Jonathan Wilson books follow a pattern, containing a deep forensic examination of his chosen subject demonstrating his powers of analysis, depth and breadth of research, passion, enquiring mind and sheer writing ability.
His study of the history, esoterica and meaning of goalkeeping is no different containing an in-depth historical, philosophical and practical study of how the role of the goalkeeper originated and has developed since the game of football was invented.
He examines, profiles, critiques or interviews the colossuses of the sport from all continents of the world and his descriptions of greats such as Yashin, Zoff, Shilton, Seaman and Buffon never fail to entertain or educate.
Being Wilson he takes detours into tributaries and backwaters of the game with an acute and forensic examination of the battle for the number one position between the two fantastic Cameroon keepers N'kono and Bell and the political sensitivity of their rivalry.
Fans of literature too will have a field day with goalkeeper themed novels from writers as diverse as Camus, Nabokov and Glanville coming under scrutiny.
This is an eclectic masterpiece and anyone who has either been thrilled or stunned at the exploits of a goalkeeper or taken their place between the posts will understand what it means to be a true Outsider and be both entertained, educated and fascinated by this wonderful book.
One tiny quibble - I was a great fan of the Flying Pig, Tommy Lawrence, one of the first sweeper keepers but surely he didn't merit two mentions of Joe Mercer's eulogising quotation about him, sharper sub-editing would have caught that one!