The sleeping giant, the king of wonders, returns. The forest was promoted to Premier 21 years (REUTERS).
He was not part of London’s dynasty of giants (Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal) or Manchester’s war of millions between City and United; any of the greats of Liverpool and Everton, the owners of their port city. no Nottingham Forest is huge for its epicness, for achieving the unimaginable, for developing film stories (in fact, some of its golden days were shot). After rotating for just decades for the Incredible Championship which was previously directed by Marcelo Bielsa, now the possibility of his return is just a game away from Huddersfield -curious first three-time champion of English football- at Wembley.
It wasn’t a good auspice last season: Forest finished in 17th place not far from the roads that intersect on the third step. It was rearmed gradually, but without stopping, as in the days of Clough. On a very long journey in the League: he played 46 games, tied 11 and lost 13. Final position: fourth, behind champion Fulham and second, Bournemouth, both already promoted to the Premier League . And the forest? In Repechage A surprise considering that the team only added one point from the first 21.
The arrival of Welshman Steve Cooper has changed speed, game and results. The data serves: in the following six games, Forest added 16 of the 18 points at stake. He was stopped by champion Fulham with a devastating hit. But they followed up nine games unbeaten. Nottingham is seventh, in the cornice of playoffs. The Premier League horizon is no longer a fantasy but a possibility,
Brennan Johnson and another celebration that a team loves the Premier League (REUTERS).
And so, little by little, he added the necessary points to get into the top four. It didn’t give him for the top 2, apparently. Although in some sections he raised his head: he returned 10 games unbeaten, he climbed to the podium, but the wrong start played ballast. But the team wearing red doesn’t refuse. Go for more. In the semifinals of play-offs removed Sheffield United, in the sense of sanctions and celebration of apotheosis. Now, on Sunday everything is at stake against Huddersfield and its own history, along with the ghosts and echoes of Wembley.
The Forest of the festival. He was also a star in the FA Cup: he reached the quarterfinals. (AP)
The days when Clough had magic
In 1991, Brian Clough was a superhero of two cities and two teams with great rivalry in football: Derby County and Nottingham Forest, arch enemies. In those two clubs that do not belong to the elite of English football he built the best moment in each other’s history.
A year before him, he was appointed by the University of Nottingham honorary doctor reasons such as Master of Arts (yes, the same recognition Oxford gave to Maradona). Soon, he received the Order of the British Empire with the rank of officer. This allows him to be officially addressed by adding the initials OBE (Official of the British Empire) after his name. He doesn’t care, he wants to win games.
Then, during the solemnities, the immense Clough responded with his usual rudeness and clarity. The initials must come from his nickname Old Big ‘Ead (“old believed”). You don’t know if he’s serious or joking. He seemed invariably between pride and sociability. Except when he’s doing his thing: football. There you have to play and win.
He has been a striker for Middlesbrough (the city of his birth; the club he was a fan of as a child) and Sunderland. His statistics count him as a tremendous goalcorer: he scored 267 goals in 296 games, between 1955 and 1965. He also played, but without much success, on the English team. Due to a ligament injury in one of his knees, he was forced to retire at the age of 29.
Interestingly, the best is yet to come. He began his teaching career with an acceptable campaign in Hartlepool. That move marked one of the features of his career: fighting the authorities, in this case, President Ernie Ord. As a result, with his inseparable assistant and friend Peter Taylor, they left for Derby County, which had been in the Second Division for ten years. And he achieved the seemingly impossible: for four years he led the team to win the English League title (now the Premier League) and then to the semifinals of the European Cup, where he was eliminated in a scandalous semifinal of Juventus. . In his way of complaining to his peers, he is a kind of Mourinho of this east.
He fought again with the club authorities, that is they considered it unmanageable. And they decided to kick him out. The next day they received two messages: the first, a letter from campus requesting the coach return; the second was massive: the fans organized the campaign Bring back Clough (“bring back Clough”). No case: Clough preferred to manage Brighton, in the Third Division, and then Leeds United. It didn’t go well.
But it wasn’t the end, it was just a help: in January 1975, he took over from Nottingham Forest. One of the greatest miracles in football history is about to happen. Between 1977 and 1980 the team left the Second Division to win seven titles (one League, two League Cups, one Community Shield, two European Champions Cups and one European Super Cup). He had a magic wand: he made figures the unknown players. An emblematic case is that of John Robertson, who when he arrives in the Forest will be sold to a Third Division team. Then he was key to that wonderful cycle. On the other side of this period: more bills, more possibilities of titles or top roles,
Clough said of himself: “He’s really a very unattractive young man. If one day I feel a little bad, I’ll sit next to him. I look like Errol Flynn compared to him. But you gave him up. of a meter of grass and he is one of our team’s The Picasso artists. ” His cycle at Forest continued until 1993 and he even won two League Cups (in 1989 and 1990). Those two trophies are the last in the history of the club.. With Clough’s departure, Nottingham lost. And his greatest source of pride, now, seems to be causing Clough to be incredible. So many wanted him to give his final technical statement in the final.
They did not choose him to lead the English team. A rarity. Or not so much. He himself explained it, on several occasions: “I’m sure those in charge of English coach decision -making thought that if they gave me a job, I would want to manage everything. They’re smart: this is really what I want. It’s done.” This is not politically correct.
Clough always declared himself a socialist and offered a position in the Labor Party on several occasions to become a candidate for the English parliament. He did not accept. Also militated: it was common for him to participate in marches in support of miners ’strikes, to be part of pickets. And he signed the founding manifesto supporting the Anti-Nazi League, a leftist organization that had prosperity in the late 1970s.
When he left his position as coach, he already knew some wine hell. In 2002 he published an autobiography entitled “Cloughie: Walking on Water” which, in addition to reviewing his entire career, he told in detail about his drinking problems. But he had a sense of humor even for that: at the launch of the book he specified the chosen title and said “Walking on the water? I guess a lot of people say that instead of walking on it, I should have had more of my drinks. They’re right.”
She died on September 20, 2004 of stomach cancer. They had to enable a stadium, Derby’s Pride Park, so that so many people who loved him would drive him away. Not many flower offerings are remembered in the city of Derby together.
Before and after his farewell, he received all the awards: le wrote books and songs; they make video games and movies; one of the stands The City Ground, the Forest stadium, was rebuilt in 1980 using his name; in July 2004 Nottingham tram #215 was renamed “Brian Clough”; in August 2005, it started calling “Cloughway” the section of the A52 road that connects Derby to Nottingham; in both cities, there is a statue commemorating him; the same is happening near the house where he grew up, in Middlesbrough.
These days a team he loves and which he is loved he was resurrected: Clough was there at the festivities to reach the cornice of returning to the highest category, made flag, tattoo, grandstand, street, avenue, tram. Hero, even in his absence changed him forever.