Notices
Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: New book on Liverpool by Jonathan Wilson

  1. #1 euro_cup New book on Liverpool by Jonathan Wilson 
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,142
    A new book has come out on Liverpool FC which is sure to end up on many Christmas wish lists.

    It is written by Jonathan Wilson of " Inverting the Pyramid" fame as well as his tactical columns for the Guardian and other publications.

    He recently did an interview promoting the book and interestingly gives his own opinions on the Brendan Rodgers era so far.

    The original article can be found at http://www.thisisanfield.com/2013/11...omy-liverpool/



    The Anatomy of Liverpool (Orion) tells a version of Liverpool Football Club’s history over ten selected games from the club’s history. From the foundations of the club to the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’, Wilson dissects the multiple influences, people and stories that shaped one of the world’s most talked about clubs.

    We were delighted to speak to Jonathan this week on his return from Zagreb, where he covered Croatia’s World Cup qualifying play-off win over Iceland.

    Many football fans grow up idolising certain players or managers. Your work seems to suggest you idolise tactics and formations. How did you start taking a deeper interest in the way football was played, rather than who was playing it?

    JW: It was only when I wrote ‘Inverting the Pyramid’ that I realised how tactically I did consider the game.

    Even when I was play Subbuteto against my Dad as kid, I’d be very insistent on setting the players up in the right formations and then with Football Manager games on computers, going back to the Condor 64 days. It was always the formation that most interested me then.

    I’m an absolutely terrible footballer, but when I played at University in the mid-90s, we played 3-5-2. I was very fit and played right-wing-back and found there were ways to take at least two of their players out of the game and win the midfield battle.

    I never sat down and wrote it out on a piece of paper but I understood what was going on.

    When the possibility of writing the tactics books came up in a discussion with my agent, it was something I was already interested in. When I started writing about it, it confirmed a lot of things I knew that I perhaps hadn’t articulated before.

    An example of how yourself, as a writer, views football, comes in the Prologue of Inverting the Pyramid.

    You say that football, “is about shape and space, about the intelligent deployment of players, and their movement within that deployment.”

    What similarities, or differences, to Inverting the Pyramid can readers expect from The Anatomy of Liverpool?

    JW: By looking at detail at 10 games, it is an approach to history that has a couple of benefits.

    One advantage is, by focusing really intently on one game, talking to the players or former players about that game, and reading all the newspaper reports around that game, you get a much richer idea of the day-to-day life of the club.

    You learn about the strengths of the manager, but also the little irritations around the club that perhaps the players weren’t happy with, or the journalists weren’t happy with.

    When you do an overview history and you try and give the bigger picture, it’s very easy to polish away the rough edges. You get the general view.

    At a club like Liverpool, where so many good books have been written about their history, it’s useful as an alternative to go into the real nitty-gritty.

    The other advantage is the tactical side. You really see how the great teams play in a specific circumstance.

    For instance, against Leeds in the 1965 Cup Final, you see where the battles were won and where the strengths were in each team. Sometimes you can miss that with a general historic overview.

    I’m not saying one approach is better than the other. I’m just saying it’s a different approach, particularly when you have a club that has been written about so much.

    Tell me about the process you went through in choosing the ten matches in Liverpool’s history that shaped the narrative for this book.

    JW: I wrote the book with Scott Murray, who’s a Liverpool fan. We went out to dinner to talk about the idea [of the book].

    In parts you’re trying to pick good games and games that are interesting to talk about in themselves. There might be a key tactical point to focus on, or they’re a key moment in Liverpool’s history.

    We tried to get a full spread across history – as different games as you can get.

    We had 15 or 20 ideas each, many of which were the same and we pushed it down to try and get 10 really good games that also encapsulate Liverpool’s history.

    I’ve chosen to ask you a question on ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ as it is one key games that most of our readers will remember.

    How do you think the tactical shift employed by Rafa Benitez around half-time in that game contributed to the remarkable comeback?

    JW: There was a whole number of things going on there in terms of the emotion of the occasion.

    I think it would be wrong to say that Milan didn’t contribute to their own downfall. I think they probably were complacent.

    The way Liverpool battled through that season, the Olympiakos game especially, showed they had the togetherness of a team to keep fighting.

