Video: Why Brian Clough Remains a True Legend in English Football

You’ve see the film The Damned United, or read the book by David Peace that inspired it. The question that remains is, to what extent has the outspoken, charismatic and often times hilarious manager left a lasting impression on you?

For me, Clough embodies what I think of when I imagine English football in the 60’s and 70’s and he remains a true legend in the game. I’m naturally drawn to Clough’s personality and words as I gravitate towards YouTube once or twice a month to learn something from the man who accomplished so much in his almost 30 year managerial career.

His interviews are full of poignantly truthful conversations and his outspoken nature led to more classic quotes than one can count.

The video below is classic Clough. The 5 minute clip is taken from the Big Match in early December of 1973. Clough’s Brighton & Hove Albion team had just lost on December 1st, 2-8 at home to Bristol Rovers. When watching, pay close attention to a few points:

  • The manner in which Clough speaks so directly to the television presenter is a good example in how Clough didn’t mince words with anyone.
  • His opening statement when he so freely states: “Well, obviously they were wrong and they don’t know me“.
  • At about the four minute mark, Clough seems to turn and start speaking directly into the camera as if he’s a political figure addressing the country. At 4:22, in regards to how he’s running Brighton, he assures his critics that, “no newspaper, television or anything will move us from this particular style”.
  • Lastly, Clough had an incredible ability to keep his cool and seem calm and charming when under pressure. At the end of the video, the television presenter brings out a cartoon that paints Clough in a panicked, clueless state while he attempts to phone Sir Alf Ramsey on the telephone for HELP. Clough laughs off the cartoon and admits with a smile on his face, “I’ll ask help from anybody, even Sir Alf“.

Feel free to leave any comments, memories or funny quotes from the legend that is Brian Clough in the comments section below.

7 thoughts on “Video: Why Brian Clough Remains a True Legend in English Football”

  1. The man was honest and direct, as well as having a clear appreciation of how players succeed or fail in following the required tactics…

    I am a West Brom supporter who remains very sorry that Brian Clough never managed either my club or my country, and entirely understand the pleasure and pride of Nottingham Forest and Derby supporters whose clubs did have the “Clough” stamp give character and enjoyment to their play…

    Put simply, the man was class…

  2. I see nothing “smug” in Clough’s expression at all, but perhaps I may be more impartial and objective than you… :o)

    It’s a great picture, though… Two of the true giants as managers in English football… :o)

  3. The Clough – Muhammad Ali stuff was hilarious.

    ” wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.”

    “f I had an argument with a player we would sit down for twenty minutes, talk about it and then decide I was right!”

    The guy just comes up with quality sound bites, calls them like he see’s them, and him and Peter Taylor were amazing football minds. What else could you ask for in a manager?

  4. Four days before that game Brighton had an equally poor result.
    In an FA Cup first round replay at home to non-league Walton & Hersham they lost 4-0!
    Clough mentions it briefly in that clip saying going out of the cup earlier didn’t help.

  5. The interviewer is Brian Moore, known as the ‘Voice of Football’. He enjoyed a great relationship with Clough through the years and even dedicated a chapter on Clough in his autobiography. He is also remembered for his classic line ‘It’s up for grabs now!’ in reference to Thomas’ spectacular last minute goal for Arsenal in the League decider against Liverpool in 1989.

    And for the clown who criticised Clough for looking smug when walking out with Shankly in the ’74 Charity Shield, he obviously does not know what actually transpired. That was Shanks last game in charge of Liverpool and Clough was determined to ensure Shankly got all the plaudits, adulation and respect. He had always held Shankly in the highest regard, referring to him as the best manager in the country for well over a decade.
    That wasn’t a smug look but one of deference to a legendary manager. Cloughie would also go on to host a program in honour of Shank’s successor – Paisely, when he retired in 1983. So get your facts right before posting drivel.

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