wilson seeks to place the bright spots in the context of the twentieth-century, where, time and again, progressive coaches have been spurned by England - technique being all very well, but what really matters is pluck and 'organised muscularity', or to quote Jimmy Hogan's chairman at Aston Villa in 1936: 'I've no time for these theories about football. Just get the ball in the bloody net.' Wilson takes ten key England fixtures - from defeat in Madrid in 1929; to Steve McLaren's evening to forget at Wembley in 2007 - and hacks back through the myth, conjecture and personal recollections, to get at the games themselves, and explore how what actually happened on the pitch shaped the future of the English game. Bursting with insight and critical detail, yet imbued with a wry affection, this is a history of England like no other before.

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Author information

Jonathan Wilson writes on football for the Financial Times, Guardian online and the Telegraph. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 'Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe' and 'Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics'.

Review quote

'Wilson belongs alongside David Goldblatt and the daddy if them all, Brian Glanville, in the triumvirate of great British football historians. Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid is the seminal modern work on football tactics. Anatomy of England is its companion volume.' FINANCIAL TIMES 'Absorbing in detail... By analysing 10 England matches which sum up the prevailing ethos in the English game, Wilson's forensic examination of events on the bench are lent a broader context and perspective.' FOUR FOUR TWO '[A] thought-provoking reappraisal of 10 key games in England's football history... Whatever happens in South Africa, this book should be required reading for all future England squads.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'fascinating' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY