Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guaridola, Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini all are seen as great managers, but to be great you need some assistance, and few have been better in that role than Brian Kidd.
Eric Harrison got most of the credit for the class of 92, and full credit to him. Sir Alex has been given the praise for how he nursed forward the likes of Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, but few have talked about Brian Kidd’s importance, back in those early PL winning days at Manchester United.
To neglect the fact that Brian Kidd was alongside Sir Alex Ferguson as his assistant manager at Manchester United from 1991 to 1997 is like telling a lie, and before that being in charge of youth development at Old Trafford, going as far back 1988.
Brian Kidd was, to the dislike of Sir Alex, tempted to become Mr. 1 at Blackburn Rovers, and jumped at the chance to be the main man at Ewood Park. A club at the time seen as a title chaser, but in decline, needed to get back to their winning ways with Kidd seen as the ideal man, but he didn’t last long getting the sack a year later.
Kidd then had spells as an assistant and coach at several places, being seen assisting people like David O’Leary at Leeds United, Sven Göran Eriksson for England and Harry Redknapp with Portsmouth, he also had a brief spell at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United before moving to Manchester City in 2009.
He started to work with the youth players at Manchester City as he had done at Manchester United almost 20 years earlier, moving up the ladder and seen as part of the management team when the first Premier League trophy was won with Roberto Mancini in charge.
Brian Kidd has been the real “continuity” at Etihad while managers have travelled, he has been the one “bridging” it all together. Kidd was on the block during the years of Manuel Pellegrini and brought on with Pep Guardiola, said to given more importance in the build up to that first title winning season under Pep, after the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had struggled in his first season in charge.
So far Brian Kidd’s role at Manchester City has seen him lifting four Premier League titles, and of course several EFL Cup wins and FA Cup trophies being part of his collection. His three years at Leeds United faulted with a semi-final in the Champions League, so he has been close of that trophy earlier as well.
The fact that he had left Manchester United when they lifted the Champions League trophies and missing out on that title while at Leeds United, makes it probably a big goal to still be part of the plans at Man City when they this season will make a serious attempt to bring that Champions League trophy to Etihad and fulfill an amazing collection of trophies, though having an European Cup winners medal from his playing days at Manchester United can of course be of comfort.
Brian Kidd had a respectable career as a player, scoring goals on demand for Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton in the top flight of English football. He also had a spell in the NASL with Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Atlanta Chiefs, being seen as one of that leagues best players during his days “over the pond”.
He scored a goal in that “iconic” 1968 European Cup final v. Benfica, actually happening on his 19th birthday, seen as a real “Busby Babe” born i Manchester and being there alongside Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, actually being Law’s replacement in the final as the great Scot missed out.
Brian Kidd made the full circle when he returned to Manchester United and building that great bridge between the era of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson being vital for both men in his player and assistant manager role.
Going more than 50 years back in time and in all those years being involved in the game getting his ideas through to some of the greatest managers in the modern game is quite unique. The amazing paths of Brian Kidd is not be faulted and might or should be given more credit as some of the greatest managers in English football made their success with Kidd as their assistant, so all in all you can say that it was all up to that Englishman to give the advice that won them all those titles.
The most fascinating in this story is the fact that he has been coaching and playing for Manchester United, Manchester City and England, and that he in a sense has made the English coaching story a bit brighter as most experts describes those foreign managers as influential, but as they have come and gone, Brian Kidd has been around, at least that is the case at Manchester City.