It’s rare a list is unanimously agreed by everyone and France Football’s latest compilation, ‘The 50 Greatest Managers of All-Time’, sparked social media wars unlike anything we have ever seen.
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola disciples went to war on why it was unjust either manager was as low as they were ranked, whilst Manchester United fans revolted at the horror of Sir Alex Ferguson only being ranked at number two on the list behind Dutch football icon Rinus Michels.
A moment in time – Brian Clough, Nottingham Forest
But for Forest fans, they were contempt with their greatest every manager, Brian Clough, being ranked at 15, the highest English manager on the list and only behind the likes of Ferguson, Bill Shankly and Matt Busby.
Clough is remembered as not only the man who took Forest from the lower reaches of the Championship to back-to-back European Cup winners in the span of five years but as one of the most likeable and entertaining figures in English football.
Books and documentaries have been made about Clough’s accomplishments, and tales of what he achieved will be passed down from Forest fan to Forest fan for generations to come.
Before his arrival, Forest was a pretty unremarkable club, with only two FA Cups and one second-place finish in the First Division being the only real high points pre-1975. Which is what makes the next five years under Clough that more incredible.
Clough became the first manager to spend £1,000,000 on a player in Trevor Francis, and alongside his footballing partner Peter Taylor, the duo led one of the greatest English clubs teams to ever play to greatness.
Their dominance from 1975 to 1980 was felt so much around the league that Liverpool, who many thought of as the dominant team in both England and Europe, simply referred to Forest as ‘That Team’, for their ability to get results against the Merseyside club during their most successful years.
But like most good things, it all had to come to an end eventually. Clough broke the team up, selling Francis, Peter Shilton and John Robertson to make way for new faces. And although he was able to create a second great team with the likes of Des Walker and Stuart Pearce, the magic from that European Cup winning team just wasn’t there anymore.
And sure enough, this lack of magic began to wane on the team, and in 1993 Forest and Clough were relegated from the Premier League.
Although he was unable to leave the team he had built on a high note, Clough is still regarded as one of the, if not the, best English manager of all time. He would have been 84 yesterday, and his legacy is felt stronger than ever.
Forest fans, what is your favourite memory of Clough?
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