Gary Rowett Summer To Do List

Following Monday nights defeat to Fulham the focus has swiftly moved to what’s next for The Rams and specifically this summers transfer activity.

Whilst no-one can doubt that Fulham deserved to win the tie over the two legs, it’s also a fair observation that Gary Rowett actually won the tactical battle, but simply didn’t have the quality of player or legs in the final third to execute his plan.

Thus, once again, The Rams enter a summer trying to work out how we turn a decent season into an ultimately successful one. Against a backdrop of stated austerity from Mel, Rowett’s “to do” list is lengthy. Here’s what on it.

Returning Stars/Recurring Nightmares – Whilst the Rams Payroll will take a mighty breath of fresh air at the imminent departure of Bent, Shackell and Baird. Returning to the ranks this summer will be Blackman, CM9, Bryso and Butterfield. All big earners, all with no future whatsoever at DCFC. I think everyone is praying Mac takes Martin to QPR, Blackman should be able to get a move somewhere and Bryso shouldn’t be short of suitors and could still even do a job with us as a squad player. God knows what we can do with Butterfield aside from pay him off, but you never know.


“So looking back now Jacob, how do you reflect on saying the gaffers tactics were shit awful shortly after joining Wednesday on loan?”

Existing Dross – In addition to the guys coming back, there’s plenty of dross left in the building to shift. You can’t knock Weimann’s effort but his end product, like Johnny Russell, is just not good enough. I don’t mind him staying as back up, but if Lambert comes knocking from Stoke, I’d let him go in a flash. Anya is simply the worst value for money signing we have ever made. A nice guy but a chronically average player (also with dead banter according to GR) who has the second longest contract at the club. Bradley Johnson has actually been ok for the last month, but I am sure we would be interested to discuss even the vaguest enquiry to get him off the books.

Generate your own funds – For what its worth I am sure Mel wants the wage bill down, but I don’t buy the “there’s no money” line. I think we will have to sell some players and wouldn’t be surprised to see Vydra and his 21 goals move on, but I think Mel will still support purchases that are good value or have a re-sale value so lets not all freak out just yet.

Recruit at least one new left back – Why we didn’t do this in January I still don’t understand but left back remains a massive week spot for the team. Aside from being shit, Olsson is now out until January. Fozzy remains inconsistent & actually looks better at left side CB whilst the jury remains firmly out on Max Lowe’s fitness. Surely this won’t be overlooked again.

Legs & Mobility in Midfield – This is something we haven’t had since Bryson in his prime. Huddz is class but desperately needs some younger legs around him. A midfielder who actually shoots and/or gets in the box would be good too.


On a pre-season scouting mission watching West Ham 23s, Gaz couldn’t lose the feeling that their nippy left winger, Thomas, looked strangely familiar.

Quality Winger with some end product – Tom Lawrence is a very much a marmite player, but my view is he’s been ok and really good in the 532. One thing I would say is he desperately needs someone to take the heat of him in the creativity department. Another winger who can beat his man and pick a pass would be a massive boost and would also free Tom up to raise his game again.

Decide which youngsters are in or out – You could argue that in Max Lowe, Callum Guy and Luke Thomas we actually have three youngsters who could help, or at least cover, all three of the problem positions mentioned. However the gaffer needs to decide if he is willing to take any or all of these guys into the first team group and keep them there so they can develop. Dropping them in here or there is no use, if they are good enough to be part of the first team, then lets have them in there and give them a proper whirl.

Use the bloody Loan market! – Whilst Rowett has made some great signings, his use of the loan market has been almost non existent. Even low end Championship teams seem to pull top players from the big 6, yet we never do? With the loan market being open for a month after the permanent one closes this year, I am hopeful Derby will be stung into action. God forbid anyone done any scouting.


“Boss, great news I’ve found a cracking replacement for Vyds”

Get George Thorne and Max Lowe fit – Both of these players have the ability to be top Premier League players, never mind Championship. However, neither of them can get their bodies to a level where they can jog to the shops and back in good time and/or without pulling a muscle.  When fit and firing, I am massive fan of both these lads but I’m afraid we now need to get them fit or get them out.

Add a younger Striker – Whilst Jerome and Nuge both have obvious merits, we cant have two aged strikers on a job share scheme for an entire season. It would be great of we could get Sam Winnall, but regardless, we need someone who can give 120% for 90 minutes twice a week not 60 minutes every other game.

