I was sorry to read yesterday of the death of probably the greatest football coach ever produced in England, Malcolm Allison, who, in partnership with Joe Mercer (pictured together here) took Manchester City from towards the bottom of the old Second Division to Division One Champions, FA Cup winners, League Cup winners and European Cup Winners Cup winners in just six years.
As with other successful partnerships. eg Tony & Gordon, they were better working together than when one forced the other out and tried to do it on their own. After Joe Mercer left Malcolm didn’t achieve anything and then returned to Manchester City in 1979 only to leave again after having lost some longstanding successful players and spent a lot of money on players who achieved nothing precipitating the decline of the club which saw them sink to the old Third Division in the 90’s.
As a coach Malcolm was second to none, introducing thirty years ago a fitness, training and diet regime still thought leading edge today. It has been good to read reminiscences from former City players outlining how he was always on the side of the players and helped them give more than 100%. Here is the tribute from the MCFC site, a review here, and the fans tributes here.