• 450 full-color photos
• Charts and diagrams
• Kindergarten to middle school
• Covers soccer both for boys and for girls
Author D. W. Crisfield, who played varsity soccer all four years college and high school , also played in adult leagues from 1985 to 2001 in addition to coaching twenty-eight seasons of soccer, with children ranging in age from five to sixteen. Crisfield is also the author of Everything Kids Soccer and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Soccer.
Beth Balbierz was a staff photographer for the Bergen Record for 15 years before beginning a freelance photography business. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Journalism in 1985, interned at the Grand Rapids Press and Muskegon Chronicle, spent three years as a staff photographer at the News Sentinel in Fort Wayne, IN, and more than a year at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, MI. Beth has two school-age children and in 2001 was herself drafted to coach a youth soccer team.
Back in 1992, English football was stuck in the dark ages, emerging from a five-year ban from European competition. The game was physical, bruising and attritional, based on strength over speed, aggression over finesse. It was the era of the midfield general, reducers, big men up front and getting it in the mixer; 4-4-2 was the order of the day. Few teams experimented tactically.
And then, almost overnight, it all changed. The creation of the Premier League coincided with one of the most seismic rule changes in football history: the abolition of the back-pass. Suddenly defenders had no-get-out-of-jail-free card, goalkeepers had to be able to field and play the ball and the pace of the game quickened immeasurably. Tactics evolved dramatically, helped by an increased foreign influence.
The Mixer is the first book to delve deep into the tactical story of the Premier League, and take a long view of how the game has developed over the last quarter century. From Ferguson’s directness to Keegan’s relentlessly attacking Newcastle outfit, to Mourinho’s cagey, reactive Chelsea, all the way to Ranieri’s counter-attacking champions, The Mixer is one of the most entertaining, rich and knowledgeable football books ever written.