Monday, September 04, 2006

His Nibs. Latest.

The Enigma

I finished reading David Peace’s ‘The Damned Utd’ about five hours after starting it.

I’d read it too if I were you. It tries to reconstruct a scenario that few people are willing to act as reliable witness to.

For example, all of the various biographies of The Almighty One have interviews with Leeds players who assure us that they didn’t really put the boot in. That Brian got them all wrong, and that “if he’d just been given a bit longer….. personally, I'd have given him my all .... mutual misunderstanding.... all directors fault …. you know what football directors are like….” Etc.

Of course, anyone who claims that Clough wasn’t good enough for Leeds Utd was comprehensively discredited within five years of his leaving.

But there is one illuminating quote (in Patrick Murphy’s ‘His Way’ biography) that hints at what other Leeds players were experiencing.

Speaking about working with Himself again at Forest, John O’Hare said:

“To the Forest lads, he was brash enough, but we knew him when he was really full of himself. He wasn’t breezing around so much, picking on anyone for the hell of it.”

Elsewhere, on the same page ….

“John McGovern …. Noticed that Clough’s energy wasn’t as demonic as before, he seemed to be channelling his efforts more constructively.”

The thing is, I can see what everyone's problem with Clough was. You don't need to read very far between the lines to draw the conclusion that he was quite capable of being a complete piss-taker.

The trick was knowing when he wasn't being one.

2 comments:

Bob Piper said...

Let us hope that Martin has learnt well at his master's feet. If he has 50% of Cloughie's genius, he'll still be better than the rest.

Paulie said...

Enjoy the loan period Bob.

I think we'll have him back in about 18 months if that's alright with you?

;-)