The Rams according to Boab – Part 1
One of our best friends, Boab (morphed from Bob when we all discovered Irvine Welsh back in the day), has been a Rams season ticket holder for 30 years. Graduating from Key Club to Popside to C Stand at the BBG, he has sat next to me in the West Stand for the entirety of the Pride Park era.
Normally known for his easy going, party lifestyle, just recently he’s been moaning about everything DCFC and has even taken to trolling the club on twitter. I suggested to him that this was not cool and he would be much better having a more structured rant as part of “30 days”.
What I got back was an epic I’ve had to slice into two parts (and could easily have done 3). Thus for the next two days we’re passing the good ship Ramspace into the filthy mitts of Boab. Here we go –
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m from Derby, I support the club, I’ve had a Seaso for the best part of 30 years, I naturally want Derby to do well on the field, and prosper as the glorious city it is becoming. But, is it me, or is supporting Derby getting just a bit rubbish?
Derby is one of the most underachieving clubs in recent years, and in the years around when I was born we’d just started bringing the “winning stuff” to a close. Not all clubs can win everything, there’re too many for starters, but let’s at least occasionally have a dabble. Most recently was the League Cup run of 2008/2009, but probably the most significant “dabble” was when “Silly” lead us painfully home to the Prem via the play-offs. It would’ve been great to have got parked up in there, like Stoke, Fulham, or, well, I was about to say Wigan, but they’ve now gone. And this is the point, if they can do it, why aren’t we? A season such as the Silly Prem one couldn’t have been predicted by anyone, at least not as bad as that, and indeed, will it ever be bettered (or worsened)?
So will we be dabbling this forthcoming season? I doubt it, but I’d like to be wrong. On recent evidence I’m not convinced though. Generally I’m positive about the majority of players we have, there’s some great talent and the fitness levels are incredible (Ben Davies is Mr Super Fitness). But we need improvement still, we need some power and some experience to get us back to where we should be in the top tier. Signings such as Lee Grant and Chris Martin are not inspired or inspiring signings, and I can’t see them changing a thing. Why bring has-beens back in? We moved on, he wasn’t convincing then, Burnley saw no need to keep him on, so he can’t be too convincing now, he surely should be heading down the divisions, he’s certainly no better than what we’ve got already. As for Mr Martin, well, he seems a decent lad, started brightly, but in all fairness, after 13 games, he has just not delivered with just a couple of goals, and is an easy mop-up exercise for most defences. Can’t see him being anything but average in this league, we should look elsewhere.
Onto the management, can we have some substitutions please when it is clear the team (to 20k+ spectators) is being battered and looking fairly clueless, instead of leaving it until 12 minutes to go, when there’s no chance of recovering or changing anything? This happens far too often, and we’re a bit fed up of the arrogance to be honest. And what is this crazy obsession for Wardy? He can’t do anything wrong can he? Though clearly he’s not been fit for the last 10 games, scared of his hamstring going, pulling out of tackles, no full-on sprinting, selfishly dribbling for too long to the line or shooting from 30 yards. And what happened to James Bailey? Clough dropping him last season and bringing in the debacle Tom Carroll from Spurs caused the car crash which ended up as last season. We have too soft an underbelly and it’s been going on for too long.
Defensively people use the Barker excuse, but for me Jake Buxton has been outstanding and surely should have silenced his critics. Richard Keogh also has been tremendous – I for one was pleased to see the back of Shackell who showed his true quality having a complete headloss and lumping a free kick 60 yards into the Derby supporters at Barnsley last season ” ‘av it stylee”, a moment we found hilarious. Too often the football tries to be “Champagne Supernova” (a favourite term of CSpaceRam), without any end product. Great to watch, but leaves a bitter taste when we only narrowly avoid relegation with a game or two to go most seasons.”
To be continued