Freshen up the Academy – Whilst the club must take massive credit for our U23 team remaining in Premier League two with the elite of English youth football, another season goes by with no Academy player troubling the first team with any vigour. I make that nearly 10 years of Wassall’s tenure with not a single player establishing themselves in the first team (he’s not having Hughes or Hendrick as they were graduating at the time of his arrival). The recent mass loaning of our youngsters has been a positive development, but it seems to me that was driven by Rowett himself. I’m not going to make this personal, but it would be great to put a new face in there and see if we could get some new ideas and impetus after all our investment.

Stay Competitive – Don’t give me any shite about a season of transition, re-building or development. This is Derby County, so, when you’ve sorted all the above Gaz, we want top 2 and, if not, play offs minimum. Hope you haven’t booked too long a holiday.

Should be an interesting summer.

Come on you Rams!


Posted on May 16, 2018, in General Rams Comment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Top, top blogging as usual Chris. As you’d expect me to say, I think you’re being overly hopeful about at least a couple of things. None of the U23s are capable of stepping up (unless Steve Nic is wrong of course). Even if a few of them were nearly good enough, we’d have to take a hit while they bedded in.
    Also, the idea that Mel is over egging the austerity we’re going have to face outside the Promised Land is ludicrous. We’re going to have to let Vydra and probably Carson go just to keep the money flowing and GR will still have little money to spend in the transfer market.
    You’re spot on about the unwanted loans coming back tho.
    There you go. Not mentioned Hughes once.

    • Nice one Jon! I’m personally not blown away by any of the 23s but Thomas has something and in fairness to Guy he’s had rave reviews on all his loans. Plus he does have the mobility we haven’t got.

      Let’s wait and see on MM. I just keep thinking of a comment he made at a forum where we bid £2m for a league 1 winger. As it was dcfc they asked for £3m, we moved on an then he went £1.2m in next window. Clearly we need to get this daft wage bill down, but I think if if there is a player we can increase the value on, then MM will do it.

      No mention of Hughes and not even a token defence of Anya. Respect!

      Cheers mate.

  2. Wouldn’t say Gazza won the tactical battle – it worked for half an hour of the second leg, but no more than that – and Vydra wasn’t on then to score. The game went a bit like the Villa away game should have gone, really and it’s no surprise that we lost.

    “Blackman should be able to get a move somewhere” – Where, though? They had to think pretty far outside the box just to get him a loan this season….

    Bryson has just played a big role at a side which just won automatic promotion, so he’s obviously far from done as a player. I for one would welcome him back for a final season, even though he’s another in the 30+ bracket. But also wouldn’t begrudge him a decent move, if he can get one,.

    Top two – really depends on what sort of state Swansea, Stoke and West Brom are coming down in. There seems to be a hell of a lot of goodwill around Darren Moore getting the job with the Baggies, but Swansea seem to have lost their way completely and maybe gravity has caught up with them.

    As an aside, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Rowett comment reported on the DT website today “There are lots of positives. I think because it’s Derby County, they probably won’t come out as much as it might do if it was another club.” Perhaps it was said in jest, but in cold black and white, it looks pretty snide. It’s pretty obvious that there are certain fings about managing Derby that Rowett doesn’t particularly enjoy – not least the elevated level of scrutiny he is subject to compared to working at a smaller club.

    • Nice one mate. Appreciate the input.

      Imo Gaz totally won the tactical battle. Had we got the second goal at PP or the early one at Fulham (which better players would have) we would have won. Once that didn’t happen, we were never going to hold out again as you say.

      Someone made a great shout yesterday that Mac had Blackman at Maccabi, so again he may help us out there. Cross everything!

      People keep telling me Bryson played a key role but I’m not sure he did. He was injured for a period and was by no means a very week starter. Happy to have him around but the Bryson we love is gone.

      With the managers in place they have, inc. Big Dave, I don’t see any of the relegated teams steaming it. Plus they all have squads totally unsuited to the EFL.

      On the final point I just think Gaz is desperately trying to get away from the bottling, near miss tag. I think he’s aware of the scrutiny, he’s lived next to it for ever, but I just think he’s trying to change the perception. on this occassion I actually think everyone is being quite realistic so maybe he’s getting a bit paranoid!

      Cheers again mate.

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