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Hull City 2 The Rams 0
When all is said and done this was just about an improvement in performance yet it was also another Co Cu Co ck (c)u p. He just cannot stop meddling with the team selection. if he does not play the same squad for a couple of games then the results will still be the same. Why oh why does he do this. The team that ended the win against Wigan seemed to gel a bit so why not let them begin where they left off. He just will not or cannot do this. His substitutions are wayward. He removes a midfield for a forward? Then because his team selection was wrong he decides to redress the situation too late. He seems to be a manager that is lost in his own confusion. On the playing front, the recent two performances by Lawrence need to be mentioned. Has he drained the alcohol from his system and put his mind to his chosen profession and instead of visiting the “offi” and reverted back to doing what he is paid to do? Alas the form of Clark has taken a dip. He has to realise the time on the ball is very limited against the sharpness of the championship forwards, and cannot dilly dally trying to turn round with the ball. Roos gave a more assured performance so did the two full backs yet having said that they are all prone to lapses and errors. Martin does what he is asked to do and again the others seem as if they are not on the same wavelength so he gets pulled off. Mr Cocu is simply playing at being a manager, he is bereft in experience of the championship and bereft of being able to keep a settled team. the days are now numbered for the arrival of ; guess who? so is it that it is just a case of playing to get a point here and there and hoping the “saviour” will do the job he wants.
Apart from a couple of players the same set were here last season and should have got a lot of knowledge about how to beat their opponents and “beat” the referees. However it is as if they come out of league two to play in the championship for in many ways they show they are only of that standard. They do not show any thought of tactics, show any cohesion, show any enthusiasm, aggression or detrmination. It can be more exciting to watch league two because they “get stuck in” The attitude and wanting to do well for themselves is grossly lacking, hence it follows on they are not willing to do well for Derby County. These players showed more last year than they give this season.Why? It all boils down to the coaching staff not winding them up to do well before they go over that white line. They warm up with the same routine every game so they have closed their minds and can go through the warm up with eyes shut tight. When they come back out they are so full of negativity it is impossible to become alive. In comparison to the opponents they are too slow, too static and show no real desire unless the opportunity comes along that gives them the chance to do something to please. They let their emotions control them and then see yellow, all because they are subdued from the first whistle. There is no real positive motivation inside them, what they do between games in training is a mystery, for there is no improvement from one game to the next. Cocu has some funny ways and if this continues then league one beckons.
1/11/2019 The sacking of Richard Keogh
Having given this event some very deep and thought full consideration and speaking with other Ram fans the conclusion is that the end product of sacking Keogh was taken from the culmination of other factors being taken into consideration. The excuse given of a fiscal refusal only painted over a host of other factors the like of which will never be disclosed yet by conjecture can be taken into account. The first issue is the way he played his game. How many times did he pass the ball square or backwards, He hardly ever sent a long pass up the right wing. he would pass it to his right back who was immediately hassled thus the ball came back to him. Then he would pass it square whilst other players waited for him to send it forward, the result being that other players began to loose faith in him. How often did he make the effort to squeeze the game by running up to the half way line. he always hung back about three to five yards from his penalty area. It is unfair to recall the ball bouncing off him that gave QPR the winning goal at Wembly, yet this is one example of his many failings. He was captain. Did he show a leadership within the team during a game, did he set an example to motivate the team all the time in every game. His negative style had the opposite effect. Explain to yourself why players of the ilk of Craig Bryson, Joe Ledley, Alex Pearce, George Thorne, David Nugent, Bradley Johnson, Luke Thomas jumped ship very quickly. Here say tells us he was disgustingly abusive at the “bonding party” to the barman. He told the paramedic a lie about his name when in agony in the wreck. He showed not authority to the two drunks, instead he encouraged them to drive him home. The most disturbing incident that has to be answered is why did Lawrence and Bennett leave him in the wreck on that fateful night. Would you leave a cherished colleague in a smashed up car? This was done because of more than one reason. Think about it. In many ways irrespective of what has been said. it can be concluded that his popularity stake among his fellow players was not very high. maybe he was the “bad apple” and that this awful accident accelerated the chance to expunge the bad aura surrounding the team. The stigma will take a while to dilute yet as far as the verdict goes this could be the advent of better harmony within the club and players.
The Rams 2 Middlesbrough 0
A change in personal and set up was greeted by most Ram fans for this game. The crowd favourites M & M were on the forward line Lawrence was put behind them with Holmes Bielik and Shinnie in midfield. The only doubt was the other M M (Molly) Malone at left back. It took just 2 minutes for the first cock up by both teams when Davis failed to clear the ball and the The Boro forward with an open goal could not decide how to score, so the potential was lost to Boro with a huge sigh of relief to the Rams. Boro wanted to do well for their scoring record was the worst in the league and from that last display it was obvious why. They battled away yet to no avail against the back four of Derby. Little by little the new formula for the Rams was coming through and they began to put two passes together yet their own football ability was the problem. At last from a scramble and ping pong on the edge of the Boro penalty area Lawrence had the chance and left the Boro goal keeper floudering. Even after the goal Derby just could not dominate. They showed willingness to do so and played some attractive football however silly decisions and poor passing and the lack of determination to be first to a lose ball let them down. Boro lost a player to a red card which gave an advantage to the Rams who just could not take it. In the second half Boro packed their defence and than at every opportunity broke out fast. Derby played as if it was old mans walking football in comparison. The crowd were silent until again Lawrence found an opportunity from the left hand side of the six yard line and the ball was nestled in the onion bag. At last the crowd woke up and for the last ten minutes Boro just played it out as best they could whilst Derby remained semi comatose. Performance comes before points only in the Oxford dictionary yet in football it is reversed. So even if the enjoyment of watching Derby win is not over fulfilling at least the pleasure is secured by three points.
