Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don Revie : Change In Outlook Required

Fifty years ago this week, Don Revie became Leeds United's player-manager. Fifty years since, he is remembered by the Leeds United faithful as one of (if not) the greatest manager, English Football has ever seen. But at the other end of the spectrum, he is remembered as a man who managed a great set of players with a 'win-at-any-cost' approach. A judgement which led Revie's side to be called 'Dirty Leeds' across the board.

While Revie's side was one of the most physical teams that has played in the English Football League, it was also one which played the most beautiful football in the country at the time. The opposition and critics have always looked at the physical nature of Revie's side, while completely ignoring the breadth-taking football the team played.  Everyone remembers the Charity Shield against 1974 (when Don Revie wasn't even in charge) but they tend to forget the Southampton game in 1971/72, a game which would make even Johan Cruyff would stand up and applaud.

Case in point, being Brain Clough (Story on screen : The Damned United). A vouch critic of Don Revie's tactics, Clough faced Revie in an interview after he had got sacked at Elland Road after just 44 days in charge. Brain Clough accused Revie of using dirty tactics to win football games. Revie retorted by bringing forward the facts, facts which tell us that Leeds United were the most entertaining team in the top tier of English Football when Revie was in charge. Facts which tell us in Revie's last five seasons in charge at Elland Road(1969/79-1973/74), Leeds were among the top two scoring teams in the league every season. Yet people will bicker about a 'win-at-any-cost' approach.

Don Revie had also been charged with match-fixing in an expose by the Daily Mirror. Roy Greenslade came forward with a timely reminder yesterday. Mr. Greenslade, there is a reason it has been airbrushed from history. Frank Munro, one of the opposition players accused of taking bribes from Revie actually scored the opening goal in the game and Wolves won the game 2-1 which cost Leeds the title. It's no science rocket, that Revie to this date hasn't been proven guilty of those charges.

What people won't tell you is the story of The People(Mirror's sister paper) repeating the charges against Billy Bremner in 1982. Bremner sued them and was successful. On the same subject of match-fixing, why doesn't the media look into the 1973 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Final? Christos Michas, the referee in charge for the game was debarred from refereeing any European games thereafter because of match-fixing allegations (Read More).

A God at Elland Road, a revolutionist in English Football. Happy Don Revie Day!

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