    The way Liverpool fans reacted at half-time. A lot of fans would have hung heads at half-time and gone home, but they didn’t. The vast majority, 99%, stayed behind and their support clearly did contribute to Liverpool’s comeback.

    But the most fundamental aspect was, without question, bringing Didi Hamann into midfield and creating a basis from which the comeback could begin. Without that control in midfield, they would never have been able to get back into the game.

    Obviously if they had managed to freakishly score three goals, they would have needed to hold off Milan again, which ultimately they did. They needed that solidity there [in midfield] to hold out.

    Which match in particular did you personally most enjoy researching, dissecting and writing about in the making of The Anatomy of Liverpool, and why?

    JW: The games in the book are so different, you find yourself approaching each one very differently.

    For example, I was there in Istanbul – you’d approach that very differently to when Aston Villa beat Liverpool 5-0 in 1899.

    Each match presents different challenges and each one is differently interesting.

    The difficult thing with writing about 2005 [European Cup Final] was to try and find out things that people didn’t already know, which is not easy in a match that has been talked about so much.

    It was nice having the length of that chapter to be able to go into smaller details – including some nice stories I certainly didn’t know before.

    Rafa Benitez was in the hotel in Istanbul and there were four lifts. He said to himself, if the one on the far left comes down, we’re going to lose. If the second one comes down, we’re going to win. If the third comes down, we’ll lose on penalties. If the fourth comes down, we’re going to win on penalties. And of course, it’s the fourth one that comes down.

    That was the type of task we had – to find little details people didn’t already know. Difficult to do because people were either at the game, watched it on television, or certainly seen a video.

    Whereas with the 1965 FA Cup Final, although there was a generation of fans who went, and watched it on TV. But part of the battle now is making fans understand that winning the FA Cup back then was seen as a bigger achievement than winning the FA Cup the previous season.

    Bill Shankly said himself that Liverpool wouldn’t be a great club until they’d won the FA Cup. The match that followed, between Leeds and Liverpool, two clubs that weren’t “tactical teams”.

    So we looked back through some of the old newspapers and the Daily Mirror, the Monday after the game, was incredibly critical of both teams, saying this “method football” was boring and declaring the “death of football”, playing the same football that won England the World Cup the next year.

    On another level, the 1973 game against Red Star Belgrade was interesting because we did a lot of the research in Belgrade for that game. It gave a different angle because we already knew how British people perceived Liverpool through interviews and books, but how did the USSR see Liverpool and British football?

    And finally, as a writer on football tactics, how do you see Brendan Rodgers‘ evolving, or devolving, style of football right now?

    JW: If you look at the top 20 clubs across Europe, the vast majority are based on personalities. You look at PSG and Monaco – they sign the big stars, or even Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale. They don’t really need him tactically, but it’s about making a statement, it’s about saying “we’ve signed a big player”.

    Football ends up being driven by this celebrity status. There’s very few teams who try to deal with philosophy, rather than individuals. Borussia Dortmund are one, and I think Liverpool are one.

    It’s fascinating to see a club not spending those enormous sums on players and yet they’re clearly progressing. If they keep progressing the way they have been progressing, it’s certainly not impossible they can qualify for the Champions League this season. Maybe in two or three years, they can be challenging for the title.

    Maybe, looking at way this season’s Premier League is going, they could be challenging for the title this year, but I’d be slightly surprised at that. But it’s certainly not impossible.

    Rodgers seems to have adapted his approach quite significantly from last season. They had better possession last season, but have played an average of five through-balls per game this season.

    With Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez performing so well, they’re obviously trying to get the ball through to them more.

    Ahead of this Saturday’s Merseyside Derby, Everton have a better possession percentage than Liverpool, whilst Liverpool’s pass completion is better, which suggests it’s not that Liverpool are playing worse, it’s that they’re playing differently.


    The fact that Rodgers has been prepared to adapt his beliefs to cope with the situation is a very promising sign. He’s not a fundamentalist – he’s someone who has a basic idea of how he wants to win, but he’s prepared to change things, according to what’s going on.

    From a tactical point of view, you can make an argument that Liverpool are the most interesting team in England right at the moment.

    The transfer market and the obsession with money can be quite distasteful in the modern game, so the fact that Liverpool, up to a point, are opposition to that is fascinating and a very good thing.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  2. #2  
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14,133
    Fascinating.

