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England and the 1966 World CupA Cultural History$
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John Hughson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096150

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096150.001.0001

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Wingless wondering: modernism and the Ramsey ‘system’

Wingless wondering: modernism and the Ramsey ‘system’

(p.85) 5 Wingless wondering: modernism and the Ramsey ‘system’
England and the 1966 World Cup

John Hughson

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on football, presenting a case study of the 1966 World Cup Final. Of key interest is the playing strategy or the ‘system’ devised by England manager Alf Ramsey. An analysis of this playing system at work is presented in the chapter. A case is made for Ramsey to be considered as a football modernist and, given the regard in the book of football as a ‘cultural form’, his modernism is considered in relation to other aesthetic trends of the time, especially those occurring within British art. The argument presented in the chapter is intended to counter the often negative evaluation of Ramsey as a scientific rationalist devoid of an aesthetic appreciation for how football should be played.

Keywords:   Alf Ramsey, Football tactics, Modernism, Constructivist art, Aesthetics, Rationalism

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