Rams Barometer – International Break October 2012

We’ve now reached the second international break of the season and the first 10 games of season 2012/13 are done and dusted.

As everyone’s opinions on this season’s vintage of DCFC become more formulated, it seems like a good time to do our second Barometer of the season. Feel free to continue the current trend of adding your own comments to the piece.

Will Hughes – I was loathe to include Will again after he was top of our new season Barometer. However you just can’t ignore the talent of this kid (that’s what he is) and the unbelievable influence he has on our team for one so young. Hands down player of the season so far. It will be interesting to see if any of the Premier League big four “go early” for him in January. Utter quality & a joy to watch.

“It’s honestly no issue. All the lads take it in turns to clean Will’s boots before every game”

Forest 0 Rams 1 – Aside form the obvious joy of beating Forest away, this was a massive result which almost on its own turned our start to the season into a good one. There were more than a few rumblings as Nigel rolled out the all too familiar interviews after several games where the Rams “didn’t get what they deserved”. However this result showed the team could scrap as well as play and the fact we took it on to Boro bodes really well.

John Brayford – Maybe he was carrying injuries but I personally don’t think Bray has been the force he was for a good 6 months. However his partnership with Coutts seems to have given him a new lease of life and it’s great to see him back to his rampaging best.

Goals Galore – Before the Burnley game we were averaging over 3 goals per game at home, which is unprecedented for even the most successful Rams teams in recent history. Whatsmore the goals are coming from all parts of the team. As Sammon settles in and we get out of the current run of tough games, there’s no reason why this won’t continue.

Sam Rush – Grab a coffee and do 10 minutes of amateur googling on this guy. It won’t take you long to realise that this is a massive coup for GSE to land such a big hitter. The proofs in the pudding but, on paper, this looks a monumental appointment by Derby with Premier League written all over it.

Nathan Tyson – The hex was broken and it seemed like it was at last time for Nathans Rams career to kick start. However with the signing of Sammon and a couple of fleeting lacklustre performances since, it looks like it just isn’t going to happen for Tyson at Derby, which is a shame.

Forest boys choir– You can argue all day about the Blackstock sending off. However what you can’t argue about is the snide, whinging and pathetic conduct of messrs Reid, Cohen & Blackstock repeatedly trying to bully a young ref into a kneejerk decision. Which, to be fair, in the end they succeeded in!

“…thats it ref get the dirty Derby bastard off. Hey why you pointing at me?”

Frank Fielding – A common thread after most games this season has been “I don’t think Frank made a save”. Unfortunately in most of these games we’ve conceded at least two goals. Whilst not making (m)any outright howlers, I’d implicate him in several goals and he definitely needs to review his policy of not coming for crosses. I wonder how serious Clough is when he says Legzdins is pushing for a start?    

Cardiff & Leicester – Outside of QPR, these two clubs sum up more than anybody everything that’s wrong about modern football and in particular the “foreign investors” model. Thus it’s especially disappointing to see them both at the top of the league.

Attendances & Tickets – We know attendances are down at Pride Park and the general comment has been that this is in line with other clubs and the current economic climate. Nothing then I’m sure to do with our confusing ticketing policy and the fact that, actually, it’s not that cheap for even the most low grade games (see Charlton midweek).  I hope Sam Rush has got Digonex booked for a 10am on 2nd January.

Posted on October 10, 2012, in Ramspace Barometer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. What worries me about Will Hughes is classic thing of letting a star go for £1m when other teams will get £8m for a similar player. Blackpool will get loads for Ince, Ok he is more high profile but if we let Will Hughes go for pittance we will feel like idiots e.g. Huddlestone. If we get a good price I think we have a strong enough squad to cover for him (maybe that’s the answer to my question). The whole attendance thing has always baffled me, why a Team with 17,000 odd highest attendance can afford to pay £8m for a player and make a profit when they look at the books at the end of the season? Financial fair play??

    • Totally agree Tommy. I think if we can get £8m for Hughes going up to £15m with addons over the next 5 years that would be spot on. Anything a lot less would be very tough to accept.

