Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ray Cries Foul as a Greedy Footy Boss

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ray Cries Foul as a Greedy Footy Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY RAMSEY

All In The Game

9pm, Channel Four

NONE of your Footballers' Wives cartoon glamour here: this one-off drama dwells firmly in the festering underbelly of the beautiful game.

Despite outward appearances of success, every character in this story of life at a lowranking Premiership club is gradually pulled apart by a relentless drive for money and adulation.

Ray Winstone turns in a shocking, mesmerising and downright camera-hogging performance as Frankie, the driven yet charmless wide-boy manager who uses the f-word not only as an adjective but any time he needs to pause for breath.

Frankie and his keen but thick football-agent son Martin (Danny Dyer) make a few quid on the side from dodgy transfer deals - just enough to keep them in tacky mock-Tudor mansions.

Frankie can also wind chairman George Swaine (Roy Marsden) - a supporter of the club since childhood - around his little finger, releasing a gushing torrent of bad language if things aren't going his way.

However, director of football Paul (Idris Elba) can see the damage Frankie's greed is doing to both the club and the young players being traded as if they were stickers in the Panini album.

All In The Game isn't presented as a straightforward case of good versus bad, though; even the sympathetic main characters have their flaws.

And although Tony Grounds's script concentrates on corruption, it's not without its darkly funny moments: Frankie's at times gobsmackingly unpleasant swearing providing some of them.

This is a powerful study of football's currency (the prevalence and the folding kind), and Winstone is a whirlwind of self-belief. It's a far cry from the razzmatazz of Super Sunday.

New Street Law

8pm, BBC1

Week two of the crusading-Manc-lawyers drama, and once again the hand of co-creator GF Newman (the pen behind Judge John Deed) looms large. Campaiging barristers, public-issue-led cases?

Overacting from the defendants ? Rickety idealism?

It's Deed up North. Still, at least we don't have to endure sports-car-based womanising. Tonight, the team represents a man with cancer who was exposed to toxins at work. …

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