The manager of England's national football unexpectedly succumbs to a heart attack, and suddenly the search is on for a replacement. Most people who seem qualified for the position have the... See full summary »
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The manager of England's national football unexpectedly succumbs to a heart attack, and suddenly the search is on for a replacement. Most people who seem qualified for the position have the good sense to turn it down, and so the responsibility falls to Mike Bassett, a scruffy and loud-mouthed lout whose claim to football fame is leading a previously undistinguished team to a league championship. Bassett insists that England will win the World Cup under his leadership, but that's before he replaces his star player with a once-gifted footballer who has since developed a drinking problem, and hired a one-time car salesman as his assistant. After stunning losses to Poland and Belgium, Bassett goes from a favorite of both fans and the press to one of the most hated men in England; hoping to whip his team into shape, he subjects them to the high-tech training methods of eccentric Dr. Shoegaarten, which injures more players than it helps. Despite Bassett's ineptitude, England manages to ... Written by
The thing about this film is that although it is obviously an exaggeration of the English soccer scene, it comes perilously close to the truth. It is certainly true that thanks to a ruthless gutter press, the England manager's job is a poisoned chalice, and no one wants it. One can remember how Kevin Keegan was practically forced into the job, a job for which he was ill-suited; and, in fairness to Mr Keegan, he knew it and resigned quite quickly. In this film, in need of an England manager, the Football Association offer the job to a second rater, brilliantly played by Ricky Tomlinson.
The film is full of little exaggerations. There is a quick shot of the back of the English goalkeeper, with an enormous pony tail. And my favourite scene is where the England squad meets the Republic of Ireland team comprising of English players sporting their new Irish accents. And of course the classic scene: Mike Bassett's half-time talk.
This film is brilliantly done. Certainly the best soccer film I have seen.
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