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.
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.