Tag: Middlesbrough

In Praise Of… Brian Clough

The unveiling of a new statue of Brian Clough in Nottingham last week seems like as good a time as any to to take a quick look back at the career of arguably English football’s greatest manager. It’s probably fair to say that the managerial achievements of Brian Clough will never be repeated again. He took two clubs from the middle of the Second Division to be the champions of England, and one of them went on to become back to back champions of Europe. Moreover, he went on to keep the second of these sides in the top division for a decade and a half afterwards while other, arguably bigger, clubs had to spend periods in the Second Division or lower. Brian Clough was always likely to become a manager. His playing career is often overlooked, but was exceptional in its own way. He scored 241 goals in 274 league matches for Sunderland and Middlesbrough before a cruciate ligament injury to his knee ended his career at the age of just twenty-seven. Such a goalscoring record was remarkable even for that time, and it’s plausible to say that, had he played at a bigger club, he could have achieved much more as a player. After three years out of the game, he took up management at Hartlepool United with Peter Taylor, and it would be his relationship with...

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Gareth Southgate – What An Arsehole

In the first instance, he was the guy that lost England a European Championship semi-final against Germany but, in the spirit of the feel good summer of 1996, he was forgiven. He did those dreadful “Pizza Hut” adverts, cashing in on the hilarity of said miss. He took the Middlesbrough job and was bullish about the fact that he had landed himself a Premier League job with no managerial experience whatsoever, and that hadn’t even bothered to take the UEFA Pro Licence, the coaching badge that is supposed to be mandatory for all Premier League managers, preferring instead to criticise the set up for making coaches take the course for it in the summer, even though he hasn’t played an international match since 2003. Having been given “special dispensation” by the FA, he also laid into the League Managers Association, who had criticised the FA for making exceptions to what is, elsewhere in Europe, a pretty standard rule. None of this strikes me as being particularly honourable behaviour, but in the Bentley-driving, champagne-soaked world of the Premier League, none of it is out of the ordinary. This week, though, Southgate has acted in a way that transcends any form of decency, and has blocked Middlesbrough from making its donation to a charity which supports a hardship fund for nurses. Some of you may remember that, in the summer, Dr...

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