Sunday, July 25, 2010

The 1-2-7 vs the 2-2-6

"Fortunate is he who understands the causes of things."
Virgil, Georgics, no 2, 1 490

I just started reading Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid this weekend, a book about to history of soccer tactics leading up to the modern game.

These were the lineups of Scotland (depicted in white, 2-2-6) and England (1-2-7) in the first international soccer game played on November 30, 1872. The score ended 0-0, with Scotland as heavy underdogs. They were able to overcome a severe size and strength disadvantage because they were one of the first teams to embrace passing over dribbling. Apparently, when soccer was in its infancy, passing was considered unmanly. Not only that, but early "offside" rules did not allow a forward pass, thus dribbling used to be the primary tactic to get forward.


mdeclouet said...

Passing = unmanly soccer. I was definitely born during the wrong period.

wilablog said...

Seriously. I think you could have played that 7th striker role for England really well.

pele1410 said...

Hmm, I think I'd like to borrow this when you're finished. Of course, it'll be at the end of a long list of soccer books I'm supposed to read.

wilablog said...

It'll probably take me a while to get through it but whenever that happens, you're welcome to borrow it for sure.