Ramspace World Soccer Season Preview 2017
With players starting to return from holiday and the transfer market starting to come to life, the next month should be a very busy one for Derby County after a very encouraging start.
Before it all properly kicks off, regular readers will know that each year we write the DCFC contribution for the official World Soccer UK season preview special. As ever with these pieces, there’s nothing you don’t know here, but herewith an un-edited version of this seasons submission.
1) In a sentence or two, how would you describe last season for your club?
ANS – Owner Mel Morris described it as “a disaster”. With the Nigel Pearson debacle, the Steve McClaren fiasco, the farcical Chris Martin saga and the team generally going backwards, it’s tough to disagree with that assessment.
2) What are your hopes and fears for the 2017-18 season?
ANS – With the resources at our disposal, by a pure law of averages, somebody at some point will get it right and we will finally make it back to the Premier League. My hope is that man is Gary Rowett, my fear is he doesn’t make it to Christmas!
3) Who was your biggest hero last season?
ANS – Although Scott Carson swept the board in the end of season awards, I would say Tom Ince. Despite the Rams being in an almost constant state of flux, Ince was remarkably consistent and, with an all new work ethic to add to his undoubted quality, had a cracking season. Don’t be surprised to see him playing his football in the Premier League next season.
4) Who was your biggest villain?
ANS – Where do you start with this one? There are too many candidates on and off the pitch to mention here but I think overall I’d say Nigel Pearson. Trying to implement a new system and style without signing a single player to support it before deadline day was madness. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work out, but also killed our season before it started.
5) What was your team’s best song/chant last season?
ANS – Couple of contenders here. The Abdoul Camara song (we found him in Calais by the side of the road in a Vauxhall Zaphira) was funny for a time, there was also the highly repetitive but fun Steve McClaren & Powell chant, but my favourite was when 3-0 up againt Forest on 60 minutes, “its happening again, its happening again, Nottingham Forest, its happening again.”
6) Is there a youngster to watch out for?
ANS – I call Max Lowe every year for this section and he did finally break through last season. If he can start to stay fit, he could be a regular at left back this time around. Midfield action man, Callum Guy could also feature this season after enjoying a cracking loan spell at Port Vale.
7) What game are you most looking forward to in 2017-18?
ANS – Forest, Villa and Sheffield Wednesday are the obvious standouts. None of the relegated Premiership teams are new faces to Derby, or particularly inspiring, but it will be great to have Sheffield United back on the fixture list.
8) And the game you’re dreading?
ANS – Games such as Reading, Ipswich and Hull are as depressing as the Championship gets. However Norwich away is a personal dread, simply because we always get hammered there!