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By ESPN Staff

What a relief... Managers uncut

He is the man responsible for words like 'bouncebackability', for gigantic teacup bills and is loved by opticians across the land. Without him, teams would crumble and fans would have no-one to blame. He is, of course, the football manager.

Sport Relief has teamed up with Tim Lovejoy to present a clip-show style DVD of these great men and, with £2 from every purchase going to help change the lives of vulnerable people here in the UK and across the world's poorest countries, you feel good about buying it as well.

What you get is around 50 minutes of touchline entertainment - watching the likes of Bill Shankly, Brian Clough and Sir Bobby Robson explode at poor decisions and make a fool of themselves by celebrating like a dad dancing at a disco when things go right.

Most of these clips will be familiar to a football fan, but there are some real gems. Kevin Keegan's premature 'I'd love it if we beat them' gets an airing (twice), as well as Brian Clough's manhandling of spectators and clowns alike.

From language barriers to assistant managers, and excuses to what happens when they're given the boot, the DVD shows the life of a manager through the eyes of those who live it. Some great behind-the-scenes footage shows Peter Reid using some colourful words, while Sir Bobby Robson is somewhat less animated in his attempts to stir his team into action.

Lovejoy, at Charlton's 'Valley' stadium, attempts to get into the shoes of those public figures of hate and the premise of the DVD is a jovial look at how you can get 'the best job in the world'.

Rife with amusing quotes and anecdotes, the action involving Cloughie reminds us just how much of a character a manager can be; while the timeless quote from Bill Shankley 'You haven't broken your leg son, it's all in your head', shows how you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of one either.

The extras leave a bit to be desired, with Paul Whitehouse's comic creation 'Ron Manager' struggling to get eight minutes out of a monosyllabic David Beckham. All contrived, it would have been more interesting to see Becks quizzed on some real issues, although it's nice to see that he can poke fun at himself and one assumes that is the real point.

There is also a skit involving a young Wayne Rooney (played by Jon Culshaw), screened live on the last Comic Relief and an appeal from Lovejoy himself for you to get involved in the fundraising.

Overall, it's good to know that some of the money you spend on the DVD is going to a good cause. It may also make you stop and think the next time you go to berate your team's boss - they are only human after all.

•  Have a look at Sport Relief, or get your copy of the DVD here...


  • Any comments? Email Jon Carter