Sunday, July 25, 2010
The 1-2-7 vs the 2-2-6
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.