Alternative Review Of All Or Nothing by Dan Smith
I used to work with a Spurs fan and would ask him that when they banter what’s their material? Like us Arsenal fans can point to winning the title at the Lane, Sol Campbell jumping ship, or us winning trophies during their ‘golden period’.
What do they say when they want to ridicule us?
While we talk about watching the likes of Henry, Pires, Adams, Viera, etc, who do they list as legends? Darren Bent?
That’s not me being condescending, I was genuinely interested to know how their minds work.
So this week, as I was laying on the settee feeling unwell, I saw an opportunity to take part in a social experiment, watch the first three episodes of their Amazon series to try and see how their mindset works (from a biased perspective of course).
The makers of ‘All Or Nothing’ had given Man City 10 million to have unlimited access to the club so clearly didn’t have a lot of money left over, hence they could only afford to follow Tottenham around for a season.
The producers were clearly hoping that Pochettino could carry on the momentum from getting to the Champions League Final. Instead they have to try and create a drama based on finishing 6th in the table, while changing managers halfway through the campaign.
Tom Hardy introduces us with the exaggeration of Spurs having a glorious past (they were last champions in the 60’s) yet there has been a revolution recently? I think he’s referring to their new stadium. West Ham though play in front of 60 000 people. You wouldn’t say they are part of any revolution, would you?
Daniel Levy kicks things off by saying the perception of him is not a true one – that being that he’s a tough negotiator who only cares about business off the pitch and not on it.
Apparently, everyone fails to see the irony that he says that and the very next scene he’s talking about how the ground has two pitches to host the NFL. When the team are really struggling, what’s the Chairmen doing as he potters about? He’s boasting how many NFL stadium tours he’s got booked
Given that some supporters viewed Pochettino as their greatest manager of the Premiership era, credited him from changing the power balance in North London, and say he was so close to winning the Prem, it’s incredible that he’s not given more respect in this project.
In reality of course we know that in fact he finished 3rd in a 2 horse race, and logic suggests how can there be a change in power if in your glorious period you win …0 and in a poor period by our standards we still ended up with 3 FA Cups?
Yet there’s no denying that he was the first man in my lifetime who ever made the Derby a tough fixture (at least away). So, the man deserved at least an interview, especially given that his employer claims to be good friends with him.
Okay legally there might be a period where the Argentine has to stay silent but surely, he warranted being allowed to contribute something, even if it was to explain how he felt leaving.
Humour aside, Spurs do their bit to help the community. Although the young kids look slightly disappointing when it Aurier who shows up at their school and not anyone else. That’s like finding 10 pound on the floor and then losing 20.
Enter Jose Mourinho and the first thing he does is unpack a box of his personal items to make his office look nice. I didn’t see a picture of his family, I did see…… lots of photos, magazines, books …… about himself! I’m not joking!
Meanwhile in the canteen players start to turn their heads to the massive television which seems to be playing highlights of the ‘Special one’s career’.
It could have been a coincidence, maybe Sky Sports at the time playing a montage?
I like my theory though, a man so self-involved the first thing he does is have a video all about himself being played even before he’s bothered to introduce himself.
At the tables while eating breakfast Harry Kane is pretending to have a discreet chat, insisting that he had texted Poch the previous evening and his ex-gaffer loves him, wishes everyone well and knows deep down that the rumours the players had stopped playing for him were rubbish.
I say pretending because the captain must have seen a camera right in his face. What an ideal time for the striker to be being filmed just as he happens to be saying that. I was just waiting to hear the director shout ….’ And cut, thanks Harry, that’s what we wanted, great acting’.
The squad meet the new regime who essentially confirm that Spurs is maybe the smallest club they ever worked for.
Training is spent with Jose having to ask who’s called who. He knows who Harry Kane is and seeming Harry Winks based on him being the ‘other Harry’. Do you think at Chelsea, Real Madrid or Man United he had to name check?
Deli Ali gets nicknamed ‘lazy’ for just standing still in training. Anyone else notices that Jose always has a couple of players he picks on?
At Stamford Bridge it was always Shaun Wright Phillips and Joe Cole, at Old Trafford he bullied Luke Shaw. Here it’s Ali.
It’s okay though, Spur’s fans, as their new manager only needed a couple of days to work out why they never win anything. The question they wanted the answer to for years. The reason they were paying this boss more than any other in their history to come up with the answer?
Which is ………… they are too nice! He felt that as their opposition and now he sensed it working with them. When Jose was trying to convince himself that was the only problem, I almost felt sorry for him. No, it’s not they are too nice … they just are not good at Football!
In segments that seemed staged, Jose invites some senior talents in for 1-1 chats. Do you remember years ago when James Corden did a sketch with the national team about raising the ‘profile’ of players well that’s what Jose says to Harry Kane? The only difference being that Smithy is a character on a comedy who was raising money for Comic Relief. Jose on the other hand was being very serious in his first meeting with his skipper.
Kane, who you wrongly assume is humble and level headed, actually says his ambition is to be better than Messi or Ronaldo. Everyone in the room at that point including Jose apologized to Kane and asked for a few seconds while they left the room. All Kane could hear was laughing on the outside of the door.
Dier may have been one of the happier people to see a managerial change, explaining he didn’t know why he had been frozen out. He tries to woo his new boss by speaking in Portuguese. it doesn’t work, he’s subbed in the next game inside 35 minutes.
It’s quite like Deli Ali, who was told how special he was before he ever achieved anything. He believed in his own hype and has flopped ever since. The first time I ever liked Jose was him wiping that smug smile off Ali’s face, essentially telling him in a polite way he’s wasting his career.
The saddest part of the first three episodes was when Mourinho named his first team sheet, warning everyone not to feel not wanted if you were on the bench, because if you’re not wanted you will already know about it. Everyone turns to look at Danny Rose who bows his head. He would be loaned out two months later.
Eriksen seems a real student of the game. He offers an insight into how to tell a club you want to leave but sill conduct yourself with professionalism. So, it was like the Dane decided that even though he be joing Inter, while he was there it was worthwhile asking a few questions to learn from. When he asks ‘Lampard, good guy?’
Jose sees his chance, stressing what a pro Frank was because of his commitment and how they worked so well together. Eriksen nodded his head….and left in January.
If you want to watch for a laugh, Part 4 is on Monday.
I won’t give any spoilers but…….. there is no happy ending (well not if you are a Spurs fan anyway).
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