Jonathan Wilson (writer)

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Jonathan Wilson
Born (1976-07-09) 9 July 1976 (age 38)
Sunderland, England
Nationality British
Occupation Author, Journalist

Jonathan Wilson (born 9 July 1976) is a British sports journalist and author who writes for a number of publications, including The Guardian, The Independent and Sports Illustrated. He is a columnist for World Soccer, bettingexpert[1] and founder and editor of The Blizzard. He also appears on The Guardian's football podcast, "Football Weekly".[2][3]


Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football
Behind the Curtain details Wilson's travels through Eastern Europe, describing the history, half-time oranges, styles and idiosyncrasies of football in each country; the breakup of the Soviet Union and the resulting political turmoil is reflected in football and the culture surrounding it.
Sunderland: A Club Transformed
Describes one of the most remarkable seasons (2006–2007) in Sunderland's recent history. Taken over by a Niall Quinn-led consortium, Sunderland nonetheless looked destined for a return to the third tier for only the second time in their history until the appointment of Roy Keane—a decision which would turn around Sunderland's fortunes both that season (winning promotion to the Premiership) and rekindle Sunderland as an established top-flight club. The book also examines the history of SAFC and of its importance to the city of Sunderland.
Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics
Wilson documents the evolution of football tactics and formations from the sport's foundations to the modern 4-5-1 formation and its variants. Along the way, Wilson discusses the evolution and rationale behind the Italian Catenaccio style, Dutch Total football, the individual skills of South American football players and tactical innovations in the Soviet Union. He suggests that the failure to innovate tactically has played a role in the under-achievement of recent English international teams, who have struggled in recent competitions despite the presence of a number of exceptionally-talented players.[4] Winner of the 'Best Football Book' category of the 2009 British Sports Book Awards.[5] Shortlisted for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award,[6]
The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches
The Anatomy of England looks at the England team's rise and fall in 10 matches, beginning with Spain vs. England in Madrid in 1929 and ending with England vs. Croatia at Wembley in 2007. The match descriptions are used to illustrate characteristics of the team over this period.
Brian Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You
Jonathan Wilson, in this first full, critical biography, draws an intimate and powerful portrait of one of England's greatest football managers and his right-hand man, Peter Taylor, revealing how their identities were forged in the unforgiving world of postwar football—a world where (as Clough and Taylor's mentor, Harry Storer, once said) "Nobody ever says 'thank you'".
The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper
'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, even Julian Barnes's safe to say the goalkeeper hasn't always been a team player. In THE OUTSIDER, Wilson traces the sometimes dangerous intellectual and literary preoccupations of the keeper, and looks at how the position has secured a certain existential cool, as well as taking a deep tactical and technical look at the history of goalkeeping. There has been the odd, minor work on goalkeeping in the past, but nothing like this in scope or depth.


Wilson has written for The Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and The Daily Telegraph, and was football correspondent for the Financial Times from 2002 to 2006. He writes for The Guardian and is a columnist for World Soccer and The Irish Examiner.[7] In 2011 he founded the quarterly football journal The Blizzard, which he edits.[8]

Wilson is the main contributor to a feature on The Guardian website, "The Question", in which he analyzes modern trends and evolutions in football. "The Question" has included articles on the decline of the box-to-box midfielder, the importance of the modern full-back and the evolution of the defensive striker.[9]


  1. ^ Jonathan Wilson article archive
  2. ^ Jonathan Wilson profile Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  3. ^ Jonathan Wilson article archive at Sports Illustrated Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  4. ^ "This, arguably, was the main reason for the farrago of the golden generation: England were blessed with a remarkably talented generation of players; the problem was that Michael Owen and David Beckham needed a 4-4-2, while Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard needed an additional holding player. Neither Sven-Göran Eriksson nor Steve McClaren ever had the clarity of thought to opt for one system over the other and kill players accordingly. It was almost as though football itself were taunting England for its lack of tactical sophistication and its concomitant obeisance to the cult of the celebrity player".Wilson, J., "The Question" Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  5. ^ "Prior winners". British Sports Book Awards. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ 2008 Short List Archived from the original 2012-05-18.
  7. ^ Blurb from the inside cover of Inverting the Pyramid.
  8. ^ About The Blizzard Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  9. ^ "The Question" Retrieved 2012-05-18.

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