Martin Greig - The Zen of Naka
- Allan Radcliffe
- 11 December 2008
Timing is everything when it comes to sport biogs. As Celtic tumble out of Europe in a flurry of missed opportunities, and with rumours rife that Shunsuke Nakamura may part company with the club in January, it seems Martin Greig’s account of the talismanic midfielder’s life and career to date is gathering pace just as Naka’s currency is reaching its peak. Though subtitled ‘The Journey of a Japanese Genius’, Greig’s book is refreshingly un-sycophantic about the player who first hit the headlines scoring a trademark free-kick against Manchester United in the Champions League.
Greig, senior sportswriter at The Herald, eschews the usual fawning in favour of an attempt to get to grips with an elusive subject who, unlike the pampered Rooneys, Ferdinands and Beckhams, has experienced genuine ups-and-downs, having recovered from rejection by his hometown club as a youngster and being left out of the 2002 Japan World Cup squad to carve out an impressive career in Europe.