The Damned Utd
The Damned Utd is a fictional depiction of a real story. Or to be more specific two stories!
Brian Clough is the central character in both of them.
The author unveils the stories together from the perspective of the hero consciousness. A self-destructive hero. Alcoholic and arrogant. Trapped between his ambitions and his disgust for the system governing 70’s English Football. That creates a “noir” novel feeling. Although we don’t have a hardboiled detective a Football Manager instead.
The first story, the rise. Starts when Brian’s Clough promising career came to a violent end after an injury. But after that, our hero bounced back. He became Manager of Derby County. Which was an underachieving second division team, and managed to become Premier League Champion. Reach European Championship semi-finals and became the talk of the town in Derbyshire. He became arrogant. That led him to come in opposition to the Derby County’s President and lose his job. Also, break up with his friend and assistant and he created a lot of enemies a lot of them in Leeds United. The first glances of alcoholism and depression also unveiled after his mother death. Together, the character depicted as an ambitious man with two goals. Win the European Championship and become the manager of England’s National Team.
The second story, the fall, narrates the 44 days Brian Clough was Leeds United manager. Our hero under the spell of alcohol and isolated from his family and friends, takes the role of his arch rival Don Revie. Leeds United for Clough is the devil’s lair. A dirty team is bullying the other teams, negotiating with referees and have unambitious players. His ambition is to achieve something Revie never did win European Championship. That led him to take the role. Although he made a self-fulfilling prophecy that Leeds was never gone to be his team. Alcoholism and depression took their toll on him. Fear, doubt, loneliness and his short temper besides his arrogance created a dead end.
Peace depicts the conscious state of a man who creates his destiny. But then he let himself driven by his demons starts to believe in fate and his inability to change it. The football fans will appreciate this novel. The author,with his style, succeeds to make it more friendly to everybody.
It is not a biography, just a narration of a fragment of a man’s life during his darkest days. In real life, Brian Clough bounced back for another time. He led the Nottingham Forest to two consecutive European Championships. And he came to terms with his friend and partner once again.
Maybe Damned Utd taught him something maybe not.
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