David Peace – The Damned Utd

Brian Clough’s days

This book tells about Brian Clough’s 44 days in charge of Leeds United, the 1974 team with a long list of successful games, gained using methods that were completely different from those used by the previous coach.

The author, with fast pace, takes the reader back and forth from 1974 to the previous years, when Clough was coaching the Derby Count, and the rhythm becomes that of a running commentary, accelerating in the last pages, and making the reader re-live those rainy and boring afternoons spent after away games, under a constantly gloomy sky and in a climate of cheerful desperation.
The description of Clough’s character is excellent: a strong and blunt personality that the author doesn’t try to soften in any way, avoiding the risk of hagiography. The Clough shown in the novel is quick-tempered, pessimistic, stubborn and mordacious but idealist, and just these contradictions turned him into a kind of hero, during years in need of heroes.
An unmissable book for football lovers and whoever wants to know more about a time when football was less overwhelming and it was still possible to create an authentic relationship with the fans, their lives and their dreams.

Translation by Sara Di Girolamo