Wilson's thoughtful look into one of football's most under-discussed positions took him across several continents in search of some of the most eccentric, intellectual and downright bizarre individuals to have starred in the game... engrossing... The seamless and fascinating story of this curious outsider is a resounding success, and Wilson has once again come up trumps (DAILY MIRROR)
a splendid history of football's complicated scapegoats (Jim White THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
fascinating... From the obese, to the heroic and the corrupt, goalkeepers provide endless anecdotal material. Wilson weaves it together skilfully, from Victorian times to the present, from Charterhouse to Cameroon. The case for the position provoking a kind of existential unease is elegantly made (LITERARY REVIEW)
Wilson's 'part technical, part tactical, part cultural reassessment' is as fascinating a study as FFT has ever seen on the psyche and evolution of the keeper. From tales of tragedy to examining the recent rise of American stoppers, you'll never view No.1 in the same way again (FOUR FOUR TWO)
Jonathan Wilson usually gives you more than you bargain for and The Outsider is no different... So plentiful were the extroverts and introverts in the goalkeeping fraternity, one wonders how it has taken this long for such a detailed all-encompassing account to emerge (IRISH TIMES)
In The Outsider, Jonathan Wilson offers an ebullient history of the goalkeeper and tries to work out what it is that attracts the spiritual, the quizzical, the odd and the reflective to the position... Wilson offers a picture of the goalkeeper as an outsider, but also more of an everyman than you might think. (David Goldblatt THE INDEPENDENT)
Few other positions in football are worth writing a book about... It is the goalkeeper who is the true object of fascination. As Jonathan Wilson points out in his excellently researched and written The Outsider, the reason for this is probably that the whole purpose of goalkeeping is to thwart everyone else (Peter Chapman FINANCIAL TIMES)
the ever-readable Wilson explores the psychological pressures of being cast in the role of the scapegoat...Thought-provoking and full of interesting detail... this book scores on every level (Simon Redfern THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
The Outsider is a terrific history of its subject. It wears its knowledgeable perspective lightly and deftly works its vast research into the text without battering you over the head with it. Wilson can always be relied upon to come up with something a little bit different and a little bit special, and this has plenty of both (WHEN SATURDAY COMES)
The Outsider is a terrific history of its subject. It wears its knowledgeable perspective lightly, and deftly works its vast research into the text without battering you over the head with it. Wilson can always be relied upon to come up with something a little bit different and a little bit special and this has plenty of both (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST)
From the Inside Flap
'Aloof, solitary, impassive, the crack goalie is followed in the streets by entranced small boys. He vies with the matador and the flying aces, an object of thrilled adulation. He is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender.' Nabokov (quoted here), Camus, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Julian Barnes, and not forgetting Pope John Paul II, William 'Fatty' Foulkes and Peter Handke's The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty Kick... It's safe to say the goalkeeper hasn't always been a team player.
In this first ever cultural history of the 'loner' between the posts, Jonathan Wilson travels to the bassa region of Cameroon, which has produced two of Africa's greatest keepers and also to Romania to talk to Helmuth Duckadam, who saved four penalties for Steaua Bucharest in the 1986 European Cup Final.
In The Outsider, Jonathan Wilson traces the sometimes dangerous intellectual and literary preoccupations of the keeper, and looks at how the position has secured a certain existential cool. His absorbing tactical and technical insights into football history take us back to the days when matches were contested without a keeper. The Outsider will delight all admirers of the prize-winning Inverting the Pyramid.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Jonathan Wilson:
'This tome delivers a top-class, thorough, and, most importantly, engaging discussion of football tactics. Boring topic, great cover, revelatory book. Buy it' Maxim on Inverting the Pyramid
'An outstanding work, cerebral and fully engaging... The football book of the decade' Sunday Business Post on Inverting the Pyramid
'The perfect book for any serious follower of football who wants to be enlightened, educated and entertained' Good Book Guide on Inverting the Pyramid