Heroes to Zeros
Updates on Ramspace have been sparse over the last 6 weeks or so. Some of this is because I’ve been busy with work, some of it is because you don’t need me to tell you in a smart arse way what you can see for yourself, but mostly it’s because I’ve been so gutted after almost every game recently I just didn’t fancy writing about it.
With the last chance of automatic promotion disappearing on Friday night with yet another example of the Rams having no idea how to win a game, it’s time to ask some questions.
Whilst I’m not going to say we have no chance of winning the play offs, I am going to say we should have absolutely walked this league this season. Without ever reaching last year’s heights, the Rams were in a great position at the end of February with a good fixture list and a great squad. Our subsequent collapse has been as inexplicable as it has been devastating. Yes we’ve had some bad luck, but bad luck hurts you in one or two games, an eight game run is a pattern where something is fundamentally wrong and could/should be addressed.
I remember after the Brighton game hearing someone ring Radio Derby slating McClaren. At the time I thought “idiot”. Now I think……..
- At Wembley we dominated the game from start to finish and got mugged. A year later we still do this on a regular basis.
- At Wembley we got the ultimate punishment for a defender trying to play instead of clearing his lines. This has happened 4 times in the last 3 games and you can also add recent goals at Fulham and Birmingham at home to the list.
- Game management has been horrific all season, particularly at home. Why has this basic championship tool not been added to our armoury over the best part of two seasons (Ipswich away excluded)?
- Why did we not play a full team against Reading in the cup and then go shit or bust because “we didn’t want a replay” – thus losing momentum? Note an advance in the cup would have meant more of our games would have been moved to later in the season when more people were fit.
- Accepting his injury, why did it take so long for Albentosa to start?
- Considering how naïve our defending, game management & general organisation is, why did we sign an experienced ex England full back and have not started him in a single league game?
- Cyrus Christie has been on the floor for weeks. Why has he not been taken out the firing line and rested for a good spell?
- When Bent got injured at Fulham, why didn’t we A) Sign a physically big striker of any quality to feed off our immense creative players B) Change formation to 2 up top C) Recall Sammon D) Play Kwame Thomas
Don’t get me wrong, the season isn’t over and Chris Martin is right to say one win will change everything. We still have a favourable run in and it’s very possible we can hit the play offs with some momentum. Don’t forget Billy Davies won us the play offs off the back of a very similar collapse. Plus if we defend properly we know our team can score goals against anyone anywhere.
That said, if the season does end in failure it will be interesting to see is Steve has the stomach to build a new team and go again. If he does, he will need to fly out the traps next year because the goodwill he has built up with his amazing work over the last 18 months is currently evaporating by the week.