an im­pos­si­ble JOB

Esquire (Malaysia) - - MACHINERY -

(1994) Di­rected by Ken Mcgill When Gra­ham Taylor died in Jan­uary, tributes said the for­mer man­ager and pun­dit was one of foot­ball’s true nice guys. The crew of the doc that al­most ru­ined him would have re­called his good na­ture. In 1993, af­ter film­ing Taylor’s Eng­land World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign, they were banned by the Dutch FA from film­ing at the penul­ti­mate qual­i­fier in Hol­land. Taylor helped smug­gle them pitch-side in Eng­land track­suits and with their gear in kit bags. (If only his team had been so adept at round­ing Dutch de­fences.) The shots of Taylor on the touch­line as Eng­land lose their chance to qual­ify are com­i­cally poignant. The film is full of such mo­ments. Taylor’s open­ness made him a laugh­ing stock, his “Do I not like that” and “Can we not knock it” be­came catch­phrases. This film prac­ti­cally killed the fly-onthe-wall sports doc and is all the more pre­cious for it.

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