1978-79 | The self-implosion of Manchester City

LongsightM13

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To be honest, I think it was more down to Taylor than Clough. He certainly took a team of rejects and journeymen and moulded a double European Cup winning side at Forest.
Taylor was the recruitment and scouting expert who found the hidden gems, Clough coached and motivated them once they were in the door.
They were a curious mix of ‘rejects’ who underperformed elsewhere but were perfect for Clough’s style - a sort of ‘eye test’ Moneyball decades before the term was invented - and a few expensive signings.
For example, Shilton was a top class England keeper who was persuaded to join them when they were still in the second division.
They also had a handful of very decent young homegrown players like Anderson, Woodcock and Birtles.
Interesting to imagine what Clough and Taylor would have done with the generation of Lake, White, Himchcliffe, Redmond etc given the chance. Never mind Caton, Reid, Ranson, Bennett, Palmer etc. Or even Barnes and Owen.
 

Bluearmy

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My answer to Citizen Green about feelings when Swales took over the club on the 70s, largely comes from what my dad knew about City matters. He was linked with the club from the 50s until he died in 1968. By that time Swales had his eyes on City. My dad knew the Alexander family and I remember us socialising with a number of people connected with City such as George Poyser, Ken Barnes, and Bobby Johnstone and their families. We must have known David Niven as well as I have a vague memory of going to his pub in Marple. Swales in modern day parlance was something of a narcissist and Gary J is right to say he was obsessed with United - even down to the Charlton comb over. He coveted the profile of becoming Chairman even though he had few if any skills to do the job and little or no knowledge of football at professional level. (he envied his business partner Noel White who did have football connections and was likeable). His low point was the appointment of mate John Maddocks to be an intermediary between him and the fans and press and the embarrassment of the journey south which culminated in the appointment of Brian Horton (who actually did quite a good job in the circumstances he inherited). I think my dad's quote was "If that jumped little toad of a tv salesman ever gets control of City, it will be a disaster". Well there were some good years but ultimately he was right.
Great thread, one one my first City memories was Pleat running across the pitch (and it went downhill from there really till the early 2000’s) so to learn so much is fascinating and infuriating in equal measure.

John Maddocks.... *cold sweats
 
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Bluearmy

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I don’t know if you saw the Boys In Blue film show I did at both the Cornerhouse and Dancehouse over the years but we show part of a TV profile/interview of him. I think you’d have seen your view totally backed up by his own words/ego. Lots of great quotes ‘I’m the top man’ etc. He certainly loved the spotlight. Even if he did love City it wouldn’t make him a great chairman so anyone saying ‘ah but he loved City’ does need to think ‘does that overrule everything else?’ Eddie Large and Bernard Manning loved City but imagine them as chairman… We can all try but that’s why Khaldoon is a great chairman. He’s a businessman first and foremost.
Eddie large ;)

 

JGL07

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Taylor was the recruitment and scouting expert who found the hidden gems, Clough coached and motivated them once they were in the door.
They were a curious mix of ‘rejects’ who underperformed elsewhere but were perfect for Clough’s style - a sort of ‘eye test’ Moneyball decades before the term was invented - and a few expensive signings.
For example, Shilton was a top class England keeper who was persuaded to join them when they were still in the second division.
They also had a handful of very decent young homegrown players like Anderson, Woodcock and Birtles.
Interesting to imagine what Clough and Taylor would have done with the generation of Lake, White, Himchcliffe, Redmond etc given the chance. Never mind Caton, Reid, Ranson, Bennett, Palmer etc. Or even Barnes and Owen.
If only City had got Clough and Taylor rather than Saunders? It would never have been possible as long as Swales was wielding any influence. Clough in place may have been able to thwart the rise of Swales. I am sure that City would have been well placed to win silverware and maybe even dominate with Clough and Taylor.
 

Citizen Green

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Just wanted to thank everyone who’s contributed to this thread. I’m a massive history buff (especially where the blues are concerned) & wasn’t even alive during this period, but after some of the incredible insights on here I feel like I was there!

Wasn’t sure on posting it initially due to the above, but I’m so glad I did now. There are so many layers to the history of Manchester City, both good & bad. I think it can be argued we are one of the most storied club in English football, we’ve experienced it all.
 

Didsbury Dave

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I was at that game too.. for me skip should have been in sole charge of footballing matters but we had the dictator and ego driven Swales who ruined our club bit by bit. Also remember some Man U were in the Kippax and showing their colours. They took a battering and the police dragged them out and also had a go at them.
I mentioned the fighting in the original thread that’s linked above. You’re the first person to remember that. They were at the bottom of the tunnel and got absolutely pasted.
 

ancoats

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the blame stopped at swales door simple

he had his hands in everything at city even the football side of thing ? why else have a phone in the dug out to the bench ? in the granada tv documentary at half time he said right am going down to the dressing room ? if i was manager and the chairman did that i walk out straight away

swales was a dictator and powered his way into the job and the board members feared him
i don't know why tony book stayed at the club and never once bad mouthed swales ? maybe the fear in opening his mouth knowing just do as your told or your out on your arse

tony book was a great player/manager but i think swales convinced him it was because of him he got the managers job at city and nobody else would have touch him. but tony book was a great manager and would have had a great career as manager had he walked ?
 

Gary James

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If only City had got Clough and Taylor rather than Saunders? It would never have been possible as long as Swales was wielding any influence. Clough in place may have been able to thwart the rise of Swales. I am sure that City would have been well placed to win silverware and maybe even dominate with Clough and Taylor.
When I interviewed Swales I asked him about Clough and the England job and he said (without realising what he was saying): ‘We could’ve had Clough at England AND we could’ve had him at City. Problem was he’d have wanted to run the whole thing… and that was my job!’
 

Didsbury Dave

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When I interviewed Swales I asked him about Clough and the England job and he said (without realising what he was saying): ‘We could’ve had Clough at England AND we could’ve had him at City. Problem was he’d have wanted to run the whole thing… and that was my job!’
That makes me want to chew a lamppost.
 

Mad Eyed Screamer

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My answer to Citizen Green about feelings when Swales took over the club on the 70s, largely comes from what my dad knew about City matters. He was linked with the club from the 50s until he died in 1968. By that time Swales had his eyes on City. My dad knew the Alexander family and I remember us socialising with a number of people connected with City such as George Poyser, Ken Barnes, and Bobby Johnstone and their families. We must have known David Niven as well as I have a vague memory of going to his pub in Marple. Swales in modern day parlance was something of a narcissist and Gary J is right to say he was obsessed with United - even down to the Charlton comb over. He coveted the profile of becoming Chairman even though he had few if any skills to do the job and little or no knowledge of football at professional level. (he envied his business partner Noel White who did have football connections and was likeable). His low point was the appointment of mate John Maddocks to be an intermediary between him and the fans and press and the embarrassment of the journey south which culminated in the appointment of Brian Horton (who actually did quite a good job in the circumstances he inherited). I think my dad's quote was "If that jumped little toad of a tv salesman ever gets control of City, it will be a disaster". Well there were some good years but ultimately he was right.
David Niven? Never knew he was a Blue!
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