Nigel Clough Leaves Derby County – Ramspace Comment

Last nights shock sacking of Nigel Clough has left Rams fans divided and conveniently overshadowed the desperately disappointing defeat to Forest which, ultimately, cost him his job.

When I say ‘shock’, I have to say I am not at all surprised that this has happened (see my the Untouchable One article 2 weeks ago) but the timing and manner of the dismissal was not at all “Derby County” and you have to say Clough deserved a bit better.

Regular readers of this site will know that we have generally supported Clough throughout his tenure and recognised the bigger picture job he was doing under more than challenging circumstances.

cloughend

Our first team squad is on budget and worth probably twenty times what we paid for it (including academy products) and our academy is the envy of everyone (and just about to be expanded again). However the one area where Clough has always failed to deliver is to, consistently, win football matches.

Yes, it’s early in the season and there is no doubt that this season’s Rams have got something about them. However what they definitely don’t have about them is a winning mentality or a Plan B.

Yesterday’s game against Forest was a case in point. Despite the astronomical difference in budgets (Mackie is on rumoured £30k per week and Blackstock £20k for starters) the Rams were clearly the better side for long periods yet didn’t trouble Darlow until the 90th minute. On Wednesday we played Leicester off the park for 70 minutes and still lost.

Of course I want Derby to play total football, but more than that I want them to stop losing to shitty clubs who shouldn’t be on the same pitch as us. Read down the Premier league, how many of those clubs are bigger than Derby? Answer, not many.

Many Rams fans have accused our ownership group of not caring and letting the club drift. This action suggests to me that’s no longer the case (A 7k drop in attendance may have grabbed their attention) and any manager worth his salt, is going to demand funds before accepting the job.

Someone said to me this morning that Clough hasn’t been given enough time which is ridiculous. Let’s not forget he was the 4th longest serving manager in English football. Let’s also not forget he would have been sacked 3 times over at any other club (Crawley anyone?) and only had a win ratio of 33%.

I have massive respect for Clough and think he has done a good job under really tough conditions. I also suspect the owners used the goodwill of his name to get them through a couple of sticky years they knew they had to get through. However I think it is the right time for a change, as harsh as it may seem now (wonder how many Southampton fans care about Nigel Adkins anymore?).

Thank you and good luck Nigel Clough. But it’s time for a new era.

CSpaceram

Posted on September 29, 2013, in General Rams Comment. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Expectations over the summer had been raised to a ridiculous level, not helped by Sam Rush’s foolish comments that he wanted to be challenging at the top. Why on earth did he/we think that we would be challenging at the top when the signings we made were just about maintaining a similar finish to last years position? A huge reality check is needed by fans if we believe we’ve got a squad(or owners) to finish in the top 6 – our last three games have been against clubs who have flexed their muscles and will be challenging come May. The fact we gave them a bloody nose in those games is down to the hard work of Clough and his team. He worked within the parameters the owners set – Rush’s comments in June about challenging at the top was the sound of him sharpening his knife.

  2. I don’t think top 6 is a ridiculous expectation given that we weren’t that far off last season.

    Good comment CSpaceram, and I totally agree. I do have mixed feelings but was (just) getting tired of Clough. What did it for me was his comment about Jacobs being at fault for Reading’s third goal. As if 2-1 (and not going for an equalizer) was better than 3-1.

  3. Bouncing Cheque

    Excellent comment, nomis

    I almost feel nostalgia for the incompetence of Tom Glick. Sam Rush has barely been a year as chief executive and he wants to be at the top table. We’ve appointed an ego, not a chief executive.

    The home defeats did not help, three when we had only suffered four last season and interspersed rather than in succession.

    I think there are mitigating factors & don’t agree with the poster that Clough should have been sacked now. Instead I think there was a failure to support him with transfers. Also, factor in the timing of losing Brayford before the beginning of the season, leading to defensive reshuffle, the lack of cover at the back, meaning there is no competition, the unfortunate injury to Hendrick who provides a bit of physical presence, Ward not as effective due to an injury & we’ve also had a bit of a disruptive start.

    We are what we are, a middling solid but unspectacular Championship side, good enough to stay up but not quite good enough to get in the plays.

    You also get what you pay for so Billy’s snide comments post-victory did not sit well with me. Could Clough go out & bring in a Jack Hobbs, paying a loan fee and wages?

    McClaren will face similar pressures, it is the board who need to change their approach and hopefully one of the dubious positives from Clough’s sacking is that they can no longer hide behind a surname or count on the patience of the ‘slow build’.

    As someone said on the phone-in, it is not as if Derby are in crisis which is what usually happens when a manager loses his job.

    I think fans want excitement, got bored with the boring unspectacular approach which we were taking.

    I don’t think it will take as long as Clough’s tenure before we are playing our favourite game of guessing the next manager.

  4. Bouncing Cheque

    We are what we are, a middling solid but unspectacular Championship side, good enough to stay up but not quite good enough to get in the play-offs.

    I don’t think it will take as long as Clough’s tenure before we are playing our favourite game of guessing the next manager.

    I can already see it:

    evens: Tony Pulis
    2-1 Karl Robinson
    4-1 Igor Stimac, the obligatory Derby legend to get everyone tearfully about the past
    6-1 Peter Reid
    8-1 Alan Curbishley, he features on every list, known as the ubiquitous Curbs by Paddy Power
    10- 1 Steve Cotterill, the obligatory ex-Forest manager, they’ve been so many. Substitute SOD in place
    20-1 Iain Dowie: I have a theory that he actually pays Paddy Power to put his name on the list so that nobody forgets he was a manager once
    25-1 Dean Saunders: another Derby legend to get the oldies with their flasks in tears
    200-1 PDC, the banner of ketchup & modern day football version of Mussolini

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