The Good, The Bad and the Self Inflicted Frustration
As we move into the international break, The Rams sit 7th in the league and well and truly “in the mix” at the right end of the table. A state of affairs every Rams fans would have considered more than acceptable at the start of the season.
However if you wanted an overall reflection of the season so far, look no further than the three games played by DCFC this week.
First up we have the Pompey match. Tough opposition (proven by their subsequent 0-0 at Palace and 3-0 thumping of the Red Dogs) despatched within 35 minutes by an awesome display of champagne supernova football and clinical finishing. A great performance, great result and the Rams set up nicely for Cardiff despite injury concerns over O.B & Theo.
Moving onto Cardiff, O.B & Theo don’t make it but thats no excuse for the limp, lifeless display and a well organised but workmanlike Cardiff dominate and outplay us, as though we were an U14 girls team. And so to Peterborough.
Theo and O.B return, the Rams storm into a 2 goal lead then somehow contrive to lose the game, with some old skool injury time heartbreak thrown in for good measure. Cue frustration all round and the usual suspects rolling the usual moans.
Normally at this point, you’ll read on this site a well constructed defence of transfer policy or perhaps a justification of some strange team selection. However whilst the team are doing well, things generally are on the up and we are about to get a big influx of returning players, I think Nigel has made a few mistakes over the last few weeks. Here’s a few things I don’t really understand:-
When we knew Brayford was injured for a month, why didn’t we sign a right back? Not only did we lose our only right back we also lost our only central defensive cover in Ando, leaving a hopelessly short of match practice Bucko as our only other fit defender. With Shacks and O.B also running on empty, this was a bad move and it’s no surprise we’ve started to leak goals.
I’m no fan of Leacock but, regardless of our desire to axe him, he could have done a job this month.
What’s Callum Ball got to do to get a start? There’s been a lot of talk about hold up play, the need for a big man and the value of doing well in the reserves, so what’s not to like about Ball? Fair play to Mason Bennett and it was a good curveball to throw him in at Boro, but Ball is an out-and-out goal scorer who I’m sure would do some damage with the service from Wardy and Ben Davies.
I’m all for the general effort to get the young player involved but 2-2 away from home, 5 minutes to go with 600 game Kevin Kilbane on the bench, was this the time or place to blood Hughes?
These injuries have now gone on too long under Clough to be a co-incidence. Whether it’s the training regime, the heavily watered pitch, the medical advice or the fitness coach something needs to change.
Ok moan over, let’s regroup over the next few weeks get at least Brayford back, maybe Barks too and get back on it. This leagues wide open and with a few tweaks, the Rams could be heavily involved.