Nigels Transfer Policy Explained

Since Nigel Clough came to Derby, there has been a recurring discussion around his transfer activity. Admittedly much of this goes back to the tired “why aren’t we spending millions” debate, but there is no doubt Nigel has approached the transfer market in a unique and different way to our previous managers.

In Simon Kuper’s recent book “Why England Lose” (a much better book than the title suggests), Kuper devotes a chapter to the transfer market and concludes, in his own words “As a free service to clubs, here are the 12 main secrets of the transfer market”.

Here we assess how The Rams are getting on:

A new manager wastes money on transfers; don’t let him

The new board have scored top marks here. Whilst the previous two regimes let Jagger and Silly max-out the club credit card, Clough had only made two significant signings in Porter and Barker prior to this summer; for a combined fee of less than The Dukes loan fee.

Use the wisdom of the crowds

This refers to seeking the opinion of many rather than letting a manager decide unilaterally. With Clough’s close-knit backroom team, Nigel regularly seeks counsel from those around him and made specific reference to various members of the team having watched James Bailey on their travels . Jagger had Stan Ternent.

Stars of recent World Cups or European Championships are overvalued – ignore them.

Judging by the lack of Carlos Kickaballs recruited by Nigel, I don’t think we’ll be falling for this one. Sit back and laugh when half the Premier League storm straight into this in around 6 weeks time.

Certain nationalities are overvalued.

As above.

Older players are overvalued.

Clough has often stated his desire for a young and hungry team and his permanent signings reflect this. Clough and Crosby constantly refer to a players age in all transfer discussions. Roberts and Anderson are Clough’s only over 30 signing outside of loans and neither cost a fee.

Centre forwards are over valued; goalkeepers are undervalued.

Clough has steered clear of lashing out heavily on a strikers and has clearly stated he won’t be changing the policy for Gary Hooper, (Jagger’s weakness – hello Varney, Dicko, Tito and Duke). Clough’s gaming of the goalkeeping situation is worth a mention here, recognising that reserve ‘keepers rarely play, Clough has saved thousands per week by swapping Roy Carroll (last three clubs Rangers, West Ham, Man Utd.) for Saul Deeney (last three clubs Notts Co., Hucknall, Burton Albion).

Bywater gets sent off, Deeney is fine. Bywater breaks his arm, we’ll loan someone.

Gentlemen prefer blonds; identify and abandon “sight based prejudice”.

The idea that players who catch the eye from looking different are more obvious targets.

Young players are often described with animal metaphors such as colts or kids. Keen to impress, James Bailey looks like a member of Foals

Ask yourself, was Carlos Valderama really any good? Possibly guilty as Shaun Barker had a blond rinse when he starred for Blackpool last season and Brayford and Bailey both seem to have a close relationship with their hairdresser.

The best time to buy a player is when he is in his early twenties.

No question, Clough is all over this one. We have only signed Pringle and Abalimba (the youth from Southend) who have been under 20 and its safe to say neither broke the bank . As we said earlier we haven’t paid a fee for anyone over 30 in the Clough era. Any fees have been exclusively for players  aged 21-25

Sell any player when another club offers more than he is worth.

The Rams haven’t been in this position too often but it should be remembered that Middlesbrough’s £4m+ bid for Hulse was accepted by the club though not the player.

Replace your best players even before you sell them.

Clough was on record as saying that Porter was a ready-made replacement for Hulse if he decided to leave. Also how many times have we read Cwyka is a ‘Kris Commons type’ player and Bailey being lined up for when Sav retires. If we suddenly sign a towering centre half this summer, get worried.

Buy players with personal problems, and then help them deal with their problems.

This was a Clough and Taylor speciality although perhaps more at Forest than Derby. Difficult to comment based on whats in the public domain although Commons might be a good testbed, if A) He stays B) Some of those internet  rumours are true.

Help your players relocate.

Less relevant as we don’t play the world market. Bucko was born near Mansfield, Barker in Trowell. However Cwyka may need some counselling after living alone in Wigan for 2 years!

C & S Spaceram (joint effort!)


Posted on May 30, 2010, in General Rams Comment, Transfer Talk and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I access the BBC 606 Derby which has a range of comments, some ridiculous, i.e. why aren’t we spending lots of money (which we haven’t got)?. I occasionally browse ‘ramspace’ and it is good to read ‘sane’ comments, especially how Nigel has to contend with the consequences of Billy Davies’s & Jewell’s mistakes (as pointed out, Porter & Barker cost less than what was paid for Ellington’s loan fee.)*

    * Jewell wanted to turn his loan into a permanent deal on £20k pw wages after his panic buy of Varney. Ridiculous.

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