    Have a lot of respect for Jonathan Wilson so will definitely pick this up. Thanks for highlighting it.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  3. #3  
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,142
    Only just came out and it focuses on many historical games that I knew little about as well as a few recent games.

    In the introduction Wilson says that the game of the Hillsborough disaster was not included as only one chapter would not do it justice as it deserves a whole book and so much has been written already.

    Wilson also has an old book on a similar theme " The anatomy of England" that also analyses various matches.

    Combined with "Fear and Loathing in La Liga" by Sid Lowe and the new book on Spain by Graham Hunter on winning the last three international tournaments I have a good beginning on my holiday reading.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  4. #4  
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14,133
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeelover View Post
    Only just came out and it focuses on many historical games that I knew little about as well as a few recent games.

    In the introduction Wilson says that the game of the Hillsborough disaster was not included as only one chapter would not do it justice as it deserves a whole book and so much has been written already.

    Wilson also has an old book on a similar theme " The anatomy of England" that also analyses various matches.

    Combined with "Fear and Loathing in La Liga" by Sid Lowe and the new book on Spain by Graham Hunter on winning the last three international tournaments I have a good beginning on my holiday reading.
    Good stuff!

    Do you read The Blizzard? Very interesting.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  5. #5  
    GesticularFortitude is online now Directors Box
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    6,038
    Top bloke is Jonathan Wilson. He needs to get into punditry, in my opinion.

    Anything to shake up the dreadful insight we get into tactics on televised games. Uhhh.
    No deal, no dice. Shot at and missed, **** on and hit.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  6. #6  
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,142
    Quote Originally Posted by JesalTV View Post
    Good stuff!

    Do you read The Blizzard? Very interesting.

    Yes, I read the Blizzard and anything really by that select group of writers who are actually writing about something tangible in football as apart to the hacks from the Daily Mail and the rest who just write about anything to fill up their pages.

    Interestingly enough, Jonathan Wilson is officially a freelance football journalist so although you always see his columns in the Guardian and Sports Illustrated, etc, he has no full time contract to anyone so he has the freedom to choose his own stories a bit more.

    Sid Lowe is also an excellent journalist who probably has done the best one and one interviews I have seen with the Spanish players, the one with Xavi being the obvious stand out.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  7. #7  
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14,133
    Quote Originally Posted by GesticularFortitude View Post
    Top bloke is Jonathan Wilson. He needs to get into punditry, in my opinion.

    Anything to shake up the dreadful insight we get into tactics on televised games. Uhhh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeelover View Post
    Yes, I read the Blizzard and anything really by that select group of writers who are actually writing about something tangible in football as apart to the hacks from the Daily Mail and the rest who just write about anything to fill up their pages.

    Interestingly enough, Jonathan Wilson is officially a freelance football journalist so although you always see his columns in the Guardian and Sports Illustrated, etc, he has no full time contract to anyone so he has the freedom to choose his own stories a bit more.

    Sid Lowe is also an excellent journalist who probably has done the best one and one interviews I have seen with the Spanish players, the one with Xavi being the obvious stand out.
    Some of these lot are finally starting to make real waves, it's great to see. I call them the "Football Weekly Graduates"!

    Raphael Honigstein was on ITV for the England v Germany game.
    Philippe Auclair has done ITV this season too (European football), great to see.
    Jonathan Wilson was on Football Focus the other day, I'm pretty sure.
    Sid Lowe is massive in Spain, although I'm so used to his telephone voice that his "real" one sounds weird.
    Fernando Duarte is doing well, although he is not the Fernando Duarte that co-founded Nando's (more's the pity).

    That's just some of them. My theory is they are starting to share the same agent who is finally getting them proper TV gigs, made up for them.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  8. #8  
    GesticularFortitude is online now Directors Box
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    6,038
    Quote Originally Posted by JesalTV View Post
    Some of these lot are finally starting to make real waves, it's great to see. I call them the "Football Weekly Graduates"!

    Raphael Honigstein was on ITV for the England v Germany game.
    Philippe Auclair has done ITV this season too (European football), great to see.
    Jonathan Wilson was on Football Focus the other day, I'm pretty sure.
    Sid Lowe is massive in Spain, although I'm so used to his telephone voice that his "real" one sounds weird.
    Fernando Duarte is doing well, although he is not the Fernando Duarte that co-founded Nando's (more's the pity).

