3 (Nil) 6 (Wins) 5(th place) Degree View of Rams Forest Glory
Today was another great day for the resurgent Rams as we despatched a hapless Notts Forest with minimum fuss and, ultimately, without any problem at all.
If you are reading this you were probably at the game or watching it on TV, so you don’t need a match report from me. However, here’s some observations on the days proceedings and this increasingly impressive Derby team.
Ince will rightly get the plaudits for his tremendous goal (Baird’s assist was pass of the season so far) and there were top performances all over the park. However, for me, Bradley Johnson was MOM and is rapidly becoming a very key part of this team. Whilst he doesn’t have the technical or passing ability of Thorne; his mobility & strength, coupled with him generally being on the front foot, is a massive shield and weapon for the team. I just love his thunderous headers and will to win. The flak he was getting a few months ago seems a different lifetime.
I said when he was appointed, if Steve could get the team scoring we could take off (although I never considered to this degree). The basic reason being, what he has this time (which he certainly didn’t before) is the best keeper in the league and a back 5 in front of Carson (Including Johnson) who are solid as fuck. As unfortunate as Christies injury was, Baird’s renaissance at right back has added to this even further. If everyone stays fit, that backbone can take us a long way.
Osborn’s pathetic attempt to get Johnson sent off, particularly so soon after Lansbury did similar on TV last week was a disgrace. Fair play to him for apologising later on Twitter (I can only assume his Derby supporting Dad bollocked him when he got home) but would he have done so if Bradders had got sent off and Forest had won? Doubtful. He should get a ban.
Whilst it was a shame we didn’t add to the 3 (“it’s happening again” was my favourite chant of the day) Derby’s control and game management in the final twenty minutes was superb. Forest never got a sniff of being in the game and the Rams saw it out at a canter. I think Steve’s Derby Mark 1, would have gone for the throat, got caught, then you would have had a “head in hands” 10 minutes of long balls into Velios and Bendtner. Another sign that this team means business.
Accepting their best two players were injured (Lansbury genuinely “didn’t want to risk it” and little Chubby got a better offer of full Sunday roast at his mums), Forest looked a mess. Poor quality free transfers and decent youngsters with no-one to look up to or help them. OG aside, Bendtner is absolutely stealing a living of them. Also in a game like that, why the manager didn’t play Vaughn and Pereira from the start I don’t know. No doubt they’ll rip it up and start again when the new owners finally arrive.
Darren Bent put in another top showing but can he play that role for another 25 games? It would be great if Vydra stepped in and started scoring but I am not sure he can play that role full stop. Forget CM9 coming back in January, but what we decide to do in terms of a new centre forward, suited to our system, will be one of Steve’s biggest decisions in this window.
Just when the day couldn’t get any better, I went to the burger van as he was packing up (after a post-match pint) and he sold be four burgers and a Sausage with onions in a tray for £2!
What Steve has done with this team in such a short space of time is phenomenal and beyond anyone’s expectations after the Pearson fiasco. As we now head to London for a tough double header versus QPR and Fulham, our run is going to be put to a serious test, but there is equally no reason why it won’t continue.
Come on you Super Rams!