Top positive review
36 of 37 people found this helpful
I would like to say thank you....
on 21 January 2012
Having devoured everything written about Clough for the past 15 years, I purchased this book more from a completeness perspective rather than hoping to discover anything new. When this weighty tome arrived my fears were compounded, because at over 500 pages it wasn't to be tackled by the light hearted either. Easy holiday read it wasn't going to be. However, after managing to fit this into the luggage, I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst it is detailed, it does in my opinion, provide a definitive biography of one of the most celebrated managers of all time. Yes, it does make many references of the other published work (all of which I have read) but in a conextual way and with the ultimate objective of providing a balanced view of the great man. The other biographies (Hamilton's in particular)are doubtless more amusing, but paint Clough in the usual misty eyed way. This presents him with all of the idiosyncracies and complexities he clearly had, some of which will make even the most committed wince. The drinking issue was clearly prevalent at various points in his career and whilst it seemingly lurched out of control during those last few years at Forest, it was by no means exclusive to that final ill fated season.
Ultimately though balance comes to the fore. Peter Taylor's contribution in their most productive phase starts to get the recognition that hasn't really been seen in other works. Equally, the lack of recognition he received (not just from other writers and career stakeholders, but from Clough himself) is redressed somewhat. Everything the pair touched ultimately did not turn to gold and on several occasions both their personal and professional judgements are called into question. Clough's final phase at Forest, without Taylor, although destined to end in the ignominy of relegation in 1993 is covered with critical acclaim. Whilst many suggest that Clough achieved little without Taylor by his side, Wilson profers that actually this was Clough's third great phase. Trophies may have been largely lacking, (League Cup and other assorted meaningless pieces of silverware nothwithstanding) but the quality of football and a couple of genuine Championship near misses on meagre resources, place it into a much more positive light than perhaps only the most ardent of supporters have previously suggested.
This is a labour of love, both from the author and the prospective reader. It is neither boring nor a re-hash of previously published work. If you want the most detailed and perhaps most balanced Biography of Brian Clough this is it. I completed it the same committed fan that I was at the start, albeit better informed and with a more balanced view.