Its Tough At The Top
After finally achieving some daylight with back to back home wins, the Rams were dragged right back into the pack this week with a pair of crushing away defeats to struggling Fulham and Brighton.
Were it not for Norwich’s inexplicable defeat to UKip Athletic on Wednesday we would have been out the top two completely with no games in hand.
We all know the championship is a tough league where anyone can beat anyone, but 2 points and 9 goals shipped in the last 4 away games (3 of which were against struggling sides) is a worrying trend.
With key players dropping like flies, the nerves of the DCFC faithful, most with the open wound of Wembley still fresh in the mind, are being tested to the max. Thus the deluge of frustration, moans & rants after the last two defeats is understandable. The nature and extremity of these is something different.
Derby County has a hardcore of around 15,000 fans who would pay £500 or £5k for a season ticket regardless of the league we were in. When we are doing average this goes up to around 20k and when we are doing well attendances obviously start to hit 30k. Away from home its smaller numbers but the same proportions. The nature of these floaters is that they are less passionate than the hardcore and absolutely do not provide their support unconditionally.
This is why you often get the scenario where a really big support produces a really poor atmosphere if the team are not bang on it (recent examples are Forest at home and Rotherham away).
What you also get then is the two factions clashing. This was a regular feature of away games in the Clough era.
With social media and the immediate accessibility of radio Derby by web/phone you now see this again every weekend. Fans complain, others complain about the fans who are complaining and so it goes.
Whilst I’m personally generally positive, the team have let us down badly in recent weeks away from home. Thus it’s totally acceptable to me to say something like “Lee Grant has been liable and implicated in many goals shipped recently and needs to pull himself together”, tweeting Keoghs wife and saying “your husband is a useless cunt” probably not so much.
The Rams are the biggest club in the Championship with the best squad and are everyone’s favourites to win the league. We are there to be shot down and at the moment we are wobbling big time with injuries, poor form, strange team selections and nerves.
Everyone has the right to their opinion and the passion & commitment of the Rams fans is what makes us special. But for this next 6/8 weeks it would be great if we could all pull together and drive the boys to glory.
Come on you Rams!