Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brian Clough: The first modern coach

The Australian Financial Review ran a great story in its Review pages this Friday, 'Pitch black: England and its national game in the 1970s' by Dominic Sandbrook. It was inspired by David Peace's book 'The Damned United' which will be released here in August.

I was very young in 1974 playing for the Redbacks. Red shirts and black shorts. But after a game I would race home to watch Jimmy Hill and the big match, and it was a big day if Leeds United were playing. I was also mesmerized by Brian Clough but I did not know why. Sandbrook explains it here, showmanship and attacking football.

Sandbrook points out that Clough was the first modern manager. They were working class and they wanted to make money. They thought it was fair. Sandbrook also points out that under EPL neither Clough nor Don Revie (for a short time Clough replaced Revie at Leeds United) would be a modern manager. The EPL does not let small teams with limited funds come from nowhere on the back of out of the box coaching brilliance.

I guess that means we are in the post modern ear.


Neil said...

I'm looking forward to the Damned United film when it comes out. It has been getting rave reviews. Here is the trailer for it

john said...

Thanks Neil cool

The Round Ball Analyst said...

the damned united was all over the news when i was in london in march. it was to be released just after i left. i tried to track down the book to no avail.

john said...

Thanks Tony

I just bought a 2nd hand copy at for US$7. Other copies are available here at

The 2nd hands are cheaper but the post more expensive at amazon.