22nd – Jack Marriott
With the possible exception of Craig Bryson, Derby County have not had any hero players for some time. Sure we’ve had Chris Martin, Tom Ince and going back a little further maybe Stevie Howard. But we’ve not had an Igor, a Dean Saunders, a Mark Wright or a Bobby Davison for ages. A player universally and unconditionally loved by all Rams fans.
Whilst it remains early days, the signs are that Jack Marriott may be about to break that mould.
For much of the summer, it actually looked like Jack was going to sign for Forest. Just take a moment and consider the outright horror of that thought now. However the move didn’t materialise and may even have been a figment of Barry Fry’s imagination. Bristol City then came in hard with the Bobby Reid money but Jack didn’t fancy it, wanting to stay in the Midlands and, no doubt, with Frank now in the background telling him to hold his nerve.
Once the Vydra money was banked, The Rams wasted no time in securing their man and what a piece of business this is starting to look.
You all know the story of his slow start as he got fit but since he has come into the side proper, Jack has been a revelation.
If you want to know the statistically what a difference he has made to Derbys attacking strength you can read all about it here in the brilliant article written for me by Derby County Blog. However, I have seen the majority of the games he has played and his attributes are many. He works tirelessly, is a constant pain in the arse to defenders and his link up play is excellent and actually getting better. However, whatever ‘it’ is that makes a top striker, Jack has it in spades.
Like the aforementioned Saunders and Davison, Jack has pace but scores goals of all types. Right foot, Left foot, Headers, Volleys, Tap ins are all hitting the net. He also does it in big games, something that Chris Martin for one could never crack.
Although it was shame he got his pirate locks cut shortly after signing, having a poacher like Jack is pure gold in the championship. We have already seen key strikes against Sheff Utd, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday secure maximum points for Derby in tight games. If the Rams did pay the reported £3m for him, then he has to be worth 3 or 4 times that already and he’s only just getting started.
Joel said on the recent Derby County Blogcast that Frank has yet to make a bad signing. I’m inclined to agree with that but, for me, Jack is the best of the lot and is the one who could make the difference come the shake-up.
The Rams have a new hero – Here’s a top video from Derby County Goals of all his Rams goals up to the end of November. Enjoy.