Brian Clough, Brian Howard Clough

We begin the series with the creation of that man, Brian Clough, as ‘The Brian Clough Experiment’ gets underway.

Born on the 21st of March 1935, Brian Clough would have been 86 years old at the time of writing this article. You can’t create a manager as old as that on FM22, so my first obstacle required a little maths. I decided to create him at the same age he was when he took over Nottingham Forest on the 6th of January 1975, when he replaced Allan Brown. A few calculations later and his new date of birth is the 21st March 1982, making him 39 at the start of his managerial prime and the beginning of the series.

Next up, his managerial style and attributes. Brian Clough liked to be in control; he’d lace his boots up to join the players on the training ground, making him more of a ‘tracksuit manager’ in FM terms. Very much a man of action, his management style focus is ‘motivator’, and I’ve made that his stand out attribute; 20 for motivation. Clough once said he’d love to manage the England youth players, so he gets 15 for ‘working with youngsters’, matching his numbers for ‘mental’, ‘determination’ and ‘people management’. In hindsight, I wish I’d upped his ‘level of discipline’ a little more. Oh well.

His past playing experience is international of course, having won 2 caps for England.

Clough’s ongoing spat with then Leeds United manager, Don Revie, was highly renowned. I’ll be aiming to develop a similar feud with a fellow Championship manger. Leeds were the best team in the league during Clough’s tenure at Derby, when the rivalry first began. Similarly, I’ve picked out the league favourites, Bournemouth, making Scott Parker my chosen nemesis. Also a determined character and ex-international, Parker is a reserved character with a professional personality. It’ll be a good challenge to try and wind him up with some mind games. Currently, his relationship with me (Brian Clough) is good. We’ll be changing that very soon.

Scott Parker. Can he keep his cool?

Clough Meets the Press

And so the series begins in typical Clough fashion, with a packed conference room and a rather candid chat with the media:

Brian Clough felt the full glare of the media spotlight as he faced a packed press conference. BBC Radio Nottingham’s Millie Wood asked: “What does it feel like to be the new Nottingham Forest manager?” Clough endeared himself to the room with a warm smile before saying:

I think the overwhelming emotion is excitement; I can’t wait to get started. I only know one way to work and that’s to be the best. If we’re not trying to be the best, we’re wasting our time. I expect a certain standard of hard work from everyone, it’s non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned.

Next up, we’ll be assessing the squad and staff, before moving on to our tactical approach.


Comments (2)

We love comments, but please keep them clean and respectful. Ta very muchy.

  • It’s not Brian Clough at Forest unless he’s wearing his favourite green sweatshirt. Wearing green on matchdays was one of his traditions. Some of the fans still wear clough green as a tribute to the old gaffer. Google Brian Clough images and you’ll see what I’m saying, you’ll rarely see him in the forest dugout without his green top. Amongst other things, it made him more visible on matchdays for both the players and fans (it was also a nod to his best mate pete who was a goalkeeper in his playing days, during a time when goalkeepers mostly wore green). Swap the red for green and you’ve got him spot on.

    Comment by Steve (01/07/2022)
  • Also, I’m not sure poor Scott Parker deserves to be targeted. Remember it was Revie, who was the manager of the top team in England that Clough hated, and one of the reasons he hated him was that Revie’s team kicked other teams off the park which Clough particularly hated and thought of as anti football. It would make better sense to to leave Parker alone and make promotion your top priority so that you can get into it against either Klopp or Guardiola. Since Clough was an admirer of Liverpool and loved Shankly, it would probably make best sense to have at it with Guardiola. Targetting a championship manager makes no sense. Leave the mind games until you get into the Prem, and then they can at least serve as a distraction for people to laugh at if the teams performance isn’t good enough, a tactic that modern day politicians have got down to a tee.

    Comment by Steve (01/07/2022)