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  • Everyone knows the story of how Brian Clough took Nottingham Forest from the lower reaches

  • of the Second Division to European Champions. Films and books have been

  • written, endless tales have been told and legends made about his

  • successes in that half of the East Midlands. But not so widely told is how close he came

  • to doing exactly the same in the other half.

  • Brian Clough and Peter Taylor arrived at Derby County in 1967 to find a club in disrepair.

  • They had been outside the top flight for 14 years, had been in the lower

  • half of the Second Division for much of the previous decade and finished 17th

  • the season before they arrived. Their first season didn’t show much improvement: they

  • finished 18th, but the following summer they put together the core of the team

  • that would lead them to the top. Alan Hinton, John O’Hare, Roy McFarland,

  • John McGovern and Dave Mackay all arrived, and the team clicked, winning

  • promotion to the top flight as champions. ‘I’ve never known a collective spirit

  • stronger than the one we built at Derby at that time,’ Clough wrote in his autobiography.

  • The improvement was gradual: ninth in their first season back in the First Division, then

  • fourth, and by 1971 they had established themselves as a force. But already

  • the seeds had been sown for the end of Clough and Taylor at Derby:

  • their relationship with chairman Sam Longson was already beginning to sour, ostensibly

  • over transfers, but ultimately over who was the real driving force behind

  • Derby’s revival. The more Clough got the credit, the more Longson resented

  • him. In fact, halfway through the 1971/72 season,

  • with Derby on their way to winning their first league tittle, Clough and Taylor

  • handed in their resignations, in theory because they had received a better offer from Coventry,

  • but in reality their motivation was probably to secure a payrise,

  • which they did. Derby were involved in one of the most fraught

  • title races in history that season, competing with Manchester City,

  • Liverpool and Leeds United for the First Division crown. So close was it that City won their

  • final game of the season, taking them top, but they had no chance of

  • winning the league as Derby still had to play Liverpool, so one would

  • overtake them. Derby won that game, but the title wasn’t secured: it would all come

  • down to the last day, as Leeds faced Wolves (two days after they’d played in

  • the FA Cup final) and Liverpool played Arsenal. With no more games to play, Derby left the

  • country. Taylor took the squad to Majorca, while Clough retreated to the

  • Scilly Isles with his family. The players followed the games, nervously, via crackly

  • telephone lines. Ultimately, despite them going to and fro, results went in Derby’s

  • favour: Wolves beat an exhausted Leeds, while Arsenal held Liverpool. “I

  • do not believe in miracles,” said Clough, “but one has occurred tonight...This has

  • given me far more pleasure than I can adequately express.”

  • The first part of the miracle was done, and they so very nearly completed phase two. They

  • reached the semi-final of the European Cup, beating Benfica - Eusebio and

  • all - on the way, but there they came up against Juventus. This was a

  • brilliant Juve team, featuring Dino Zoff, Helmut Haller and Fabio Capello, but in Clough’s

  • wordsit wasn’t the result that incensed me.” Clough believed, and did to

  • his dying day, that the Italiansinfluencedthe referee that night in the first leg

  • in Turin, after Haller was spotted going into the officialsroom at half-time. Certainly

  • a few questionable decisions were made, but nothing was ever proven.

  • “I will not talk to no cheating bastards,” he told the Italian press afterwards, making

  • his feelings crystal clear. Brian Glanville, an English journalist who spoke

  • Italian, feigned ignorance when asked by the home press corp for a

  • translation. "Tell them what I said, Brian," shouted Clough. Juventus won that game 3-1,

  • and the return ended in a 0-0 draw, meaning Clough’s first big shot at

  • the European Cup was over. And so, in a manner of speaking, was their

  • time at Derby. The following season started well, but by October the

  • relationship between Clough and Longson was irreparable. Longson tried to ban Clough from

  • appearing in the media, not a realistic prospect for a man with a

  • newspaper column and lucrative television punditry work. This was the final

  • straw and Clough resigned, even though he didn’t actually want to leave. But his bluff

  • was called, and both he and Taylor were out.

  • A protest movement was formed, the Derby players considered boycotting that weekend’s game

  • against Leicester, but in the end they played, and won 2-1. In a typical

  • act of theatrics, Clough made an appearance at the game, took the

  • applause of the crowd and left. Pressure grew to bring back Clough and Taylor, and some

  • of the board had second thoughts, but Longson had already appointed

  • Dave Mackay, by that time Forest manager, to replace them.

  • Six years later, Clough and Taylor lifted the European Cup with Forest. Somewhere, in

  • a Derby boardroom, they must have wondered what could have been...

Everyone knows the story of how Brian Clough took Nottingham Forest from the lower reaches


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ダービー郡のブライアン・クローの略歴 (A Brief History of Brian Clough at Derby County)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日