The View From The Afternoon

I’ve been wanting to write this piece for nearly a week now but haven’t had chance to get online. However last week I did something DCFC related, that I haven’t done for a good few years, that is take in a reserve game.   

Back in the BBG days, I used to do loads of reserve games. The old central league was glorious and you could regularly take in games against Liverpool, Man Utd, Everton, Forest etc. In the really early days you’d see often see first teamers in the stand and various youth teamers (often led by Jossy) nipping to the shop/chippy at half time (imagine that now). Once I passed my driving test, we even started taking in the odd away game (Forest, Notts, Sheff U at Chesterfield, Rotherham etc). Good times!

"..ok, £7m plus Chopra for Pearo, final offer. Lets just get it done!"

Reserve games at Pride Park never seemed to have the same attraction as the central league at the BBG, then we ditched the reserves in favour of ‘behind closed doors friendlies’. By the time our reserves were resurrected as our ‘development squad’, the league had been heavily regionalised, the games were moved around Derbyshire (Burton to Alfreton and now to Belper) and, more recently, the games started kicking off at 2pm.

A few weeks ago I realised that the Forest at home reserve game was on sspaceram’s birthday, so we booked an afternoon off and took in the game. For those of you, like me, who haven’t taken in a reserve game for a while, I strongly recommend you get involved. 

Belper’s a good little set up. Covered seats, great catering (fresh pies and pasties Mr Glick) cracking indoor bar and loads of parking. Obviously you’re right next to the action, and, although obvious, it’s a great perspective to hear the players shouting at each other and to hand the ball to Dave Martin to take a throw in. You see loads of lower league Phil Brownesque characters (shoes, trousers, nice coat, tan, plenty of product in hair) making notes and the odd A-lister if you’re lucky (Mr Savage and Peter Ridsdale at this one).

In terms of our players Ben Pringle was our captain and best player by a distance, Conor Doyle looked quality and Dave Martin showed a few flashes of good wingplay. In terms of some of the younger lads, Callum Ball has always looked small when he’s done his first team cameos, but he looked a big unit close up and did a good job playing the lone front role. Jeff Hendrik is one of the Irish lads and he looked a good all round footballer both at centre half and in midfield, he again wasn’t small. Finally a player I’d not come across before was Alex Witham who played centre midfield. He was released by Arsenal at 16 and looked a really tidy central midfielder, nice control and good passing with both feet. Watch out for him. 

The final point of note, was that the reserves played exactly the same formation (4-2-3-1) as the first team and were also noticeably playing the ball to feet. It’s a well-known fact that teams like Ajax and Barcelona play the same formation and style right from their first team through their Academy, so it’s good to see the Rams trying to do the same.

If you do get the chance to do a reserve game before the end of the season, take it up. You’ll enjoy it.

C Spaceram

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Posted on November 22, 2010, in General Rams Comment and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It’s interesting that Stephen Pearson played and scored in the game, but didn’t warrant a mention here. What do you make of Pearo?

  2. To be fair Ollie it wasn’t a match report as such, so there was nothing malicious in omitting Pearo from the piece.

    Generally speaking I like Pearo but, like most Rams fans, find him a frustrating player. At times he can look awesome and always seems to “do the hard work” but then lets himself down at the final pass or shot.

    It would great if he came good but I suspect he might leave Derby in the summer. Its probably a good indication of the player that he’s equally as likely to go to the Premiership as he is to another Championship team or the SPL.

    • From my perspective, it was interesting to see Pearo trying to play the “house style” of shorter passing. It wasn’t really the match for his trademark 50 yard charges up the field. He wasn’t bad but I don’t think the formation does a lot for him.

  3. Kennington Ram

    I think Pearo is fairly atrocious. He’s flattered to deceive for 3 years now, during which time he’s scored 2 goals (one of which was admittedly *quite* important!!!), and I reckon you could count the amount of assists on the fingers of one hand as well – for an attacking midfielder, i think that says all you really need to know.

    I’ve spent the last three years thinking ‘there’s a great player in there trying to get out somewhere’ but his lack of basic attributes (heading, shooting, crossing, tackling, passing etc!) make me think it’s only his speed that is making him play above conference level…..

    • “…his lack of basic attributes (heading, shooting, crossing, tackling, passing etc!” That’s quite a strong case you’ve presented there – there really isn’t much else is there!

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