book hack

Inverting the Pyramid

Jonathan Wilson

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Sports journalist Jonathan Wilson's seminal history of football tactics explores the way the sport has developed over time, while introducing the ideas and influential figures that have shaped the game.


Inverting the Pyramid

Inverting the Pyramid

by Jonathan Wilson


Football is known as a simple game, often played by children with nothing more than a ball. But the sport's history has been defined by rich and varied formations and styles all over the world.

Jonathan Wilson is a sports journalist whose work has appeared in the Guardian and Sports Illustrated. Driven by the idea that the beautiful game is anything but simple, this book examines innovations from key moments in football history.

From the first recorded football tactics of the Victorian era to the iconic finesse that Brazil famously added to the sport, Wilson singles out famous teams and ideas in each chapter. Taking its title from the once-popular 'pyramid' tactic with most of a team's players being positioned in attack, Inverting the Pyramid shows just how much the world's favorite game has changed throughout the years.

Favorite quote

Football is not about players, or at least not just about players; it is about shape and about space.

- Jonathan Wilson

Download the uptime app to

Read or listen, with different modes

Adjust audio speed in the app

Bookmark to save titles for later

Share your favourite Hacks


View the full Hack with Uptime