The 15 best football documentaries you need to watch

Clough, Colombia and the Class of '92 all star as Jon Spurling selects the best factual films about the beautiful game

1. City!

The film shows bewigged City supremo Peter Swales terminating Malcolm Allison's disastrous second spell at Maine Road

This jaw-dropping documentary reveals a time in the early 1980s when Manchester City still adhered resolutely to the "Cups for cock-ups" adage. The film shows bewigged City supremo Peter Swales terminating Malcolm Allison's disastrous second spell at Maine Road and appointing John Bond to alleviate the Moss Side gloom, with the soap opera revolving around giant cigars, enormous cars, Swales' nasty suits and Big Mal's baffling tactics. A vastly different era for City compared to today's petro-dollar world.

2. Meanwhile Back In Sunderland

Director Ken Stephinson takes the bold decision to focus on those who watched the Rokerites take on Don Revie's Leeds at home

Produced by Tyne Tees, this brilliant piece of social commentary focuses on the bewitching effect Sunderland's shock 1973 FA Cup win had on the town, as director Ken Stephinson takes the bold decision to focus on those who watched the Rokerites take on Don Revie's Leeds United at home.

The highlight is the crowd of Sunderland fans massed outside the TV rental shop, and the old-timers - clad in red and white candy garb - having a sing-song in the pub later that night. A wonderfully evocative film.

3. The Crazy Gang

Vinnie Jones appears slightly vulnerable, explaining how his parents' divorce turned him into "an angry young man" as a teenager

Virtually the entire cast of Wimbledon's dastardly FA Cup-winning crew gather to discuss the means - both fair and foul - by which they beat Liverpool in the 1988 final.

Vinnie Jones appears slightly vulnerable, explaining how his parents' divorce turned him into "an angry young man" as a teenager, but John Fashanu - showing no remorse for his gruesome challenges on Gary Mabbutt and John O'Neill - comes across as slightly deranged. A distinctly blood-and-thunder watch.

4. An Impossible Job

"My wife couldn't believe how much I swore," a rueful Graham Taylor said of this toe-curling, fly-on-the-wall documentary

"My wife couldn't believe how much I swore," a rueful Graham Taylor said of this toe-curling, fly-on-the-wall documentary, which was shot as England failed dismally to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

Whether it's Taylor's frustrations at not being able to get the best out of Paul Gascoigne, his haranguing of the officials after they failed to award England a penalty in a decisive clash with Holland, the disastrous tactics against Norway, or assistant Phil Neal's monosyllabic, monotone comments, this is addictive car-crash viewing.

5. Les Bleus

This brilliant 2016 offering is something of a hidden gem – it's actually available on Netflix, which is a rarity where good football content is concerned. It charts 20 years of the French national team and its bumpy journey with the nation, featuring World Cup triumph, rising racial tensions, giant bust-ups and lots more in between. 

It's sub-titled, but that shouldn't put you off – the show's producers have tracked down key, eloquent figures who provide unique insight into a fascinating period, inluding Lilian Thuram, Olivier Giroud, Raymond Domenech, Robert Pires, Eric Cantona, Arsene Wenger and even former prime minister Francois Hollande.