    That's just some of them. My theory is they are starting to share the same agent who is finally getting them proper TV gigs, made up for them.
    Ah, I missed that. Work always gets in the way.

    I'm glad they're all getting TV gigs. More expert tactical insight can't harm at all.

    Imagine going from Keown & Shearer, to Wilson and Honigstein on MOTD?
    No deal, no dice. Shot at and missed, **** on and hit.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  9. #9  
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14,133
    Quote Originally Posted by GesticularFortitude View Post
    Ah, I missed that. Work always gets in the way.

    I'm glad they're all getting TV gigs. More expert tactical insight can't harm at all.

    Imagine going from Keown & Shearer, to Wilson and Honigstein on MOTD?
    Honigstein was good the other day, Auclair is an absolute natural. Wilson wasn't in studio, it was a filmed segment - but he seems to have grown in confidence for sure.

    Great stuff.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  10. #10  
    Con Artistes is offline Armchair supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3
    for Irish reds...

    For Irish Reds...

    Con Artist (@Con_Artistes) presents:

    The Anatomy of Liverpool: An Evening with Jonathan Wilson & Scott Murray and host John Keith.

    The Sugar Club, Lower Leeson St., Dublin 2. 18.00. Sunday January 12th.

    Tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-anat...ets-9689857625

    After our previous two sold-out football evenings (The Blizzard; Sid Lowe: Fear And Loathing in La Liga) at The Sugar Club, Con Artist returns with a surgical dissection of ‘The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in 10 Matches’ - the book by Jonathan Wilson & Scott Murray. This evening with Jonathan & Scott will be hosted by the inestimable John Keith author, broadcaster, journalist & Merseyside football historian. Following the talk, there will be an audience-voted screening of one of the 10 matches covered in the book with introduction by our panel.

    The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in 10 Matches

    Wilson & Murray’s new book is a compellingly forensic analysis of ten key Liverpool matches that have shaped the club's fortunes for more than a century - from the long-lost triumphs of manager Tom Watson, who arrived in 1896, to the 1977 European Cup triumph over Borussia Mönchengladbach, to the astonishing Champions League Final comeback against AC Milan, 'The Miracle of Istanbul', in 2005. Legendary players and managers of the stature of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish populate these pages, which highlight the genius and the flaws of individuals by examining them in practice.

    Certain games lie on the fault-lines of history. Perhaps they mark the end of one era or the beginning of another. Perhaps they encapsulate a summation of a manager's reign. Or perhaps they mark a crossroads, moments at which football looked one way, and then went the other. But this is not a virtual history of Liverpool FC. the prime purpose is not to speculate on what might have been. Rather it will try to determine why what was, was. No game is won or lost, after all, in a single moment but by a million little things.

    The Anatomy of Liverpool tells the story of a great club through a detailed examination of ten key matches looking, as a football history must, first and foremost at the football.

    Jonathan Wilson
    Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) is founder & editor of The Blizzard. A sports journalist and renowned author who writes for a number of publications, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, FourFourTwo & Sports Illustrated. Wilson was football correspondent for the Financial Times from 2002 to 2006 and is a columnist for World Soccer, The Irish Examiner and bettingexpert amongst others whilst also being a regular participant on The Guardian football podcast, "Football Weekly". He is a Sunderland A.F.C. supporter.

    Bibliography
    Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football
    Sunderland: A Club Transformed
    Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics [Winner 'Best Football Book' 2009 British Sports Book Awards. Shortlisted for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.]
    The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches
    Brian Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You
    The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper
    The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in Ten Matches


    Scott Murray

    Scott Murray is a journalist and author. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian, whose sport website he used to edit; he now writes live minute-by-minute match reports, the Fiver, and the weekly historical Joy of Six column. He has also written for G2, the Guardian Guide, FourFourTwo, AOL Fanhouse, the Evening Standard, GQ, GQ Sport, Esquire, Arena, Spin cricket magazine, and Men’s Health. He wrote the English edition of Football for Dummier, is the co-author of football miscellany Day of the Match. co-author of Phantom of the Open, the preposterous but true story of bad golfer Maurice Flitcroft, the belligerent troublemaker who shot the worst round in 150 years of Open history. He was also a contributor to both volumes of Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur's Is It Just Me Or Is Everything ****? and a co-writer of the E4 comedy Golf War. Scott is a Liverpool FC supporter.

