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Mike Bassett: England Manager Review

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Former Norwich manager, Mike Bassett is given the unenviable task of getting England through a World Cup competition in this faux documentary.

★★★★★

Arriving on a wave of football euphoria, Barron's likeable faux documentary follows the fortunes of former Norwich manager Bassett (Tomlinson) as he struggles to take a woeful England to the World Cup.

As England stumble in painfully recognisable ways (first match: 2-0 to Poland), Barron finds plenty of humour in the game - scientific sports training, souped-up Sky coverage.

He even comes up with some inspired lunacy: third division no-hoper players Benson and Hedges get into the squad as Bassett writes his team on a fag packet.

It might not be soccer's Spinal Tap, but there is enough here to make it worthwhile.

The comedy strings are pulled byTomlinson's engaging mixture of saltiness and pathos.

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