Ramspace World Soccer Season Preview
Happy new season everybody! With the players back, the Euros about to end and the transfer market starting to come to life, pre-season is officially underway, so it’s time for Ramspace to return to action as well.
Regular readers will know that each year we write the DCFC contribution for the official World Soccer UK season preview special. In fact one of my favourite holiday moments was when I was talking football to a scouser in Mexico and he started talking about a Derby piece he’d read on the plane. Imagine the bizarre nature of that chat when I told him I wrote it!
Anyway, there’s nothing you don’t know here, but let’s ease into this season with an un-edited version of this seasons submission.
1. In a sentence, how would you describe last season?
Ans – Harrowing! Big money signings and Real Madrid’s Coach got us to the top of the league on Boxing Day. Then after a bad 6 weeks at the turn of the year, we sacked Paul Clement and replaced him with the tea boy (Academy Manager Darren Wassall) for reasons still unclear to Rams fans. We then lost out to Hull in the play offs, despite beating them 3 times out of 4 over the season.
2. What are you expecting from this season?
Ans – The appointment of Nigel Pearson has met with universal approval. As has the clear change of direction from our owner to put substance over style. Although the division has never looked tougher, I’m again expecting us to be challenging for automatic promotion.
3. Who was your biggest hero last season?
Ans – There weren’t many to come out of last season with much credit at all. However the return of Craig Bryson from injury in February gave the fans someone to believe in, in the context of everyone else at the club letting them down.
4. Who was your biggest villain?
Ans – Whilst we are undoubtedly blessed to have a local owner who loves our club and sits in the Sunday Times rich list. Mel Morris made our club a laughing stock for 3 months last season. Hopefully he will have learnt from his mistakes this time around.
5. What was the best terrace song/chant last season?
Ans – On the back of Clements sacking & the bizarre reasons provided by the club, the black humour of this was a regular “It’s the Derby way, It’s the Derby way, If you don’t attack, gonna’ get the sack, it’s the Derby way”.
6. Is there a young player should we look out for?
Ans – Max Lowe, England U-20 left back, would have definitely broken through last season, if he hadn’t sustained an injury at the same time as our regular left back Craig Forsyth. Young utility player, Jamie Hanson did make the break and I expect to see a lot more of him this year.
7. Which game are you most looking forward to, and why?
Ans – Where do you start? Newcastle and Villa will be great. Forest is always massive for us. Burton Albion with Nigel Clough. All the Yorkshire away days Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds, Rotherham, Huddersfield, Barnsley and no Burnley! It should be a great season.
8. Are there any games you are dreading, and why?
Ans – I never enjoy playing Reading or Ipswich. In the context of the division, they are really dour opponents, there’s never any atmosphere and it rarely goes well for Derby.