Category Archives: Departure Lounge
The ginger haired midfielder had a mixed Rams career, not helped by injury. He never quite scored or provided as many goals as promised and after beginning as a dynamic central midfielder, he ended filling a wide role, not his preferred position. Despite being an international and being linked with top flight clubs, he finally left for nothing to join a mediocre Championship side after a deceptively long stay. But enough about Stephen Pearson, here’s Paul Green’s Departure Lounge… Read the rest of this entry
Last week Chris Maguire finally completed his widely predicted move away from Derby to Sheffield Wednesday. With little or no significant show of feeling from the Rams fanbase, the transfer, like his short Derby career ending up being a bit of a non event.
The transfer of Luke Varney to Portsmouth last week concluded one of the strangest tenure’s any player has had at Derby County in some time. With no shortage of competition for that mantle, here’s what I mean by that statement.
On leaving The Rams to join Rotherham on a 2 year deal. Ben Pringle concluded “for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out”. An odd conclusion in some ways from a man who joined the Rams fresh from the Northern Premier League and went on to make 23 appearances. At the time of writing, more than Croft, Varney or Martin – all players who would have a better claim to their Rams careers “not working out”. Read the rest of this entry
At the beginning of the week, I had a text exchange with my brother which basically said “Rangers offering £500k for Commons, if they nudge it up a bit, I’ll be happy with that” the reply suggested we should hold out for more. It seems Rangers did offer £500k plus add-on’s but the eventual fee we’ll receive is widely quoted as somewhere around £300k. A fraction of what most fans thought he was worth but did we have a choice?
Lee Hendrie arrived as the first transfer window closed at the end of August 2009, in a deal that seemed more about getting Jordan Stewart on his way. Despite being with the Rams for nine months, Hendrie will rival Dave Walton in the mind of many Rams fans as a forgotten man. Despite some obvious quality when he did appear, the fact that Henrdrie started only one more league game than Bryan “oh yeah, him” Hughes tells you all you need to know about his Rams career. He was possibly unlucky with injuries at times when he might have played but for whatever reason, Clough clearly didn’t fancy him, signing a succession on loan midfielders during the season.
The Best of Times Substitute appearances against Bristol City and West Brom lifted the Rams at the right time to gain four late points.
The Worst of Times The signings of not-too-dissimilar Bryan Hughes and Lee Johnson were clear pointers to where Hendrie’s Rams career was heading.
Although a minor deal, selling Lee Camp for around £200k and replacing him with Lewis Price (same age, similar fee) was simply an awful bit of business by Billy Davies. We are well aware of what Camp is up to whilst Lewis Price was last seen on the bench in League One. To be fair, Price played nine matches during our Premier League season and didn’t disgrace himself (well, he did against Sheff. Wednesday in the cup but redeemed himself in the replay shoot-out). Jagger seemed to prefer him to Bywater for a while but that seems an eternity away now.
The Best of Times His debut against Liverpool on Boxing Day would have been the perfect debut had Benny Fail-harder bothered to track Gerrard.
The Worst of Times Things looked bleak for Lewis when he was dispatched to Brentford for the season. Things got worse when Brentford decided to sign another loan keeper to replace him.
Hunt took a couple of matches to settle in but during the Rams January purple patch, he looked absolutely top class. Very good on the ball and strong at the back. He seemed nailed on for a season loan next year but then suffered a dip in form. The problem with Hunt is that he looks scruffy and unathletic so is an easy target when not playing well. It was a problem at Bolton and it became one at Derby where a couple of poor performance were never really forgiven. Overall, he served us well.
The Best of Times When on his game, his first time passing and crossing showed why he’s played so many Premier League games.
The Worst of Times After being subbed against Ipswich, he went straight down the tunnel, only pausing to remove his shirt. Not a crowd pleaser.
Sunu was apparently a long term target for Derby but was definitely underwhelming during his end of season spell. Seemingly unprepared for the rough and tumble of the Championship, Sunu was often completely bypassed by the match around him. He showed glimpses of quality…but was usually flat on his face seconds later.
The Best of Times His goal at Reading, although completely overshadowed by our goalkeeping capers.
The Worst of Times Being subbed at half-time at QPR. We saw very little of him after that and Clough decided to sign Cywka.
It would be true to say that Gary Teale wasn’t the greatest Rams signing in recent history but I have rarely seen a player targeted so much by the boo-boys. Especially a player who always gave his all and appeared an honest and genuine professional. In reality, Teale probably had two or three good months in three and a half years, which was when Clough gave him a consistent run of games in early 2009. The rest of the time, Teale never had more than a bit-part in the squad. He was loaned out for two lengthy spells and no doubt would have left had there been any takers not put of by his prohibitive wages.
However, it should also be remembered that Teale was responsible for a lot of points in the early part of last season with winning goals against Peterborough and Bristol City and countless assists in home victories.
Unfortunately for Teale, he could no right in the eyes of some supporters and his Rams career could be summed up by a cat-call with ten minutes of his Derby career remaining against Cardiff. A head height ball was played to the right-wing; with no chance of controlling it, Teale allowed the full-back head the ball into touch for a Derby throw. The Rams were 2-0 ahead a now had a throw-in deep in the Cardiff half yet still someone bellowed “Don’t bother challenging for it Teale will you!”
We wish Gary Teale good luck, a player who always tried to earn his wages when it probably would have been easier to hide.
The Best of Times
His switch to left wing under Clough and his subsequent three month purple patch spawning the legend – ” he used to be shite, but now he’s all right, walking in a Teale wonderland”. His winner against Bristol City last season – moments after parts of the crowd had been barracking him, was also a sweet moment.
The Worst of Times
Demoralising loan spells at Barnsley and Plymouth. Being relentlessly, verbally abused by the Pride Park crowd – behaviour you just don’t associate with Derby fans.
After three years of looking unconvincing and accident prone, Jay McEveley finally nailed down a regular starting berth for the final six months of his contract – before being released. It seemed harsh but it was difficult to argue with Clough’s logic: J-Mac had been in and out the side for his contract length, as well as being out on loan. Clough concluded that we should move on. In the age of the Bosman transfer, we had no more obligation to Jay than anyone on the open market. Clough has identified Gareth Roberts, so Jay is no longer required.
I’ve often said about J-Mac that he has all the component parts to be a perfect full-back: strong, good in the air, good coming forward; and hard in the tackle. The problem has always been the less tangible qualities such as concentration and decision making. The ironic thing is that Clough appeared to have ironed-out Jay’s follies and Jay showed his best form for the club in his final six months.
We wish him well and someone will get a better player than the one we signed in January 2007.
The Best of Times
The last six months – J-Mac’s goals against Doncaster and Birmingham plus a barn-storming performance against Forest. His wind-up of Gunter was legendary.
The Worst of Times
Every summer saw a new left-back arriving to replace him. He saw off Griffin, Stewart and Moxey but Silly, Jagger and Clough all gave him a vote of no confidence.