Greatest manager Forest ever had…

Brian Clough is a legend in Derby and Nottingham. No mean feet to be looked on with affection by both sets of fans, as probably their best manager in both cases.
Brian Clough in his prime

Derby won the league under him in 1972 for their first win, and it was pretty much his team that won the 1975 championship under Mackay. They were also robbed of a chance of European glory by interesting refereeing decisions in the semi-final against Juventus.

At Forest he did even better. Winning the promition to the top flight in 1976/77 league in 1977/78, the European Cup in 1979, and then retaining it in 1980. It is argued he changed the way football was played in England, looking for a more cultured approach. I always used to look forward to Arsenal v Forest: the teams seemed to bring the best out of each other and the matches were exciting.

Then after sixteen years of top flight football with Forest, always playing beautiful football, the wheels came off. Forest were relgated in 1992/3. I think it fair to say they haven’t really recovered since.

For much of that season everyone was saying: “too good to go down”. Until March when it became apparent they weren’t. Clough had allowed the team to weaken by selling good players (looking at wikipedia these included Des Walker and Teddy Sheringham. I forgot Teddy was a Forest man.) His personal problems had become more apparent to the outside world as well. However, he had become unsackable. He resigned when Forest were relegated.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader as to why a great man, a man who gave so much to football but in the end couldn’t keep up with changes in the game around him, and couldn’t admit that until it was too late, might be in the mind of an Arsenal fan today.

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Filed under arsenal, football, ranting

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