Cocu has to prove he is master plonker by substituting for the sake of it. His way of ensuring confidence and motivation in a player is expunged he has to take them out of the play. Chris Martin is a crowd favourite and he gives one hundred percent all the time even if it does not work for him. He was partnered by Marriot, Little and Large. Boro had two large defenders who Martin kept quiet. He was doing what was needed, so Cocu pulls him off. Why? Waghorn is another tryer, another player the crowd warm to, yet against tall defenders he is at a disadvantage hence the forward play when Martin was gone failed to be acute. Malone did a bit better than usual yet only a bit. Shinnie began to loose his way a little in the second half and hung back. The worst display was by Davis and Clark who never pushed up to squeeze the play. They had the ball at their feet about five yards from their penalty area, then stood looking to whom they could pass too. Of course whilst the ball is in transit the opposition can gauge where it will go to and be ready for it. The number of times they could run the ball up to the half way line then send a more potent pass was innumerable. Just very poor decision making and a gross lack of football strategy. Holmes began to show some good intent and it is pleasing to note that Lawrence is beginning to put his past erring to one side and do what he is paid to do. Marriot seems to have lost some of his Mojo yet he keeps on battling and hopefully it will return. Roos is an enigma. He seems to be edgy and cannot get into the right mind. If Cocu decides to use the same eleven next Saturday then maybe the Reds could be put to the sword. Bielik may be a doubt which will be a blow so let us all hope he is not to bad and the ice pack does him a favour.
Nottingham Forest 1 The Rams 0
Do not look at this result and moan, the goal score does not resemble the way the game was played. The Rams were the better team for the majority of the ninety minutes. At last Cocu put out an unchanged eleven and played the system which suits the players, and it worked. Obviously the Reds had done their homework and packed the defence to deny the Rams M & M yet who was waiting for a chance non other than Lawrence who with a bit more bumph behind his shooting then success would have been Derbys. Holmes looked quiet though and it seems as if he was carrying a knock for he did not do his usual forage with the ball so it was no surprise to see him substituted. Clark got a good thwack which created a substitution, yet it did not stop the onslaught to the Reds goal. Nottingham were taken by surprise and it took them quite a while to find their mojo yet it was all in vain against a Rams defence who were too good for them. It was all Derby for the first half. On commencement of the second half the game swung in Nottingham’s favour and the Rams had to dig deep to defend. However, the stupid way they play “from the back” was once again their undoing. Nottingham knew that if they pushed up and harassed the Rams they would do it for their good which they did and under panic Bogle did the unforgiveable, he sent a weak pass across the open penalty area for Grabbon to intersect and slot into the onion bag passed a despairing Roos. For a while the Rams were unsettled by this setback yet gathered their composure and began where they left off in the first half. In the end Nottingham were glad to hear the final whistle and celebrated as if they had won the league. In reality they were thankful they had beaten the Rams, yet only by one silly error. Derby were the better team and were they more assured and composed when the occasions arose then the Brian Clough trophy would be at Pride Park.
Just when the Derby team seem to be gathering some momentum another break of a couple of weeks comes along. The last two outings have shown an upsurge in performances and even when substitutions have been carried through the momentum has not been lost. This was most evident at the City Ground. There were eleven man of the match awards; for every player played as good as each other. Martin can be singled out for his awareness and given a bit more time to partner with Marriot then they could be a force to be reckoned with along with Lawrence waiting for the knock back. The mid field has at long last become to be recognised. Shinnie alas seems to run out of “gas” after seventy five minutes, Bielick is now showing more determination to run the game, and a fit Holmes does what a fit Holmes is capable of. The full backs are gaining confidence and Roos in this last game seems to have left his hesitation at home. It may be instructions to play out from the back yet someone needs to stand up an stop it. Maybe owing to the loss in this last game that “someone” will call time on this stupid practice. It will be a different game when these two meet at Pride Park, for Derby are in the ascendancy whilst the Reds are winning on luck. The Rams in retrospect have found a formula that is beginning to show through so now they need to continue this improvement. It is a shame they have to wait until the 22nd November for them to show the faithful they are wanting to play well and win. The daunting problem is they meet Preston who are on a wave at the moment, yet it will be interesting to see if the Rams have the same commitment against Preston (both ends ! ) as they had against those Reds.