Are Derby the new Crewe?
On the eve of Crewe vs. Derby in the Carling Cup, it seems an apt time to pose the question. Various role models have been suggested for Championship teams aspiring to get into the Premier League and establish themselves. The most common role model used to be Charlton although that idea seems less popular nowadays for some reason. You could also “do a Bolton” – ugly football with foreign players; or a Stoke – ugly football with English players. Or you could go for a Portsmouth. Nigel Clough’s new look Derby resemble a role model of a different kind – Crewe Alexandra
Now before the “lack of ambition” merchants get too excited, let’s look at basis for
the comparison. Crewe have consistently developed young players; Crewe have strong footballing principles; Crewe have always lived within their means by being a producer of young, good quality players and not a last pay-day for old journeymen.
Still not convinced this is the way forward? Well, remember that Crewe have done all this on gates of 4,000. In their heyday, Crewe were comfortably competing two divisions above clubs of a similar size – remember us being hammered 3-0 at Gresty Road or 2-4 at Pride Park? If The Rams had even a fraction of the success, with a starting point of 30,000 crowds in the Championship, our fortunes could be transformed completely – all with good football and sound accounts.
Still not convinced? Well, get used to the idea, we’ve got five ex-Crewe players in the squad already and four of them started at Elland Road!