Book Notification

Jonathan Wilson Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Behind the Curtain (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunderland: A Club Transformed (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brian Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kick and Run: Memoir with Soccer Ball (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in Ten Matches (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angels With Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anatomy of Manchester United : A History in Ten Matches (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Barcelona Inheritance / The Barcelona Legacy (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Names Heard Long Ago: How the Golden Age of Hungarian Football Shaped the Modern Game (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Brothers (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jonathan Wilson is a football correspondent who writes articles and opinion columns for a variety of English papers including “The Guardian” and “The Financial Times.”

He is also a prolific author that made his debut with the publishing of “Behind the Curtain” in 2006. He started out doing fanzine and for the longest time never thought he would become a journalist.

When he was a university student, there was a student named Simon Hooper who was one year ahead of him, who was writing for “Match of the Day” magazine. Hooper started offering him freelance work and naturally, things ballooned from there.
In 1999, he moved to London and took a three-month journalism course but asserts that he did not gain much from it. He would then give himself two weeks to start applying for jobs and in the meantime survive on temporary jobs.
On the Thursday of the following week, he had a sit down with some friends among which was the millionaire boyfriend of one of his best friends.

Since the man was very well versed in the happenings on the Internet, when they got talking, he told him about a position with OneFootball which was then recruiting.
He emailed the paper the following day and was called for an interview on Monday and by Tuesday he was assigned a desk.

Wilson was lucky that he got into journalism during the dot com boom and he has said that he often felt like he was on the crest of a new wave in media.
However, things did not go so well and everything came crashing down following the end of the 2002 World Cup.

Fortunately, he had kept his wits by him and had prepared for contingencies having seen the writing n the wall for a while. He left OneFootball and for a year, he worked at “News of the World” where he learned a lot about newspapers.
Jonathan Wilson learned the workings of a newspaper and most importantly what pisses subscribers off which would come in handy when eh started his own subscription magazine.

He also learned the environment and mechanics, bollockings, and how to make really tight copy. Moreover, it was also a place with deadlines and hence it kept him sharp even if it paid really well.
Still, working at News of the World prepared him for the even more lucrative post at the Financial Times where he was the lead football correspondent.

His move came about in a very peculiar way as he was covering the 2002 Cup of Nations in Mali and made a new friend. The guy that was reporting for the Financial Times was not well versed with email and hence he used to do the emails for him.
After he left the tournament midway, Wilson emailed the FT and offered to continue reporting for them which is how he got hired.

Thereafter, it was back to England where Jonathan Wilson started reporting on top premier leagues for the Financial times. Soon enough, he got bored with that and began doing more hands-on research.
He stopped writing about manager press conferences as he went through old archives and card indexes to find information on all manner of football history and current happenings.

It was at this time that he would become the founder of a football quarterly magazine “The Blizzard,” which is known for reporting on obscure football stories. The magazine offered journalists an opportunity to explore different aspects of football and unearth unfound perspectives.

Articles in the magazine are often about significant historical events in football. Sometimes they offer context against a range of world affairs such as climate change, racism, and even Thatcherism. Apart from his journalism, he is also a bestselling author of several works that have been very popular.

Jonathan Wilson’s “Inverting the Pyramid” provides an insightful and thorough look into the history of footballing tactics, particularly from the viewpoint of using different formations and the development of the game.
The author tackles the subject from a wide scope and with fluent and clear writing, he makes a highly enjoyable read for the football enthusiast.

Wilson makes use of many interesting anecdotes as he reviews the work and lives of some of the most influential people in football.

It is very clear from the writing that Wilson knows a lot about football given how easily he finds spelling it out in a straightforward and clear manner.
It makes for a fascinating study that traces the history of tactics right back to the very beginning and to the modern pioneers.

Along the way, the author writes a detailed and erudite grand narrative that explores the great thinkers and players that shaped the beautiful game. He also discovers why the English have always been so unwilling to consider the abstract in football.

“Behind the Curtain” by Jonathan Wilson is a work that is set in Eastern Europe where practicing football during the Cold War could not have been harder.

In the war-ravaged streets of Sarajevo, going for practice means dodging bullets fired by sniper rifles, while the likes of Kocsis and Puskas mastermind the fall of England from the Bozsik Stadium in Poland.
Wilson traveled extensively in what was previously land behind the Iron Curtain as he reported and researched soccer stories.

Once upon a time, football teams were controlled by the state and used to subdue opponents with the crisp efficiency of their passing, which was something of total soccer from a communist lens.
They used to have a lot of success on the international and European stages but now that most of these countries adopted free market principles, there is a sense of chaos in their football.
While totalitarian interference is no longer a threat, there is now a crippling dearth of funding and mafia control.

Wilson goes on a quest to find Hungary’s Golden Squad which dazzled during the 1950s. He also explores the disintegration of Yugoslavian football through mismanagement and corruption.

Jonathan Wilson’s “Angels with Dirty Faces” is a story of Argentina as one of the greatest footballing nations in the world.

It is a country that produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Batistuta, and Juan Roman Riquelme. It is a nation obsessed with football despite its volatile and rich history which perhaps is responsible for its ruthlessly pragmatic and sublime players.

Wilson who lived in the country for several years would go on to assert that there are five stages of Argentinian football.
These are appropriating the British game, the la nuestra golden age, the exuberant playing style during the reign of Juna Peron, the anti futbol era with its brutal methods, the fusing of efficacy and beauty under Cesar Luis Menotti, and the underachieving but ludicrously talented pliers of recent times.

Wilson asserts that more than any nation, Argentina breathes and lives for football which is debated in cafes and street corners. It is also a subject that has preoccupied the country’s greatest philosophers and writers.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jonathan Wilson

Leave a Reply