This article first appeared on Response.
All or nothing, Tottenham Hotspur, Amazon Prime
“Iain, I’ll give you compassion for Tottenham Hotspur and within six hours you’ll have a creeping fondness for Jose Mourinho too.” No, not the words of a hypnotist, but a friend of mine who recommended that I watch the Amazon fly over one of my least favorite clubs on the wall. Now it has to be said that I am absolutely addicted to this type of program and have seen different series about Salford City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus. You get drawn into it. You get to know all the players, the people behind the scenes. After all, you want them to win every game that appears. You laugh with them. You cry with them. You feel their pain They experience their jubilation in victory, humiliation and depression in defeat. You can almost touch the team spirit or sometimes it lacks it. It’s the ultimate roller coaster.
They also learn that while most of them make money that the rest of us can dream of, they are just ordinary, average twenty year olds. They may have flash cars, they break the rules sometimes, but essentially they are little different from other men in their age group.
I’ve always seen Mourinho as a happy chancellor – someone who was in the right place at the right time and who only works in clubs where he can spend a lot of money or often waste it. I would love to see how he runs a championship club and if he can win promotion on a budget like Daniel Farke in Norwich or Slaven Bilic in West Bromwich Albion. Watching all or nothing made me revise that opinion. He is a man who only has to walk in a room and creates loyalty from his players without saying a word. He’s certainly not a gentle touch, and there are plenty of instances where he’s brutally honest with a player about his mistakes. When he comes on against you, you toast and it will take you a long time to work your way back. Ask Dele Alli.
The best thing about this show is that you get a bird’s eye view of the half-time and full-time team conversations, which is not always shown in similar programs. It’s raw and not for the faint of heart. What is never revealed is the agreement between the documentaries and the club. Does the club have editorial control or is that up to the film team? How much money changes hands? While these shows are generally good public relations for the team in question, it is a reasonable assumption that a sizable amount of Dosh will change hands. Even so, giving Amazon access to all areas is quite a decision for any club.
Thank goodness West Ham United, my team, never did. Given the soap opera at our club, it might not have turned out good.