How Much is that Winger in the Window?
Following last week’s piece on Darren Bent, I’ve all but finished follow up Departure Lounge pieces on JR and Shacks.
I was intending on posting one tonight and another next week. However, over the last few days, post transfer window and post Brentford, I’ve done a few tweets that have had an unusually large (for me) take up in terms of likes and responses. Thus, in the interests of staying on topic, I’ve pulled some of the thoughts together here in slightly expanded form.
Let’s start with the Transfer window. As you all know, the Rams bought in Cameron Jarome & Kasey Palmer but managed to ship out DB, Shacks, CM9, JR and numerous U23’s on development loans. I think had we managed to get one of Lookman or Grosicki, in addition to the two we did get, it would have been a mega window. However, to my mind Palmer and Jarome are massive upgrades on JR and Martin (in the context of Rowett’s style of play before the 2014 massive kick off) and I would imagine that any worries on FFP (not that anyone else seems to care about it) are all done for another year with the significant reduction in wage bill. History dictates (and GR mentions this constantly) that teams who go big in January don’t actually improve that much – time will tell if a tweak was all it needed for The Rams.
Moving onto our existing squad, the recent development of Tom Lawrence becoming chief whipping boy is plain daft. For starters we are 2nd in the league so quite why we need a whipping boy is anyone’s guess. Tom is clearly a very talented player but it’s a different ball game being a big money signing at a club like Derby than being on loan with no pressure at a shithouse like Ipswich. After a promising start Tom was in and out and it was such a shame he got injured just as he was starting to hit top form.
To me he looks like a player who is always in two minds which is a sure-fire sign of a chronic lack of confidence. When you are rolling, you instinctively shoot, pass or cross without even thinking. Tom is clearly overthinking everything at the moment and just isn’t flowing. That said, despite a patchy performance on Saturday, he was still heavily involved in all 3 goals. I think also those starting to get on his back would do well to rewind to this time last year, when a out of form, out of condition, out of position Vyds was bumbling up and down the left wing wondering where his next goal was coming from whilst pretty much all Derby fans were wondering how we managed to spend £9m on such a turkey. Now look at him.
I said last week that hopefully Kasey Palmer will step up and take the spotlight away for a while and let Tom flourish in the way Keogh has done alongside Curtis. In the meantime, some Rams fans need to get a fucking grip and give the guy a break.
Talking of breaks. A player who does need one is George Thorne. I fully appreciate that George can do no wrong for many Rams fans (2014 massive in the area again) and his return to the fray this year is great, as is his new contract. That said, Saturday was the third game on the spin that he has performed poorly, so let’s have Super Joe back in please and give George a breather. They’ll be plenty more chances for him to contribute so no need to burn your season ticket.
Finally, the return of Anya from the cold is a plot twist that I don’t think anyone saw coming. Strong rumours of payments due to Watford I am sure are part of the story, but GR also mentioned he’s a quiet guy who keeps himself to himself and thus wasn’t really a fit for the band of brothers mentality we were looking to build. Anyway, so far so good with two strong performances and if he can keep that up, he can definitely be the second new wide man we didn’t land in January.
Onwards to the Norwich game. Come On You Rams!