    John Keith

    John Keith author, broadcaster and stage producer/performer, was a Daily Express staff sportswriter for more than 30 years and was one of seven media representatives summoned to Downing Street to meet British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after the 1985 Heysel disaster.

    John left the Express in 1996 to concentrate on broadcasting and writing books. He hosted BBC Radio Merseyside’s Saturday Football Phone-In for almost a decade and co-presented Team of the Century in which listeners voted for their best team of the 20th century drawn from Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere players. In 2008 John joined new station City Talk 105.9 to launch a Saturday evening show entitled Strictly John Keith, featuring studio guests from sport, showbiz and the media talking revealingly about their lives and careers.

    John covers Everton and Liverpool home games as a match reporter for Ireland’s national radio service RTE and has featured in several television programmes including Granada’s hit series Reds in Europe, various BBC football documentaries and he appeared in the 13-hour History of Football.

    He has written more than 30 books, ranging from children’s annuals in collaboration with Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan, a comic strip book with Brookside and film actor Bill Dean, and acclaimed biographies of Dixie Dean, Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Colin Harvey, Billy Liddell and Ian Callaghan. The biography of Kevin Sheedy will be published in April 2014. His book, 2008 Reasons Why Merseyside Is The Capital Of Football, written jointly with Gavin Buckland, was published for Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year 2008.

    In September 2006 John wrote, produced and appeared in the first stage presentation of The Bill Shankly Story, a show which has played in four countries and stretches into its eighth year in 2014 featuring Anfield legends Ian St John, Ian Callaghan and Chris Lawler. It was the first British football stage show to be presented in Norway and in September 2008 it was selected as one of the United Kingdom events to launch the Cultural Olympiad, building to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    John also wrote and appears in The Dixie Dean Story stage show which he co-produces. It premiered in May 2008 to celebrate the Everton and England legend’s record 60 League goals in 1927-28. In 2007,John narrated a short documentary film telling the story of John Brodie, the Liverpool-based inventor of goal nets.
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  11. #11  
    Con Artistes is offline Armchair supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3
    This Sunday folks,

    We’ve got all games bar the Villa ‘89 & Wolves ‘47 available to screen. Ace interview with Jonathan Wilson here on the This is Anfield site explaining his approach to the book: http://www.thisisanfield.com/2013/11...omy-liverpool/

    Merseyside journalist, author & broadcaster will be our host for the evening in January. Here he is talking about The Bill Shankly Story...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-atrwpHY6o

    Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ana...ets-9689857625
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/753143484713494/

    Cheers!
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  12. #12  
    Con Artistes is offline Armchair supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3
    Last forum call for this Sunday - It's going to be a good one. Some links from during the week to whet the appetite...

    1. Interview with Jonathan Wilson on Game On 2FM last night: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_gameon.xml

    2. Interview with Scott Murray on Off The Ball: http://www.newstalk.ie/reader/47.305...061/blog_list/

    3. Unsure which match to vote for? Have a look at our highlights reel here to give you some inspiration! Big ups to Tony Galvin's nephew, Steven for putting this together: http://youtu.be/-em9jPnjTkY

    4. Totally Dublin with their 3 choice events for the weekend including #TheAnatomyOfLiverpool...http://totallydublin.ie/more/td-week...ary-10th-12th/

    5. Joe.ie Wishlist: ""If you’re a fan of the Merseyside club, then there’s a night in the Sugar Club this week that’s a must see, where acclaimed football authors Jonathan Wilson and Scott Murray discuss their most recent book, The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in Ten Matches. As the title suggests, they look at ten of the most important matches in the history of the club and how they impacted the team that we know today, as well as looking at their illustrious past and how these matches defined their time, or highlighted the end of an era. We’re sure that there are plenty of sports books that might not have been under the tree at Christmas, and if this wasn’t one of them, then you should head out and get it now so you have time to read it before the Q&A session this weekend."

    http://www.joe.ie/joe-life/joes-wish...s-and-cameras/

    6. Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ana...ets-9689857625

    ...and will be available on the door.

    Keep an eye on @Con_Artistes for updates!
    Reply With Quote   Quick reply to this message   Report Post   



Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •