Brian Clough for Roker Park manager is Wearside’s choice

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Echo reporters were out in Sunderland today asking people’s view on who they thought should succeed Mr Alan Brown as manager of Sunderland A.F.C. Here is the result.

BRIAN CLOUGH ought to be offered the job as manager of Sunderland F.C. now that Alan Brown has gone.

Or, if not Brian Clough, then Raich Carter, Len Ashurst, Stan Anderson or even Tommy Docherty or Dave Mackay.

But almost without exception, the people interviewed by Echo reporters in Sunderland town centre, today said they would like to see Brian Clough as manager at Roker Park.

The fact that the former Sunderland and England centre-forward had signed a new contract to stay with championship-winning Derby County did not seem to matter to some of them.

“Sunderland should sell Watson, or even the whole of the team, to buy Brian Clough for manager,” said Mr Alan Price (32), of Arbroath Road, Farringdom. “Clough has done very well with Derby County and he could do the same for Sunderland. If Sunderland offered him enough money he might be tempted to come here.

“If we can’t get Clough, then I would like to see Tommy Docherty as manager. He has plenty of experience and he has done well with the Scotland team.”

Mr John Turnbull of Witton Court, Essen Way, was perhaps more realistic. In his view there was little possibility of Clough coming to Sunderland now.

“But I think he would make the best manager for the club,” he said. The point is that Brian Clough has been successful with everything he has done, from coaching the youth team to steering struggling Hartlepool to success, and taking Derby to the top of the League, as well as being a very good player himself.”

Mr Turnbull, a 43-year-old joiner, believed Clough’s influence could be the tonic that could lift Sunderland from the doldrums.

“The supporters didn’t stop going to Roker Park, you know. They were stopped from going by the poor football. Clough could change that. Then I might start going again.”

The best person to bring the crowds back to Roker Park would be Raich Carter, said Mr John Usher (61), of Padgate Road, Pennywell.

He could remember the days when Carter was the idol of Wearside football fans. “He would bring great support back to the club if he was manager,” he said. “He was born in the town and was the best player ever to wear the red and white shirt. He would boost the club’s hopes.

“They could try and get Brian Clough, but whoever they go for, they will have to be quick off the mark.”

“I think it was a bad decision to sack Alan Brown,” said Mr John Miles (31), of Cousin Court, Sunderland. “The new manager will need to be somebody with as much experience as he had. My choice would be Stan Anderson, Brian Clough, or Dave Makay.”

The new manager, whoever he might be, would have the nucleus of a good team for the future, thanks to the building work of Alan Brown, said 17-year-old Nigel Bruce of Chester Road, Sunderland.

“I have read that Brian Clough would like to come to Sunderland and I would like to see him as manager. He would certainly get us promotion.”

“Len Ashurst should be the new player-manager,” said 15-year-old Bill Stevens, of Galashiels Road, Grindon. “He is still a good player and I have seen what he has done for Harltepool. He would bring the experience the team needs.”

“I have read that Brian Clough would like to come back to Sunderland and I would like to see him as manager,” 17-year old Nigel Bruce.

Bill Stevens: “Len Ashurst should be the new player-manager.”

“I would think that Brian Clough would be a good manager for Sunderland but I don’t think there is any possibility of him coming here,” felt Mr John Turnbull (above).

Mr John Usher: “Brian Clough would make a good manager but I think Raich Carter would be as good for Sunderland.”

“Sunderland should sell Watson – or even the whole team – to buy Brian Clough for manager,” said Mr Alan Price.

Mr John Miles (above): “I think it was a bad decision to sack Alan brown. The manager will need to be somebody with as much experience as he had.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on November 2 1972.