Brian Clough was one of the best... a football genius
A lot of kind words have been written this week about Brian Clough, who died 10 years ago. And why not? Cloughie was, after all, one of the greatest football managers of all time. A true genius.
Time does not diminish his achievements; if anything, it makes them even more astonishing.
He took Derby from the second tier to champions of England and European Cup semi-finalists – and did the same with Nottingham Forest, only this time ruling the continent not once, but twice.
Not only that, but he had wit, panache, charisma; even his arrogance was laced with the sort of humour the likes of Jose Mourinho could only dream about.
Sadly, however, he was also a man of dubious practices.
Put it this way; mention the word 'bung' and Brian Clough's name is sure to be the first to mind.
It's a part of his legacy we tend to ignore; the FA certainly did, for years.
Perhaps they thought that denying him the England job he felt was rightfully his was punishment enough.
And 'entitlement' may well be the key word here.
Cloughie always felt he and his backroom staff were not getting the renumeration they deserved for their efforts in lifting middling clubs to incredible heights.
And he was right; today, a manager with Clough's ability would be on £10m a year.
But two wrongs don't make a right. Yes, remember him for his football but he was from an era that football would rather forget.