Search

FA Cup: Wenger hails Clough influence

PUBLISHED: 10:30 07 January 2018

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup after the 2017 final win over Chelsea, his seventh success in the competition (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup after the 2017 final win over Chelsea, his seventh success in the competition (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Arsene Wenger thinks the personality of Nottingham Forest favourite Brian Clough is permanently stamped on the English game.

The late Brian Clough with son Nigel at an FA Cup photo shoot in Burton in 2003 (pic Nick Potts/PA)The late Brian Clough with son Nigel at an FA Cup photo shoot in Burton in 2003 (pic Nick Potts/PA)

The Gunners open the defence of their FA Cup crown at the City Ground on Sunday in a fixture that has special significance for Wenger, who as an aspiring manager admired Clough as a “guy on another planet”.

Clough was in charge at Forest for 18 years until 1993 and the two met after a match once he had retired.

“We didn’t speak a lot after the game because he was already fatigued,” the Gunners boss said.

“He was very lean and you could see he was no longer at full power. But of course I had huge respect for him.

“When I was young I looked at the big managers who were successful. For me then, Brian Clough was a guy on another planet.

“Today everything is available, but at the time you had to look for information. I used to travel in my car at night to watch managers work and watch their training and then come back home in the next morning.

“It’s different now because you have the internet and every exercise from every single club is available. At the time you had to fight for your information, now you have too much.

“I believe that above his achievement is his personality. He’s a special person in English football.

“It’s his personality that has left a huge imprint on the history of the game. So he will be remembered as one of the greatest ever, among three or four greatest in English football.”

Clough guided Forest to successive European Cups in 1979 and 1980, a stunning achievement Wenger insists is no longer possible.

“Can Nottingham Forest win the European Cup today? Could Aston Villa do it? It’s gone,” Wenger added.

“The history of these clubs and the huge personalities behind their success show that football has changed completely.

“Now all the best players in the world are grouped in a small number of clubs, so their achievements would not be possible now. I wouldn’t say it’s for the worst, but it’s changed.

“The quality is less spread and success has become much more predictable now than in that period.

“You had no foreign players, income was shared equally because there was no television money.

“Only the gates made the difference and when you played away you shared the gate. It was much more even.

“And at that time, the quality of a manager had more influence than it has today because their work really made the difference.

“You could spot a small player in a small club next to Nottingham, bring him in and he has a chance to be successful, but that has all gone now.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

57 minutes ago

Saracens forward Billy Vunipola helped out at a training for youngsters with disabilities and gave out medals at the end of the session.

Yesterday, 23:56

Mesut Ozil delivered a stunning performance during Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City as Unai Emery’s side made it 10 wins on the bounce on Monday evening at the Emirates – with colleague Hector Bellerin hailing the German playmaker as ‘a born champion.’

Yesterday, 23:25

A Mesut Ozil-inspired Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates on Monday evening, prompting the German to use a memorable phrase.

Yesterday, 21:59

Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates after a Mesut Ozil masterclass helped beat Claude Puel’s Foxes to make it ten wins on the bounce for Unai Emery’s impressive side.

Yesterday, 21:56

Arsenal hosted Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Yesterday, 19:21

Tie to take place over weekend of November 9-12

Yesterday, 18:00

Cricklefield Stadium in Ilford to host talent ID evening this week

Yesterday, 17:00

Herts/Middlesex One: Hitchin 38 UCS Old Boys 3

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now