The Brian Clough Experiment: Season 1 Review

Some inspired signings made a huge contribution to a successful season, as Brian Clough brough the Championship title back to Nottingham in his second (virtual) spell at the club.

Easily the pick of the bunch, Adam Idah took full advantage of his loan move by scoring a whopping 33 goals in 37 appearances, picking up every award under the sun. Even better news, his loan deal has been extended for a further season, meaning he’ll be leading the line for Forest in the Premier League next season. Jack Wilshire, who came in on a free transfer, made a fair contribution, ending the season with an average rating of 6.97. Dani Raba’s loan move, turned permanent for £700,000, played just behind Idah and contributed 6 goals and 6 assists to the campaign.

The January transfer window also proved fruitful and gave the club a significant boost with the loan signings of Jack Butland and Tyler Magloire (both joining the club permanently at the end of the season for just £200,000 each). On loan Max Lowe will also join permanently for £600,000. The surprise addition (on a free transfer) was ex-City and French international Eliaquim Mangala, who added some serious steel to the defence.

Adam Idah, on loan from Norwich, took the Championship by storm

I had planned on developing a rivalry this season with Bournemouth manager Scott Parker, but he just wouldn’t take the bait…

I feel bad for the Bournemouth fans personally, who wants to pay good money see a load of sideways passes? We’ll be looking to show his fans what real football is about with a positive performance on Saturday.
Brian Clough

I don’t pay any attention to what Brian says, I’m just focusing on making sure we’re prepared on Saturday.
Scott Parker

This season, I’ll simply look to build up a Don Revie-like rivalry with whomever crosses my path first.

Tactically, we set ourselves up all season with our very own Brian Clough Inspired Tactics. Flicking between an attacking mentality for home games and a cautious one during away games, proved highly effective in a season that tallied up 97 points and just 5 losses. Expected to reach the playoffs, we blasted the board’s expectations into oblivion, progressing 3 season’s worth of targets. Come the end of the season, we lined up like so:

As Brian Clough would, we managed to find a nice blend of youth and experience. We’ve made progress towards one of the board’s goals – to sign players under the age of 23 – but one or two experienced heads in there add some much needed leadership and nous.

English Championship League Table 2021/22 (season 1)

£80M in TV right can only be a good thing, but re-payments on a £73M loan have also begun. Still, we managed to bring in some decent signings at a minimal cost, and move one or two surplus players for a reasonable profit. Permanent incomings included Tahith Chong on a free, Joe Rothwell for £1.2M, Anthony Ralston for £1M and Ovie Ejaria for £1.9M:

Tahith Chong

Joe Rothwell

Ovie Ejaria



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