In Memory of Brian Clough

Sep 20, 2008
Brian Clough Statue in Albert Park, Middlesbrough.
Image via Wikipedia

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Brian Clough‘s passing.

Mr Clough, as he liked to be called, was one of the best managers that England has seen. He brough two different teams up from the Second Division to win the First Division. He won the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest.

He had very unique methods, and methods that not everyone agreed with. But his success is undeniable, and we can all learn something from him. Here are 3.

For one, he had unshakeable confidence in himself. He’s said things such as “I certainly wouldn’t say I’m the best manager in the business, but I’m in the top one.” He knew he was a good manager, and he wasn’t afraid to say it. He wasn’t just talk, he backed up his talk with his successes, but he wasn’t afraid to speak for himself.

Secondly, he had a firm belief in how the game should be played. When asked what he would do if a player disagreed with his methods, he said, “I’d ask him how he thinks it should be done, have a chat about it for twenty minutes and then decide I was right”. He also famously said that “If God had intended for us to play football in the clouds he wouldn’t have put grass on the ground.” He had very firm beliefs in how things should be done, and he wasn’t afraid to say it. He wouldn’t have been as good a manger without.

Thirdly, he wasn’t afraid to shake things up. When he first took over Derby County, he released 11 players, and kept only 4. He never hesitated to change how things were. And it was something he wasn’t afraid to admit, saying that if he had gotten the chance to manage the England national team, he would have changed it “lock, stock and barrel”.

Confidence in himself, confidence in his belief, and a propensity for change. 3 ingredients that would push anyone towards success, don’t you think?

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