WARNOCK: Part 2
Updated: Apr 23
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WARNOCK: Documentary Deep Dive Part 2
Nick Hamer continues on the Warnock warpath, tractor included
Wolves (H) - ‘WHO’S MARKING LESCOTT?'
Before the Blades’ home fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers, we see more of Warnock’s man management and tactical acumen. Danny Cadamarteri, who has been throwing up all night, looks to soldier on in the starting eleven, after being told by his manager that this game has been ‘made to measure' for him. The former Everton man has been unable to keep food down but is more than happy to fill up on carb drinks so that he can play. That is until 2:45pm when he starts throwing up again and Warnock is forced into a change. Paul Shaw comes into the starting eleven. It looks to be a masterstroke when Shaw puts United 3-2 up, only for Joleon Lescott to equalise in the 87th minute. This leads to a post-game argument with captain Chris Morgan, who was supposed to be marking Lescott. Morgan begrudgingly admits that he should’ve marked the opposition centre-half, but says he was unable to get close because of the ‘three other big fuckers in there.’ Warnock is having none of it and sees it as a feeble excuse, as Lescott is Morgan's job: if Lescott doesn’t score but one of the other ‘big fuckers’ scores that's Warnock's fault, and he proudly admits to that during this heated but healthy discussion. Warnock says ‘you’ve got to fuckin’ die for three points’, one of the documentary’s main hooks but on the day, the Blades sadly didn’t.
Scarborough (A) & Millwall (A) - 'For Muscat'
The squad are treated to a team bonding day in Scarborough, a town close to Warnock’s heart after he achieved promotion to the Football League with the seaside club in 1987. Chris Morgan lets us behind the curtain and tells us that Warnock loves taking the players to Scarborough because the manager gets free fish and chips.
After a brief glimpse of seeing the lighter side to our beloved former manager, we see him back to his snarling and swearing best away at Millwall with a brief glimpse of his views of the ‘elite’ and of the ‘so-called experts’ as he is caught on camera shouting ‘we’re in London, that’s the fuckin’ difference’ at the match officials when a decision doesn’t go United's way. The game also involves a half-time brawl between what seems like the entire Blades team and the Lions’ Kevin Muscat.
When Warnock puts his inspector's hat on in the dressing room he’s informed of the following:
Kevin Muscat ‘is a shithouse’ - Chris Morgan (2004)
‘We’ll see to him after’ - Chris Morgan (2004)
He headbutted Paddy Kenny.
Paddy Kenny was sent off.
Kevin Muscat was sent off.
None of this has any bearing on the result. The Blades leave Bermondsey with a 2-1 win, thanks to a rocket from Derek Geary and a steady performance from reserve goalkeeper Phil Jagielka. As ever, Warnock takes a victory like this with a quiet dignity and a lot of humility, taking time out to speak to every Millwall player to let them know that the result 'serves you right for fuckin’ Muscat that,' in what is arguably the documentary's most iconic moment.
Then we come to what is this author’s favourite moment. After Jagielka’s performance in goal in the second half Warnock claims that they ‘don’t need a fuckin' keeper’: queue the camera cutting to poor Patrick Kenny, who curiously has the exact look of a goalkeeper who has just been headbutted and told he’s being replaced by a centre half.
The January Blip and fackin ‘ell, Warnock is in his tractor
With the transfer window ‘swinging open’ (N.B. the narrator says that transfer deadline day is approaching but the subsequent game featured is actually Wigan on New Year's Day), Warnock is in a meeting with chairman Kevin McCabe and others discussing potential signings. Duncan Ferguson is a name that is touted, but the kibosh is put on any plan to sign him by Neil. It’s a shame really: on the one hand, he probably wouldn’t have provided the goals to see us promoted and probably would have been injured most of the time, but on the other, Chris Morgan at the back and Big Dunc up top sounds like one of the hardest teams of all time. Our beloved manager suggests John Stead as an alternative - he’ll have to wait a bit for that one.
The Blades go through a series of defeats to Wigan, Sunderland and Ipswich (the FA Cup 3rd round, the replay win over West Ham and the home defeat to Brighton don’t make the cut). In this section, Warnock only shows joy when he sees the players wearing the orange kit at Sunderland. Tongey is singled out for looking particularly nice in the kit. We begin to see Warnock’s fascination with what boots the players are wearing (more on that later). After the defeat to Sunderland, we see more heated discussions between the manager and captain Morgan, with Warnock letting out a now-trademark ‘fackin’ ell’.
During the home defeat, he appears to lose his shit more than usual; most of his aggression is aimed towards the linesman. I did try to count the amount of times he says ‘fuck’ but I lost count by the time he sent Paul Shaw to warm up just so he could also have a go at the poor official. In the end Warnock also wants to know the linesman's surname so he can report him.
Finally, stop the presses: Neil Warnock has a tractor, ladies and gentleman, and he looks glorious driving it. How were people surprised that a tractor-owning millionaire in Cornwall thought we might be better off being out of the European Union?