You The Jury – Nigel Clough

After a brief renaissance which just about secured our Championship status, the season looks to be ending on a very dismal note, with only a daunting trip to Reading standing between us and 4 straight defeats.

Despite threats of mass changes and significant transfer investment, many fans are once again suggesting that Nigel Clough is not the man to take us forward.  Take our test and see if you’re one of them.

Nigel’s Backroom Team

A)     Why oh Why has he never taken up Glick’s open offer of an ‘older head’ to assist? Surrounding yourself with sycophantic ‘yes’ men is not management by committee, it’s massaging of ego.

B)      Metgod’s rise to unwritten number 2, at the expense of Crosby, has been a positive step. Nigel and the backroom team are a package and it’s no different to Silly with Ned Kelly & Julian Darby etc.

Commons Contract

A)     Why was this left to drag on so long? He should have been signed last summer or whilst the going was good this year. When that didn’t happen, we should have moved on weeks earlier and signed a replacement. Commons history in similar situations seemed obvious to everyone but Clough.

B)       Up to this year Commons had flattered to deceive and there was no way he deserved a contract in the summer.  Clough applied pressure in the media to Commons and Glick & got the correct offer pushed through. In the end Kris played us like a fiddle and there was little we could do.

Leaving Brayford at centre half when Leacock was fit

A)     It was a shocking decision with no logic which humiliated us in the one game we didn’t want it to. Whatsmore, after blaming Leacock for Forest and leaving him on the naughty step, a Brayford slip cost us the first goal at Crawley!

B)      The defence had looked good with Bray at Centre half and Leacock has played right back before. It was a calculated gamble which didn’t come off, mainly because Leacock is a bottler.

Cwykagate

A)     By any standards, Clough’s radio assassination of Cwyka was scandalous and indefensible. The fact that Tomasz is a young, cracking player who always gives his all made it even worse.

B)      Whist there is no doubt Clough crossed the line on this one, it’s good to hear a manager being honest about his players who should be more accountable for their actions than they are.

The Sale of Dean Moxey

A)     How can it be a good idea to sell a top young player to a relegation rival for a nothing fee? Subsequently leaving said player position (left back) completely exposed for the rest of the season. Pure madness.

B)      Moxey was a tryer who was occasionally brilliant but cost us a lot of goals (a young Jay Mac anyone?). £400k was a generous bid (which will get us either Jamie Ward or Frank Fielding) for someone who hadn’t noticeably improved. Robbo has also looked significantly better since.

Utilisation of Bueno

A)     Outside of Commons, Bueno was by far and away our best creative player this season. So why the hell was he sat on the bench for so many games in the winter, particularly at home?

B)      As results began to crash and personnel changed, it was obvious we had to change the 4-2-3-1. Unfortunately Alberto was a victim of that, although Clough called it spot on to restore him for Swansea and Leeds.

Mostly A’s – You hate non league Nigel and think he should be axed. His name’s got us through a sticky two years, but now it looks like the purse strings are being loosened, it’s time for someone who knows what they’re doing to take it on.

Mostly B’s – Nigel’s not got everything right but you support him all the way. He’s got us through a sticky two years where many other clubs of similar size to us (Forest, Leicester, Norwich, Leeds, Southampton, Sheff Wed etc) have got relegated. Now the purse strings are being loosened, Nigel’s the man to take us to the next level.

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Posted on May 1, 2011, in General Rams Comment and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Mostly Bs for me but there are some serious charges on there!

  2. I often found myself agreeing with A’s, but I think the situation is more complicated than that. Take Cwykagate. Whilst I didn’t approve of the outburst, I understood why Clough made it; he was under tremendous pressure and seconds away from a vital win after a dreadful run. It was the words of a man deeply frustrated and unfortunately Cwyka was the victim. I didn’t think Colin Gibson helped matters as he was the one who contacted the PFA.

