By 90Min
May 30, 2019

After Borussia Dortmund announced their own 'intimate' upcoming four-part documentary detailing their rollercoaster (in that they were good, but not good enough) 2018/19 season, to add to an already burgeoning collection of fairly interesting yet carefully manufactured fly-on-the-dressing-room-wall docu-series, now seems as good a time as any to go through the ones that are dearly missing from the collection. 

Forget the never-ending success of Man City and Juventus, every series worth its salt needs conflict, drama, comedy and tragedy!

From the rainy streets of Stoke City in the Tony Pulis years to the dizzying misadventures of France at the 2010 World Cup, here are the eight football documentaries we sorely wish had been made.


Newcastle - 1995/96:

'We Would've Loved It'

Stu Forster/GettyImages

"I've kept really quiet but I'll tell you something, they went down in my estimations when they didn't make this film. How have they not resorted to that? You can tell them now, we're still fighting for this film and they've got to go to the BBC and get something.


And I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we see it. Love it.


But it really has got to me. I've voiced it live, not in front of the press or anywhere. I'm not even going to the press conference. But the battle is still on and they haven't made this yet!"

Yeah. Get it done.


Republic of Ireland - 2002 World Cup: 'The Saipan Incident'

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If a title like the 'Saipan Incident' doesn't suggest prestige television, I don't what does. It's got the HBO Sunday 10pm slot written all over it. Sure, we know a fair bit about Roy Keane's exodus from the Irish national team, indeed, part of the unravelling of the relationship between the captain and Mick McCarthy was thanks to the information that came out from Keane's interview with the Irish Times, but still, it's not enough.

Yes, the eye-witness accounts are detailed (and delightful) but the visuals would've been something else, and the setting - a secluded island in the Pacific - perfect. It'd be like the IRL prequel to 'Shutter Island'. Plus, I can imagine few greater curtain-closers than the speech Keane is said to have delivered to Mick when it all came crashing down. 

As per the Guardian, it went something like this:  "Mick, you're a liar... you're a f*cking w*nker. I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person. You're a f*cking w*nker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your b*llocks."


Stoke City: The Pulis Years - 'Pig Heads, Headbutts & Automobiles'

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This one probably has enough for eight seasons, the last two of which hopefully wouldn't be too condensed to convey true character development. Because there's a lot. This is not just one event, or one campaign, this is an era. 

A seven-year stint where all kinds of chicanery went down. Yes, we're talking James Beattie being headbutted by a naked Tony Pulis in the dressing room of the Emirates. Yes, there'd be tape of Kenywne Jones finding a pig's head amongst his clothes and wrongly totalling Jonathan Walter's windscreen in a case of mistaken identity.

And, yes, there would be OJ Simpson-in-the-Bronco style footage of Peter Odemwingie eloping off to QPR in January 2013. 

What? You want more? Ok, what about Jermaine Pennant leaving his car at Zaragoza train station? Done.


Louis Van Gaal: 'The Sitcom'

GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/GettyImages

*awkward cough* Hi, guys, here's my pitch for a half-hour comedy. It's basically 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' meets, like, 'Parks and Recreation' and 'The Office' UK and US, but in Dutch, with a lot of Dutch jokes, and a whole lot of Louis Van Gaal.

Yeh, it would basically just, umm, revolve around Van Gaal, and his various escapades. You know, there'd be an Amsterdam Gay Pride special every season, and sometimes he'd go to a football game, and sometimes he'd screech 'Louis Van Gaal's Army' in a strained, but somehow pleasing way. But mainly it would just be him, out and about, interacting with people in a completely unscripted and hilarious way. Some would think it was a parody, others would believe it was verbatim, and this would never be clarified either way.

Thank you.


West Brom: 'A Year of Pardew'

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I'm sure there's a whole load of material here because, well, it's Alan Pardew, but the dream would be a Richard Linklater style 24-hours approach, concentrating on the day building up to Taxigate... you know, when Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill stole a taxi in Barcelona. 

Ideally, footage of the quartet's night out, car theft and journey in said stolen vehicle back to the hotel would be interwoven with footage of Pardew in a black turtleneck and shaded glasses telling us how respected he was in the West Brom dressing room. 


France - 2010 World Cup: 'Sacre...'

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There have been some great documentaries made about the French national team, including 'Les Yeux Dans Les Bleus', which concentrated on the victorious 1998 World Cup campaign, and 'Les Bleus - Une Autre Histoire de France, 1996-2016' a more all-encompassing affair tackling the societal issues that go hand in hand with the team. 

However, neither of those contained insider videos of Nicolas Anelka's expletive-filled half-time rant aimed at Raymond Domenech during the 2010 World Cup group stage loss to Mexico, and neither of them contain mic'd up footage of Patrice Evra rowing with his fitness coach, nor from inside the bus which the squad hid in immediately after. 

I bet it was just like '12 Angry Men'.


Liverpool: 'The Rodgers Collapse'

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

I don't even need fly-on-the-wall, in the moment stuff here, to be honest. A retrospective would be fine, as long as it involved both Jose Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers. 

We'd work our way in with an overview of Rodgers' initial successes, and then basically dive into the collapse against Chelsea at Anfield in 2014 for the remainder. Hopefully, there'd be loads of Rodgers trying to paper over the cracks with misplaced bravado, and once again claiming the footballing moral high ground, interspersed with Mourinho's wholehearted takedowns of these excuses. 

But, if we did have insider footage from that fateful day in 2015, then the Liverpool dressing room at full-time would be quite the scoop. Bet it was a real hoot. 


Manchester United: 'The Third Mourinho Year'

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It's only right. In fact, if he's up for it - even though he's wholly unqualified to do so - Rodgers is free to weigh in here if he wants, because this one is going to get ugly. 

Preferably, though, there'd be less retrospective talking here, and much more in-house arguing between Paul Pogba and Mourinho, with Scott McTominay, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling ardently pleading Mou's case and everyone else basically slagging him off. 

Candid shots of the Lowry hotel as Mourinho goes down to the breakfast buffet with his Alan Partridge-style big plate.

A vlog from Paul Pogba inside the infamous Rolls Royce escape from Turf Moor would be the perfect accompaniment to the end credits, cut alongside black and white stills of Mourinho in various poses of dismay in the Old Trafford dugout.

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