“I Blame Keogh……”

Derby County’s season is over and we have not been promoted to the premier league. In the end we couldn’t even make the play offs. Thus if that was the minimum requirement (as has been stated by everyone many times) then the season has been an abject failure.

However, as all Rams fans know, the statement of the facts only tells a very small part of the story.  

There are many reasons why this season fell off the edge of a cliff in such spectacular fashion, indeed I think I could easily do one a day for the next month, but no one’s going to thank me for that.

In the Clough era, the majority of the blame for our outright mediocrity was rightly aimed at our ownership group. Forcing Nigel to work on a shoe string and blatantly using his family name to buy them some time to clear the decks. The arrival of Sam Rush signalled a new impetus and urgency and Nigel was correctly upgraded to Steve McClaren. Probably the only people who can take no blame this time around are the same board and ownership group who have backed Steve to the hilt with some serious money. Here’s my list of shame.

Steve McClaren – Absolutely failed to deal with problems thrown up by injuries and our defensive shortcomings. Why didn’t we sign a CDM instead of Lingaard (who is no better than JR or Wardy and certainly doesn’t work as hard)? Why didn’t we sign a striker or play Sammon and/or Thomas when Bent was injured? Why didn’t we try a new shape for more than 20 minutes here and there? Why didn’t he kill all the Newcastle stuff stone dead?

Eric Steele – Granty was fantastic last season and started this one in a similar vein. However he has been awful since the Forest game, costing us goals through a variation of outright howlers and his blatant weakness for shots straight at him and set piece crosses. Eric should has attended to these problems (even if they were driven by confidence) or recommended we put Roos in or resign Butland.

"Bucko says his back hurts, I think he can run it off"

“Bucko says his back hurts, I think he can run it off”

Neil Sullivan – Our injury record this season has been horrific. Accepted you can’t do a lot about a cruciate knee injury, but it seems to me the management and diagnosis of our injuries has been very poor. How many strains and pulls have we had this year? Three times to players just coming back (Thorne, Whitbread and Russell). How many times are player supposed to be out for a week or two and end up being out for months? This department needs a review which leads me onto…….

Allesandro Shoenmaker – Am I the only one who thinks the Rams don’t seem as fit as we used to be? Add that to the pulls and strains mentioned above and I would question what this guy has bought over what Steve Haines was doing quite well in my view.

Brendan Rogers – I still don’t understand why Ibe had to be recalled the night before our biggest game of the season to play 4 minutes as a sub at Villa. Wanker.

Andy Croft (Groundsman) – On more than one occasion this year, I’ve thought our pitch at the Ipro has been shocking. I don’t know enough about this topic to comment further but I know our pitch has never been less than immaculate for years and this year it’s been largely poor.

Chris Evans – Two months ago this guy was the greatest thing to ever land at Derby since Bobby Davison. With boys own tales of private jets and flagging down the Eibar team bus, Chris was hailed as a hero bringing players to DCFC we could only dream of but 18 months ago. With the majority of this year’s signings now being questioned, it’s understandable that Chris’s contribution is also coming under the microscope. A great shout by Olly today was, “Has Mac/Evans signed a single player on a permanent deal that has improved the first team?” If Mac goes, this guy will be gone too.

"do you speak English?" "No", "Have you got your boots?" "No". Did you know we are not Premier league? "No"

“do you speak English?” “No”, “Have you got your boots?” “No”. Did you know we are not Premier league? “No”

The Players – regardless of your view on Mac, the Newcastle link and his management of the team, too many of our players have capitulated leading to a string of limp performances and an inexplicable catalogue of unforced errors. Many of our top players have been a shadow of their former selves and may not get the chance to redeem themselves in a Rams shirt again.

Understandably the focus is now very much on McClaren. Opinion seems split amongst Rams fans as to whether he should leave or not. However, whatever your view, I believe his position is now almost untenable and I would be astonished if he is still the Derby manager this time next week.

If that happens, we have two positives. 1) We already have an extra month to prepare for next season. 2) Derby is one of the most attractive jobs in English football and we will be able to choose pretty much anyone outside the absolute elite.

I’m actually really excited to see what happens next – and I haven’t felt like that about DCFC since February.

Come on you Rams!


Posted on May 3, 2015, in General Rams Comment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Martin Bridges

    Absolutely spot on, but blame Keogh as well. poor captain, constantly berated Albentosa on Saturday – half of the time to cover his own shortcomings, the bloke has had no settling in time at all

  2. i am still astounded we didn’t even make the playoffs.. I travel from Cheshire for every game. It’s a really shame the team arn’t as committed as it most loyal..
    It’s a real shame our season didn’t end as it started. We are the best on our day but threw it away. No one really beat us but we gifted it to the opposition on most occasions.
    I love my club and always will. I’m optimistic about next season and have already renewed my season ticket for me and my son. Let’s keep our heads up and look forward to next season.
    Man of the season for me is the fans.. Consistently amazing as always.

    Come on you Rams!!!!!

  3. Richard Harcock

    Absolutely agree with everything said,but I want to criticise Rush & Vicars.They are so arrogant and believed we had all the answers.I agree with all the comments and it is tough to take when you think of all the money the fans have spent to pay there fat salaries.Lets see Gary Rowatt at the helm and throw out these ‘so called elite people’.The fans are brilliant but badly hurt.