    Bueno disappointed and it ought to be remembered that he struggled in his own domestic league. I think Commons ‘owed’ Derby a season following an injury-hit two years, but once the Glasgow giants showed an interest, we were always going to struggle to keep him. It was asking a lot to commit a large salary to a player who spent large spells out injured. If Commons had continued his form, a contract would have materialised end of season. His form during his last month with us was atrocious.

    Clough may be responsible for matters on the pitch, but his job has not been made easier by financial matters off it and I think GSE helped sabotage our season with their decisions, especially to sell Hulse. It was the fact that we didn’t replace Hulse that cost us, especially when the loanee brought in to cover decided his career lay elsewhere. It was GSE who ensured we were left with one half-fit striker, Chris Porter, whose career has been wrecked by injury, (& Steve Davies returning from a serious injury) during late December to mid February, so that we were effectively left without an attack, leading to Crawley and the home defeats to Forest & Leicester. What about the Waghorn saga? Who was responsible for that?

    Interesting headline in today’s People, which suggests Clough is disillusioned at Derby and could return to Burton. Whether it’s true or not, I am sure Clough realises that investment is needed and, if it is not forthcoming, what the likely scenario for next season will be.

  3. BACKROOM TEAM – I don’t feel qualified to answer, as I don’t know whether Metgod is in fact the number two and don’t recall Glick offering Clough an experienced number two. I would say that in my opinion, it would be impossible to appoint such a figure now without seriously undermining the manager, who is supposed to be the top man in the traditional English management system.

    COMMONS CONTRACT – B.

    BRAYFORD / LEACOCK – Basically A. Playing Brayford at centre back was essentially saying “I don’t trust Leacock”. Leacock must have known and felt that. Tyson isn’t particularly good and Brayford would have dealt with him, but Leacock couldn’t handle his pace. I was absolutely livid at the time (by the way, this rubbish about Tyson being a transfer target had better not be true).

    CYWKAGATE – Leaning towards A – it was unfortunate. Clough shouldn’t have been as nasty as he was about Cywka in public. It left a sour taste. He’s made a few jocular comments about it on Rams Player, in interviews with the club’s PR man, which suggests that he feels he did nothing wrong. He was obviously seething about the late equaliser – which as he pointed out at the time, had more to do with the amount of Derby players who were ahead of the ball than anything else – and I think he probably should have sent Crosby or Metgod out to do the talking that day.

    MOXEY – B. Can’t understand the fuss. It was a good offer, which might not have been on the table in summer (Palace could have been relegated).

    BUENO – An enigma. On technical ability, the best player in the squad post-Commons and as my father never tired of repeating, “you must start with your quality”. The problem was, the formation that was set up to accommodate him, 4-2-3-1, stopped working after a certain period (other clubs will eventually find the answers to your tactical innovations). It was a difficult situation and I’m sure just as frustrating for Clough and Bueno as it was for the fans, but all we can do now is wish Alberto the best in his future career. A shame. I hope the formation next season can accommodate some flair – and that some flair is recruited.

    In summary – as we know really, next season is make or break for Clough. Another season of aimless drift would be difficult for everybody to stomach. I would be shocked if the squad could be turned into genuine promotion contenders over the summer, but a top half finish and genuine progress is the minimum expectation.

    Clough has managed to dig out vital results at key times throughout his tenure and his critics should bear that in mind. However, he has not managed to build a team capable of winning consistently yet. I say that there are sufficient mitigating circumstances so far, with highly-paid, high-ego pros he didn’t sign or want agitating for moves, or simply taking up the wage budget whilst underachieving. That said, this season has been awful and it’s still perfectly possible that we could finish fourth from bottom.

    This summer, he will have more room to manoeuvre in the transfer market than in previous windows. Everybody expects plenty of new signings and the success or failure of the next set of recruits will probably seal the fate of the manager, maybe even by Christmas.

    I hope he succeeds. Good luck Nigel.

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