FourFourTwo - - UP FRONT - Edge Ben Lyt­tle­ton Harper Collins, £14.99 OOOOO

The beau­ti­ful game is still overly re­liant on con­ven­tional wis­dom and half-baked truths but, as Lyt­tle­ton says in this ex­cel­lent book, cre­ative think­ing is bear­ing fruit at clubs who are pre­pared to be more in­no­va­tive. “I’m not look­ing for change, I’m look­ing for an edge,” re­veals the for­mer Borus­sia Dort­mund man­ager, Thomas Tuchel.

The first leader in sport to ad­dress the Rule­breaker So­ci­ety (a group of vi­sion­ary busi­ness trail­blaz­ers), Tuchel is a be­liever in the speedy al­ter­ation of tac­ti­cal for­ma­tions in matches, and that eye con­tact be­tween play­ers is es­sen­tial to team co­he­sion.

Lyt­tle­ton also looks at the Basque val­ues of Ath­letic Bil­bao, and Edge helps the reader to as­sess the game in a left-field way with find­ings about Vis­ual Ex­ploratory Fre­quency – the num­ber of times play­ers look up be­fore get­ting the ball.

It’s a cere­bral study, show­ing cut­ting edge ideas are in­creas­ingly cru­cial to suc­cess in 21st cen­tury foot­ball.

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