Monday, June 16, 2008


Hot on the studded heels of K-Punk's splendid post on David Peace's The Damned Utd (a novel I devoured, some nights cutting into my precious parent-of-tiny-infant sleeptime, despite caring not much for football and knowing even less)in which Mark compares Brian Clough with M.E. Smith as husbander of talents and conjuror of esprit de corps, arrives the galley of a forthcoming book called The Fallen, in which ex-Melody Maker writer Dave Simpson tracks down and interviews every single former member of Team Fall. On a quick skim it looks like a right riveting read, all the different perspectives on the man(ager) of mystery, typically filtered through a murky prism of bitterness, grudging but unbudging affection, and abiding awe.

And as it happens, a third of the way through Simpson, looking around for Smith precedents, alights briefly on James Brown, decides "the more I find out about him, the more he brings to mind a great football manager than a director of musicians", and concludes that the best parallel is "1970s Nottingham Forest and Derby County manager Brian Clough" and his extreme version of "carrot and stick".