Post Match Bullets – Crystal Palace
The Rams dismal recent run of results continued last night with an entertaining but monumentally frustrating defeat to a bang average Crystal Palace.
Herewith my thoughts on the Rams latest ‘unlucky’ defeat.
Of the last 3 home games, I thought we actually played by far the best in the Palace game despite losing. Although I’m drifting dangerously into Clough rhetoric here, it absolute fact that we could have won all three of these games without doing a lot differently. Clough and this team cracking that conundrum is the key to getting out of this division.
Chris Martin looks a good tidy player and does indeed provide some quality on the ball we don’t have up top. He’d be a god swap out for Tyson or Theo in squad terms but he’s not the 20 goal predator we need. How many times in the last 3 home games has the ball been bouncing around the box with no-one sniffing to apply the finish? The one last night when Speroni palmed Brayford’s shot into the 6 yard box with not a DCFC player within 10 yards was criminal. Imagine Kevin Phillips playing an hour each week with Sammon & Ward doing his running, he’d score 50 goals never mind 20.
I’ve been thinking this since Sheff Wednesday but its now definitely time to get Frank back in goal. Legzdins has become hesitant in coming off his line (see last nights goal and the one headed off the line by Keogh) and doesn’t do one thing or the other when a cross comes in. His distribution has also dropped away being generally poor and, again, hesitant and slow. Franks personality would be a timely lift for the team & fans, get it done Nigel.
The Sammon debate rolls on and I think we all feared the worst when he stepped up last night. To my mind he’s a decent player who can do damage for us in the championship. He has his limitations but then so does every striker in the league. The service to him is generally awful and how many times do you see a bouncing ball into his waist or neck which he struggles to control under pressure, only to be roundly booed by a significant section of fans. I hope he turns it round because the guy must be on the floor at the moment.
To finish on a positive, as frustrating as this last month or so has been, its clear to anyone who watches Derby regularly that we genuinely aren’t far away from challenging. I think the size of the squad and the large amount of youngsters has caught up with us (see Middlesbrough’s young team having a similar problem). However we will pull out of this run. If we can finish positively and Sam Rush takes the plunge he has hinted at this summer (on the key positions we need), maybe we might at last have something to shout about instead of our weekend being ruined by DCFC before it’s started!