The “Outsider” here refers to literature’s most famous goalie Albert Camus, and that is characteristic of the tone of this erudite study of the role of the goalkeeper in football; Wilson also references Nabokov, Julian Barnes and Peter Handke.
Goalkeepers have always been eccentric. The 28-stone Bill Foulkes once got up early and ate all his team-mates’ breakfasts. There are chapters on the great Russian, Lev Yashin, and on England’s golden age (Banks, Shilton, Clemence), and on Helmuth Duckadam, who saved four penalties in a European Cup Final. An entertaining study of “that curious figure, both part of the team and somehow different”, who only plays well when his team is doing badly.