Over the past five days we have taken a look at Premier League managers who were in the right place at the wrong time, but today we look at the big one . . . Old big 'ed Brian Clough at Leeds United.
Clough was never a big fan of Don Revie's Leeds side so it was a huge shock when he replaced Revie at Elland Road. What came as a bigger shock was that Clough managed to last 44 days before being axed.
The CV: We
all know about big 'ed the manager, but Brian Clough enjoyed an highly
successful playing career. Born in Middlesbrough in 1935, Clough
was a prolific striker for Boro and Sunderland. He bagged 251 goals in just 274 league games. This phenomenal ratio brought the Teesside international
recognition. In 1958 Clough won two England caps. The promising career came to a
premature end when the striker sustained a cruciate ligament injury. With his
playing days over the ex-international went into management.
In 1965 Clough
was appointed manager of Fourth Division Hartlepool United. The new
boss installed Peter Taylor as his assistant at the Victoria Ground. Taylor had been a team-mate of Clough at Middlesbrough. The duo led
Pool to a creditable eighth place finish in 1967. The North East club
had spent most of their 57-year history rooted to the bottom of the
These noticeable achievement
made Clough and Taylor hot property. In 1968 they were recruited by
Derby County. The once proud Rams had fallen on hard times and looked
destined for relegation to the Third Division. The appointment was to prove
a masterstroke, a year later Derby won the Second Division (now
Championship) title. Much of the credit has to be reserved for Taylor. The loyal number two certainly had an eye for a player. It was Taylor
the purchase of Dave
Mackay, a signing which breathed life into a fallen giant. In 1972 the
Rams won the First Division title for the fist time in their history.
Gemmill, O'Hare, Todd and McFarland were now household names. While
their charismatic manager instantly became a television personality. The outspoken boss was a regular on chat shows and was never afraid to
air his views. These outbursts caused ruptions at The Baseball Ground. Chairman Sam Longson grew tired of his manager's controversial views
and veiled criticism. In 1973 Clough offered his resignation. The board accepted and
Clough was replaced by Mackay. The Rams fans protested as irate
supporters marched through the city. Meawhile the County players signed a petition demanding the reinstatement of their managerial team. This public support failed to sway Longson and the highly successful tenure was over.
Taylor briefly reappeared at Brighton & Hove Albion. The South Coast
adventure was brought to an abrupt end when Clough was appointed Leeds
The Nightmare: The move to Elland Road was doomed from the outset. Leeds originally wanted to hire Clough and Taylor, but Taylor decided to stay with
his faithful ally in West Yorkshire. Clough was stepping into the shoes
of the legendary Don Revie. Revie left Elland Road to become England
manger. On the surface the two men were peas from the same pod. The pair were born in Middlesbrough before embarking on successful
playing careers. Both had taken provincial clubs from the lower reaches
of the Second Division to the summit of English Football. That is
where the similarities ended.
Leeds were renowned for their muscular approach. Their strong arm
tactics attracted plenty of critics who hated Leeds style of play.
Brian Clough was the loudest of those dissenting
voices. The Derby manager expressing his dislike for Billy Bremner and
company. The appointment was akin to a vegetarian been named chief
executive of McDonald's.
You might have thought the new United manager may have offered an
olive branch to his new charges. In typical style Cloughie ignored
convention wisdom. During his first training session the gaffer
continued his tirade. He told the reigning League Champions to "Throw
all their medals into the nearest dustbin, because they had all been won by blooming cheating."
The rant had little effect, Bremner was sent off in the 1974 Charity Shield.
The fiery Scot exchanged blows with Kevin Keegan. Both players famously removed
their shirts as they left the field of play. The FA threw the book at
Bremner, the Leeds captain was suspended for two months.
campaign began with a 3-2 defeat at Stoke City and QPR won at Elland Road
to pile the pressure on Clough. A fortunate win over Birmingham City
offered temporary rest bite.
But further defeats to Manchester City and Burnley signalled the
parting of the ways. After just 44 days in charge Brian Clough parted
company with Leeds.
Iconic Moment: The first training session. The begining of the End.
What Happened Next? Jimmy
Armfield stepped into the Elland Road breach. The former England
defender led United to the 1975 European Cup Final. The Whites lost a
tightly contested final to holders Bayern Munich.
Brian Clough succeeded
where his former employers failed. In January 1975 Clough was named
Nottingham Forest manager. One of first acts was to call Peter
Taylor. The dynamic duo decided to reform their partnership at The City
Ground. Forest were marooned in the Second Division when Cloughie
arrived. Two years later the East Midlanders gained promotion to the top flight. The Reds took the big boys by storm as they cruised to the
title. The newly crowned League Champions set their sights on Europe. The continent was conquered when a solitary Trevor Francis goal won
the 1979 European Cup Final. For good measure Clough's men successful
defended their crown a year later.
Forest also won
the League Cup four times during Clough's 18-year reign. The Gods
failed to shine on Don Revie. After England's failure to qualify for
the 1978 World Cup. Revie resigned as England boss. He was branded a
mercenary after accepting a lucrative contract to manage the United Arab
Emirates. The three-year-deal was worth a reported £340,00.
The daddy of
managerial mishaps even made it to the big screen. In 2009 'The Damned
United' hit the nations cinema. Based on David Peace's book the film
retold Cloughie's Elland Road torment. The film was notable for
Michael Sheen brilliant portrayal of old big 'ed.