Written by Rebut

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Topics: derby

Friday, 24 September 2004

One of the saddest days of my life was the passing of Brian Clough, undoubtedly the greatest football manager of all time and a true legend in his own time. In order to pay tribute to the Derby and Forest supremo, I thought I would do the interview Sir Brian would have done, the day after being knighted for winning the world cup for England.

The interview would have been conducted by Martin Tyler, Sir Brian having just arrived in time from his weekly haircut.

MT : Sir Brian firstly may I congratulate you on bringing the world cup home.

BC : Thank you.

MT : Were you in any way surprised to have achieved this a mere 18 months after being appointed England manager?

BC : No.

MT : ...but England weren't anyone's favourites to lift the cup, surely there must have been some doubts in your mind?

BC : Martin don't misunderstand me, I did have doubts. I was very concerned that I couldn't find a decent hairdresser, I was concerned about the French being lodged next door to us...what with all that garlic but England were going to win the tournament because they had far and away the best manager ever to grace the tournament.

MT : Sir Brian do you think that it was your innovative tactics which confused opponents?

BC : I've said this time and time again - players lose you games not tactics. I'd sooner stay at home gardening with the wife than fill these player's heads with garbage about formations, zonal marking and the like.

MT : Do the players have any say in it?

BC : Very much so. We have a discussion for about twenty minutes the day before, which is when I go and get my haircut. Then as soon as I get back I tell 'em all to belt up, this is how we're going to do it.

MT : Did the FA selectors who appointed you help in any way?

BC : At first they were quite difficult, what with phoning up and making suggestions...then after a few days when I refused to take their calls or even meet with them they slunk away to sulk...which is the moment I can point to as their valuable contribution.

MT : But surely Sir Brian their input could have been invaluable to you?

BC : I'm sure if you were to ask the England fans whether they would have liked me to be consulting, debating and throwing ideas about with the FA or training the England team, their firm mandate would have been to stick with the players and ignore the rest.

MT : When you were chosen England manager did you believe that you were the right man for the job?

BC : I believed I was the only man for the job. If you look at the top one managers, that's me...mind I wouldn't like to take all the credit me mam did have me.

MT : Obviously your achievements in taking Derby County and Nottingham Forest to the very top of club football must have played a role.

BC : Martin in the very names you have just mentioned and the fact that I took them, as opposed to Liverpool, Manchester or Arsenal, to the very top, is what makes me the greatest manager of all time. Yes a manager has taken a small club to the top but not two and never to the European Cup.

MT : What would you say is your biggest fault?

BC : I tend to be far too modest for my own good.

MT : Indeed....your greatest achievement?

BC : I would always have to opt for my family. I have a wonderful wife and incredible children.

MT : What does this knighthood mean to Sir Brian Clough?

BC : Well firstly let me say I know it's that bloke living next door who nominated me for it. He figures if I win I'll have to move. In all honesty it means recognition for what I have achieved in my chosen career and it means a lot.

MT : Sir Brian Clough thank you for speaking to us.

BC : Thank you.


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