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The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, from Route One to False Nines

Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

An absolutely essential book for every modern football fan, about the development of Premier League tactics, published to coincide with 25 years of the competition.

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 counterattacking champions, The Mixer is one of the most entertaining, rich and knowledgeable football books ever written.

©2017 Michael Cox (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Intelligently written. Impressively researched. Fascinatingly addictive. Michael Cox is like a cartographer, remapping the landscape of the Premier League so we see the contours of it afresh. That's some feat." (Duncan Hamilton, two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year)
"Michael Cox provides brilliant tactical context to our favourite moments of Premier League nostalgia. The Mixer is as entertaining as a Wanchope dribble, with the authority of a Shearer finish and the panache of a Cantona celebration. And you may even learn to love Tony Pulis a little bit.' (Ben Lyttleton, author of Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty)
"This is more than the impeccably researched and authoritative account of the English game's tactical evolution over the last quarter of a century you'd expect from a master of the genre. It is also packed with anecdotes and stories - some familiar, others far less so, a number of them hilarious - which give it flesh and ensure this book will be revisited many times, not just by those looking for imaginative and sometimes profound analysis, but by any football fan who enjoys a good tale well told." (Philippe Auclair, author of Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantastic Book

This was a wonderful book. A different look into the history of the Premier League. It was a pleasure to know how things panned out in the previous years from a tactical way. The rise and downfall of teams.

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A fine summary of EPL tactics & nostalgic moments.

A fine summary of EPL tactics & nostalgic moments. The narrator's Dutch impressions are a highlight.

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  • Teo
  • 11-12-2017

One of the greatest football books

Even if you are not very into the Premier League, this book is absolutely mind-blowing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Oye
  • 18-08-2017

Excellent review of Premier League history

This was very informative and quite humorous. Really enjoyed listening to it. Fans of several teams, especially Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool will learn a lot about their teams' tactics over the last 25 years.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • 06-10-2018

Just the highlights

The narrator's impressions were a bit...under researched/bordering on stereotypes but that can be glossed over...it's just a history of the Premier League. Nothing any more revealing than that. I'm not sure who'd be interested in listening to this. I'm being a tad harsh but I just lost interest by the end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-2017

One of the greatest football books ever written!

Perfectly connects tactics within the English game from 1992 to the present day. Very easy listening and thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • aldo from sutton
  • 21-12-2018

Enjoyable football facts and figures

Of interest to all football fans, players and those that like physcology of man management. There is so much to learn from football at all levels of human interaction, this book brings it life and takes your interest to a different level.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-11-2018

Great

A brilliant history of the PL and it’s tactical history. Fantastically written. Not enough about WHU if I’m overly critical;)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-2018

Lobed it

Great listen for any football lover, fantastically written, very in depth and well narrated. 10/10

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-2018

Great listen!!! HIGHLY recommend!

Would suggest any football fan listens to this!! Extremely interesting and very well narrated! A*

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-09-2018

Drop the accents

The generic accents are quite irritating to people who know what these people actually sound like. Whilst I'm not sure the actor has heard all of them. For example Leon Brittan is from East London not Wales!!

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  • Mr
  • 16-09-2018

Insightful

A great summary on the evolution of football tactics. Having watched the premier league since its inception this book provided a holistic and detailed account of the events that have shaped English football into what it is today. It also provides bouts of humour and plenty of nostalgia.

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  • Christopher McHarg
  • 26-08-2018

Mace is good

Mace is normally a very good narrator but I don’t understand why he felt the need to try and sound like who he was trying to be.