With Nigel Clough’s appointment as manager of Derby County he is following history by taking the reins at the club that his father really made his name in management at.
For those of you who don’t know, Brian Clough is one of the greatest managers the English game has ever produced. Clough was an excellent striker, with one of the best goal scoring records of all-time in terms of goals scored to games played, whose career ended when he injured his cruciate ligament. He took over at Hartlepools (now just known as Hartlepool) United and turned their fortunes around. His success there led him to get the Derby job and he took them from the old Second Division (equivalent of the Championship today) to the league title for the first time in their history.
He is also known for his infamous spell as Leeds United manager, lasting only 44 days (read the superb book, The Damned United by David Peace for a summary of Cloughs time at Leeds and Derby) and took Nottingham Forest from a sleeping giant to double European Cup winners (the third most successful English club in that competition).
Brian Clough will be remembered for his plain way of speaking and always speaking his mind, which endeared him to fans but enraged the powers that be (including calling Juventus ‘cheating bastards’. He was one of the most quotable managers of all time too. This is my personal favourite:
“I certainly wouldn't say I'm the best manager in the business, but I'm in the top one."
I wonder if Nigel will also employ the same motivational techniques in his training sessions his father used.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8VZ0dP0ddM"]YouTube - BRIAN CLOUGH - ON THE TRAINING GROUND[/ame]
Nigel Clough is of course a much different prospect to his dad. He is mild mannered and polite but you can tell beneath his calm exterior the same sharp football brain his dad had and he regularly showed this in his playing career, finishing as Forests second highest goalscorer of all-time and enjoying spells at Liverpool (remember his two goals in the 3-3 draw with Man United?). He has done wonders at Burton Albion (co-incidentally Brian Clough’s long time assistant, Peter Taylor, started his managerial career at Burton) taking them into the Blue Square Premier and they should win promotion to the football league this season.
Derby will be a big step up for Nigel Clough but he certainly has the brains, managing at Burton will have given him the experience, his surname will give him the fan support and his pedigree means that maybe in a season or two, a Clough will be managing in the top flight once again. If he acts anything like his father, it should be great fun to watch as well.