    • I think that’s a bit harsh on Rush but I totally agree that last season John Vickers was Derbys number 1 cheerleader and this season has disappeared off the face of the earth.

  4. Kevin Bullock

    I blame you and all the other fans that got on the back of the team week in week out on match days and Slagging them off on the social media for damaging the players shattered confidence.

    Just as logical as all your crappy comments!

  5. Belgian Ram

    Agree the coaching staff need to take a long hard look at themselves as mistakes have been made and opportunities missed although I would prefer they are retained. Irrelevant of the defensive midfield position the defence is shot and needs a complete overhaul, shockingly poor purchases in those positions. Unfortunately the ‘bad run’ was not just a blip and I can see this being carried over into next season unless further changes are made so may be it’s time to say goodbye to a few more. 100% agree about Lingaard total waste of a loan and Russell, Ward and Dawks can feel let down by SMC over this.

  6. ole jorgen lunde

    I also think spot on.
    I would like to add the following questions to SML:

    1) Why choose R.Keogh as captain also this season, when he had certainly enough with himself last year? Do you think he has the right calmness and quality as a Leader? (Cant you see that his tension reaches Mount Everest?) Could it be an idea to take som pressure OFF his shoulders; having another captain ? (Imo Keogh/Buxton are a very good constellation)
    2) When you create playing-style/educate – and drill(not only talk!) – your players defensively: (because I do hope you are doing that!) – how do you want your midfieldplayers AND wingers to behave when a) we loose the ball in the midfield-area , and b) we loose the ball in the opponents back-four area ?
    My questions on this topic, is based upon the fact (!) that we leave far too much space open at times, in the midfieldarea. See 4.
    3) I know Martin Perry(google him) worked with Lee Grant in sep-des 2013. And Mr.Grant really played well at the time,thats for sure. How do you measure your group of players when it comes down to handle pressure, beeing offensive in head during 95 minutes? Has it been an idea to let Mr. Perry work with more players? If it has been done; for G’s sake: let the man work with the whole team!!!
    4) How do you want Derby County to play through the midfield? Its a big question. Please tell me your priorities in play. Look at the games this season. We have given far too much space away in the midfield area, due to lack of structure in our play,imo. Far too much short-passing in the same area. Lost the ball; opponents turn the play easily, and we are running homewards like maniacs. I think we need a much better balance in shorter versus a bit longer passes when we attack.
    5) Why on earth do we not have a “bad-guy” in the team? A player that would ask the wrong questions, tackle his grandma for a pint, and having an attitude that really said” C’on; die for it!!!” and did it! Russell is an energizer…..any more?
    Please Mac:I do think you are a good bloke and a terrific coach, but you have to tighten up both yourself and the Team!

  7. Nick Brittan

    Any team that concedes 10 goals in 3 games needs only one place to look – yes the team works as a unit but when there are clear deficiencies in our part of the engine then the components have to be replaced.
    Keogh’s comments – ‘we will learn from this and come back stronger’ has been wheeled out in a similar way, on several occasions – but sadly the words have not been converted into achievements.
    Keogh starts virtually every interview reply with ‘yeah/no’ that suggests he is confused – in the same way when he gets the ball in defensive charges up the field – then suddenly sees an opponent in front of him and then proceeds to charge across field in the same confused state – a captain? – I think not.
    I see Albentosa as a good buy – strong and positive – although he does need a little more time to settle in – but he will be good with the right partners.
    The loss of Thorne and Eustace were critical – perhaps there should have been greater focus on recruiting a strong mid-field leader – with Thorne/Eustace in the team they managed to prevent the exposure of the frailties of Shotton/Keogh/Christie/Forsythe and others who continually ran away from advancing opposition for 20 yds +, many times as far back as the 18 yd area before they attempted a tackle?? Isn’t any decent striker going to cause problems from that distance ???? Scared rabbits comes to mind. Remember the QPR game – the 20 seconds before their goal defensive fiddling, fumbling and indecision and then Keogh’s semi mis-kick……….. result 0 – 1.

    Derby have a good midfield in Hendrick and Hughes – but they cannot be everywhere – the attacking force is fine – just count the goals.

    The weakness are very very clear –
    If the plan in the future is to build from the back – then a lot of the components need to be changed quickly – do not ask players to do a job of which they are incapable

  8. Bouncing Cheque

    I agree with Richard H,
    Steve Nicholson has articulately expressed the reasons behind our end of season decline on the DET site.

    I feel Sam Rush made a big gamble which nearly paid off last season. It took a side which had lots of promise and added one or two clever signings (Wisdom, Thorne second/half of season) .I feel the side has gone backwards this season and whilst the ownership group may have invested more (wages, loan fees), we don’t invest in experienced personnel, players who have been there and done it, (vis Matt Connolly of Watford) and who can draw upon these experiences when under pressure. You also wonder about team spirit when loanees get to play ahead of players of long-standing, suggesting a lack of trust between coach and squad.

    Rush deserves some criticism because he was the one who dispensed with the slow build approach to bring in a new recruitment structure – and that structure has yielded some questionable purchases 18 months on. Even under Clough, we would target a solid Championship player (Barker), the tried and tested which cost. I also feel that the Academy has been neglected and maybe a couple of young players promoted/assigned a spot on the bench on occasion.

    I feel the Development Squad filled with young Euro players isn’t a massive improvement on Clough’s team of callow youngsters released from other clubs.

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