Register Login Scores

International

SL's Top Managers: 9- Brian Clough

9. Brian Clough, (1935-2004),  Nottingham Forest  

Spot the odd one out: Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest.

The chances are, most readers will have picked Forest- a mid-table team in the English Championship, compared to the Premier League luminaries, the Red Devils, Reds, Blues and Gunners.

But in fact, the odd team out is Arsenal: the only team mentioned not to have lifted the European Cup.

Nottingham Forest!  European champions? Yes and yes again.

In 1979 and 1980, during the great eras of European giants Ajax Amsterdam, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, little Forest won back-to-back European Cups, just four years after winning promotion to the then English First Division.

And Nottingham’s unprecedented, never-to-be-repeated success was all thanks to one man, ninth on Soccer-Laduma’s list of top managers of all time: Brian Clough.

Controversial Clough was a prolific striker for Tyne-Wear rivals Middlesbrough and Sunderland from 1955-1964, until a knee injury ended his playing career at 29.

With 251 league goals to his name from just 274 starts, Clough remains one of Britain’s all-time top scorers, and was a guaranteed legend even before his colourful managerial career.

He made his name as a boss at Derby County, taking them from the Second Division as champions into the First in 1970, and winning the top-flight title just one season later.

He repeated the same trick at Forest, who were mired in 13th place in the Second Division when he joined as manager.

Just one season later, Forest were First Division champions, with Clough becoming just the first manager since Herbert Chapman to win the league with two different teams.

This was at the time of Bill Shankly’s Liverpool crushing machine and Don Revie’s nasty but efficient Leeds. For Forest to beat them was nothing short of a footballing miracle.

Incredibly, Clough then led Forest to the European Cup crown, knocking out holders Liverpool along the way to beat Malmo in the final. And amazingly, he did it again the next season, against Kevin Keegan-inspired Hamburg.

Just think about it: it's like Brimingham City manager Lee Clarke somehow making his team Premier League then Champions League winners!

Controversial, outspoken and opinionated, Clough’s career ultimately petered out into a lost battle with alcoholism.

But to this day, he is revered as arguably the best British manager ever, for the way he took to two lowly Midlands teams to top-flight glory, and made one of them the best team in Europe twice.

In total, Clough won 12 trophies during has managerial career, which was peppered with arguments, feuds and allegations due to his sharp wit and occasional spitefulness.

But his managerial alchemy, turning minnows into champions during football’s grittiest era, may never be repeated.

Brian Clough: SL’s ninth best manager of all time.

10- Munoz; 9- Clough

nextarticle

Davids: Neymar Could Flop At Barca

7 comments

Top 5

The 6 Risks And Doubts For Soweto Derby

44 Feb 18, 2020 01:36 PM in Soweto Derby

The Highest-Paid Players In Europe Revealed

12 Feb 11, 2020 07:14 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Official: Khenyeza Appointed In Head Coach Role

40 Feb 18, 2020 11:37 AM in GladAfrica Championship

Man City Could Be Relegated To League Two

43 Feb 17, 2020 06:28 PM in English Premier League

Middendorp On Title Race Turning Point

75 Feb 17, 2020 02:22 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Man City Could Be Relegated To League Two

43 Feb 17, 2020 06:28 PM in English Premier League

4 Pipes Only: Did You See Mathoho’s Yellow Luxury Ride Squad?

1 Feb 19, 2020 08:00 AM in Stars & Their Cars

Reports: Real & PSG Pushed UEFA To Ban Man City

18 Feb 19, 2020 09:30 AM in UEFA Champions League

Ronaldo Reportedly Gives Partner R1.5 Million Per Month In Allowance

2 Feb 18, 2020 06:00 PM in Footballers & Chill

Pep's Stance If City Get Relegated To League Two Revealed

15 Feb 18, 2020 11:29 AM in English Premier League

Soweto Derby Focus – Zinnbauer On Chiefs Reality

27 Feb 18, 2020 09:18 AM in Soweto Derby

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

28 Nov 24, 2019 07:17 PM in World News

Khanye: Chiefs Are Very Predictable

80 Feb 18, 2020 02:32 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

9 Players Who Left Barca Because Of Messi

29 Nov 03, 2019 10:21 AM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Middendorp: We Must Forget About The Title Race

43 Feb 18, 2020 07:31 AM in Kaizer Chiefs