Bumpy Road Take Me Home – Villa Post Match
After a fantastic few weeks of glorious football and largely positive results, this tough run of fixtures for Derby County ended in disappointing fashion with a, in the end, comprehensive defeat to Villa yesterday.
However, having woken up this morning and checked, more positive news is that The Rams remain 3 points off the automatic promotion spots, Villa have not been crowned champions and George Thorne is still nowhere near the first team squad.
As Frank said afterwards, the first half was pretty even and if one of our chances, particularly the Lawrence one just before half time, had gone in it would have given everyone that lift to get over the line. As ever in the Championship, small margins.
The team seemed tired and leggy all the way through and this came home to roost big time in the second period, when Villa went up a gear and we just couldn’t stay with them. It’s no co-incidence that we have seen multiple players going down or off with muscle injuries in the last two weeks (Waggy, Tomori, Malone, Bennett, Marriott without even thinking about it). You can analyse the game all you like but ultimately I think we just ran out of gas. As an aside, I really hope Fozzy hasn’t done his knee again – fingers crossed for him.
After saying on the Derby County Blogcast last week we should definitely restore Tomori over Curtis. I’m happy to admit, I think Frank and I got that wrong. I love Tomori but he didn’t look right yesterday and if, as I now suspect, he was dropped last week due to fatigue, there was no need to bring him back for this one with a two week break looming.
Whilst the all action all attack midfield has served us superbly in the last few weeks, I also wonder whether Bradley Johnson could have stemmed the tide a bit in the second half? Villa were clearly bossing us well before they actually scored, Holmes had dropped out the game and, whilst Frank’s positivity is great, he could have shored up the midfield with fresh legs and a bit of strength. A point yesterday would have been no bad result.
A quick word on Villa. Jack Grealish weirdly had little influence yesterday and seemed to spend most of his time on the floor. Villa have done some ridiculous things in the last few years but turning down £28m for him (and denying the lad Champions league football) was nuts. Much more influential was John Mcginn who reminded me of Bryson in his pomp. If the Rams were genuinely in for him, we defo missed out on one there. It will be interesting to see if Smith is turning them around or this was just a blip based on DCFC being knackered.
There’s plenty of time over the next two weeks for state of the Rams nation commentary and it certainly was not fun watching Villa’s odious fans celebrating at the end. However, it’s been a cracking few weeks so let’s not get too end of the world.
Let the lads recharge, get Mount, Waggy and Bryson back then let’s go and fucking murder Sheffield Wednesday.
Come on you Rams!