NB: COMMENT ON: A technical blip prevented them until now
Jeremy Robson pays a grand tribute to Brian Clough to mark the imminent 10th anniversary of his death (aged 69, on September 20 2004). Sunderland fan and top writer Jonathan Wilson’s book, Nobody Ever Says Thank You, is available at very decent prices at Salut! Sunderland’s Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0753828715/salusund-21/ …
It’s hard to believe that ten years have lapsed since the passing of the great Brian Clough. Arguably, the finest manager of all time, he didn’t have to spend millions or be in charge at clubs with the deepest pockets to win trophies. He did it on the strength of team work, charisma and sheer brilliance.
According to Nigel his, son speaking ahead of tomorrow’s 10th anniversary of his death, his Dad would have been “dismayed and flabbergasted” by the modern game.
Sorry to say it, but Brian would not have been the only one. Brian’s inimitable style of management was flamboyant, brash and colourful to say the least. It was also incredibly successful, during the years of his partnership with Peter Taylor. They were a classic example of what the Germans call “Gestalt” where the whole is greater than the sum of the constituent parts.
“Old Big Head” as he called himself, was sometimes described as arrogant and conceited, and that wasn’t all he was called.
Nigel Clough contends that his late father was often afflicted by self doubt along the way. This might surprise a few people. He was a very honest man who despised cheating of any kind and, if he made mistakes, he was more than prepared to admit them, sometimes publically. I remember when he signed midfielder Gary Megson, and sold him again within a matter of weeks, disappointed in his new acquisition and commenting that Megson, “couldn’t trap a bag of cement”.
For younger readers who aren’t so familiar with this legend of the game there are some wonderful clips, and interviews with Brian on YouTube, particularly the Calendar interview with Brian and Don Revie following his dismal 44-day tenure as manager of Leeds United 40 years ago.
My son, who is only 12, has watched a lot of these clips and is highly amused at the frank as well as very amusing nature of it all.
As well as being the greatest manager of all time, Brian was of course one of the finest forwards to ever wear the red and white stripes. Brian Clough, my hero as man and boy. I still miss you. It’s such a shame that you never managed our beloved club.