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Sheen in a league of his own

PUBLISHED: 14:48 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 17:10 16 August 2010

The Damned United,  Brian Clough
FAO its friday
Baz Bamigboye

The Damned United, Brian Clough FAO its friday Baz Bamigboye

MAN-of-the-moment Michael Sheen stars as the late, great football manager Brian Clough in this tale of his ill-fated 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United in 1974. Based on a best-seller by David Pearce, the film casts Sheen as the gobby manager who wa

MAN-of-the-moment Michael Sheen stars as the late, great football manager Brian Clough in this tale of his ill-fated 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United in 1974.

Based on a best-seller by David Pearce, the film casts Sheen as the gobby manager who was riding high after transforming Derby County into a champion side and traces his fall from grace after things go catastrophically awry when he steps into the recently vacated shoes of new England boss Don Revie to take charge of Leeds United.

Director Tom Hooper wisely keeps the football action down to a bare minimum and concentrates on Sheen's superlative performance.

Following the impressionist-level attention to detail in his earlier roles as Tony Blair and Sir David Frost, Sheen again rolls out an uncanny impersonation, capturing the larger than life character of Old Big 'Ead in all its gory detail.

Football hasn't fared well in films of recent years - anyone who has seen Football Factory or Green Street can testify to that - and, while it may not exactly be a masterpiece, The Damned United is definitely in a league of its own in such company.

The Damned United is out in cinemas now.

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