Party at Wembley for Nottingham Forest. Photo: AFP
With a goal against Levi Colwill minutes before the break, Nottingham Forest beat Huddersfield’s Spaniard Carlos Corberán 1-0 and secured their return to the Premier League at Wembley after a 23-year absence.
Nottingham Forest, which made an impact on European football in the late 1970s, ended their dark journey into the advancement of England football and returned to the elite.
European Cup champion in 1979 after winning the League as a newly promoted team and in 1980 under the guidance of legendary coach Brian Clough and historic goalkeeper Peter Shilton, the Deceptive Tree they fell to the Premier in 1999. They later spent years and years in Championships and even played in League One (the Third Division).
Now, after accumulating fourteen consecutive years in the Second Division, Nottingham Forest are sealing their promotion at the expense of Huddersfield, aiming to return to English football’s top flight after three seasons in the Championship.
A prayer for Nottingham Forest. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Boyers
The outcome of one game was resolved by an unfortunate action by Corberán’s team, which did not complete their great season. It was on the brink of half-time, in the 44th minute, with a James Garner cross in the box pointed at Ryan Yates and Colwill, who took the ball into the net after surprising goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
Corberán’s team, which climbed to the Premier League for the first time in 2017 before relegating in 2019, were aiming to equalize in the second half. at the target gates. So the Sherwood Forest team will once again be among the best in English football as Fulham and Bournemouth did directly then.
A little history
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 too big for its epic, for achieving the unimaginable, for developing film stories (in fact, some of its golden days were shot). After hanging around for just decades for the incredible Championship which was directed by Marcelo Bielsa, he is only now back in the elite.
It wasn’t a good auspice last season: Forest finished in 17th place not too far from the roads that intersect on the third step. It was rearmed gradually, but without pause, as in the days of Clough. On a very long journey in the League: he played 46 games, drew 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.
High trophies and promotions in the pocket. Photo: Reuters.
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 are already in seventh, on the edge of the Playoffs. The Premier League horizon is no longer a fantasy but a possibility.
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 went to the podium, but the wrong start played ballast. But the team wearing red doesn’t refuse. Go for more. In the semifinals of the Play Offs, they eliminated Sheffield United, in a penalty shootout and a celebration of apotheosis. This Sunday everyone played against Huddersfield and its own history, along with the ghosts and echoes of Wembley. And won …
The time of Brian Clough
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. With those two clubs not among the English football elite, he built the most beautiful moments in each other’s history.
A year earlier, the University of Nottingham had named him an honorary doctorate as Master of Arts (yes, the same recognition Oxford had given 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 (Officer 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 be from his nickname Old Big ‘Ead. 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 became a striker for Middlesbrough (the city of his birth; the club he was a fan of in his childhood days) and Sunderland. His statistics regard him as a massive scorer: he scored 267 goals in 296 games, between 1955 and 1965. He also played, but without much success, for 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 from this east.
He once again fought with the club authorities, who considered him 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 overwhelming: fans organized the Bring Back Clough campaign (“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. The flip side of this time: more bills, more chances 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. He was also active: it was common for him to participate in marches in support of miners ’strikes, to be part of picket lines. And he signed the founding manifesto supporting the Anti-Nazi League, a leftist organization that had flourished 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” in which, in addition to reviewing his entire career, he told in detail about his drinking problems. But he has a sense of humor even for that: at the launch of the book he specified the chosen title and said “walk on water? I think a lot of people say that instead of walking on it, I should have more of it in my drinks… They have all the reasons “.
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: books and songs were written for him; 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, the section of the A52 road linking Derby and Nottingham began to be called “Clough Way”; 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 loved and which he loved brought him to life: Clough was there at the celebrations for his return to the highest flight, making a flag, tattoo, grandstand, street, avenue, tram. Hero, even in his absence changed him forever.
Source: EFE and Clarin