On Monday 21st August and in front of a crowd of only 2146, Nottingham Forest were dumped out of the Carling Cup (formerly the League Cup) by lowly Accrington Stanley. How times have changed for this former super power of european club football.
Struggling to come to terms with life xoilac in League 1 (division 3 in old money) it is has hard to imagine a comparable fall from grace in modern sport. The glory years for this east midlands team started on January 6th 1975. Why this date you may ask? Did the club power its way to league titles or knock out famous glamour clubs on the way to european success. No, neither, this is the date that Brian Clough took the reigns of this unfashionable sinking ship.
Clough started to weave his magic immediately. In February he acquired John O’Hare and John McGovern from Leeds and shortly afterwards doubled the imports by signing the enigmatic John Robertson and Martin O’Neil (now manger of Aston Villa). Not content with his early work, the ambitious Clough completed this first season recruitment drive by persuading Frank Clark to sign for the club from Newcastle at the end of the season.
In July of 1976 the most famous management partnership in English Football was created by the arrival of Peter Taylor (who had just resigned the managership at Brighton). It was from this date on that the real success began. Armed with an additional one year contract extension the Clough and Taylor dream partnership set out on a magical adventure which would include the capture of the football league championship, league cup, european cup (2 years on the bounce), european super cup and the charity shield. All this between the years of 1978 and 1980