  2. Derby are clearly on the right track. For possibly the first time since Arthur Cox was launching us back to the top flight 25 years or so ago, we look like a proper football club; run within our means and built on honesty and commitment to the cause from the tea lady to the chief exec. The fruits of that in on the pitch are clear to see but slow to ripen; as the skill level has risen the average age has dropped, and our results have remained rather flaky even as the football has been sporadically lovely. When you see how a very average Huddersfield side have grabbed a top 6 spot on the back of a little winning streak, it makes me think that Derby, with a bit more clinical finishing and luck could easily do the same at some stage this season.

    While getting into the top 6 might be achievable, staying there until May might prove beyond us given the number of larger and more experienced squads in this league and the financial firepower likely to be wheeled out by the likes of Cardiff, Leicester, Wolves, Forest, Blackburn, Leeds, etc, etc. This is probably not a bad thing. Much as a top 6 finish would give us all a much needed shot of enthusiasm, the slim prospect of actually going up with this thin and youthful squad makes me uncomfortable about our recent Premier League, ahem, “record”. I’d put us at about 8th in the final table, with some dreary afternoons, and some barnstormers between now and May.

    I reckon next season might be the great leap forward. The now traditional batch of 2 or 3 summer signings you’ve never heard or but who improve the team, either a more mature Will Hughes (or a fat cheque to dip into), or at least the usual astute £1m signing to sprinkle a bit more established quality, all tied to the departure of the bottom 2 or 3 in the class, and possibly the return of the captain…and I think we’d be properly equipped to challenge at the top end. You could put all that down to the over-optimism, but I think the evidence is there that under Clough we’ll develop our own kids, notably Hendrick last term and Hughes this, and sign well – who’d swap Coutts for Greeny now? The lubricant of £millions to bring in proven players may not be there, so progress is necesarily slow, but it is there nonetheless and I believe that the signs have been there in the first 10 games that the tipping point is in sight. We’re nearly a good team.

    This brings me to the second point, which is that the financial model is sound. We’re not starved of funds like Coventry have been (SISU – remember them?), but neither are we blowing money we don’t have. When you consider local clubs like Forest and Leicester, who have both flirted with insolvency having blown millions on players and yet done time in the 3rd division, and the end result of our splurge under Billy Davies, I think the case for frugality is compelling too. The lavishly funded teams that don’t go up get into more debt (Cardiff), those that do tend get into massively more debt (QPR), and they still get relegated again eventually, at which point it can all go horribly wrong if the billionaire jumps ship (Portsmouth). Better the West Brom model, which relies on astute aquisition and development of youth – see where I’m going with that? They had a £9m profit last accounts, have no debt, and are no doubt loving their start to the season.

    Losing Glick might have rocked that particular boat, but bringing Rush in looks to have been a smooth transition, and credit must go to Appleby for that. The most impressive thing about Sam Rush so far is that he’s had the sense to keep his counsel. We’ll only need pronouncements from the boardroom when something needs changing, and it’s encouraging that Rush is taking stock before wading in. Ticket pricing might be one such issue where we need a policy change, but a top 6 side will sell out PPS a lot quicker than a marketing gimmick.

    Sorry for the War and Peace bit. I ramble a bit on my favourite subject….COYR.

  3. Epic comment with some great points. I agree with pretty much all of it. Not sure I’m cool with the Rams being the “new west brom” but I get your drift!

  4. A fella from the Manchester Evening News, who is also a Derby fan, tweeted the other day that he thinks Hughes could be as good as Paul Scholes, long-term. I think that’s a long, long way off, but his ability is beyond question and it’s inconceivable that the big boys aren’t aware.

    Physically, he’s not robust enough to play Premier League yet, but technically, as we all know, he is.

    I do wish people would stop putting pricetags on his head, I don’t want us to sell him – ever!

    Agreed on Digonex, putting not-that-cheap category E ‘deal’ tickets on offer is not terribly inspiring.

    Cheers to Chris, nice comment. Agreed that WBA are a much healthier model to try to emulate than some of the other basketcases mentioned. As Tommy points out, certain clubs are living in financial la-la land and it’s very difficult to make the ‘slow train coming’ case when other people are extending the overdraft with impunity. But as Chris says, next season could be great if we can keep this bunch together and add a bit more quality up-front.

    I like our team, at the moment. Haven’t always been able to say that in seasons gone by!


  5. Maybe, just maybe, the message is getting across, that moving slowly but surely has got to be the right way forward. Just one thing though.Regarding Sam Rush keeping a low profile. I thought he didn’t start his job till Jan 1st!

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