In my profile it states that I am a fan of Derby County and you will notice that I have been very quiet on that subject for many months after I realised that perhaps Paul Jewell, the manager, was not quite the man everyone thought he was. He talks a good game does Mr Jewell and he obviously has the backing of the Chief Executive, Mr Pearson, but something is wrong.
All summer Mr Jewell has been making headlines by signing almost anyone who wanted to come to the club. His stated object has been to change the philosophy of the club so that he could start to win games. That is the problem you see because Mr Jewell cannot win a game of football. Derby County are currently on their worst run in the club's history. They have lost so many matches in recent months that they are being renamed 'Donkey' Derby.
Yesterday out came the new players and according to all the reports nothing has changed. For long periods they were played off the park by newly promoted Doncaster Rovers despite the fact that Derby had signed their 'star' midfielder during the close season. The problem has always been the same since the arrival of Mr Jewell and that is the team cannot keep the ball. They cannot pass it accurately and therefore they continually lose possession. The strikers hardly threatened and I am not surprised because they are both at Derby because they could not hold down a first team place with rival championship teams. A strange way to build a promotion challenging team.
A third striker who was so good in a lower league last year that he cost Derby quite a lot of money. He has never played for us but according to reports he will now be loaned out to 'build his confidence'. I saw him play last year and he looked a really good striker who scored over twenty goals. What has happened to him? The fourth striker is an Argentinian who was signed from a Mexican club for a couple of million quid and apparently is not now good enough to threaten the first pair! What is going on?
Good players cost money. Players come on loan because they can be spared by their clubs. Promotion chasing sides are built brick by brick. Derby once had a youth policy which paid a lot of dividends but in the past couple of years only Lewin Nyatanga and Giles Barnes have emerged from the youth team and Giles is currently recovering from injury whilst Lewin has played more games on loan at Barnsley. Lewin is, by the way, a permanent Welsh international but cannot make the team which won once last year! Good clubs produce good young people who stay loyal to their club.
I may be jumping the gun on the back of one poor and disappointing performance and there could yet be vast improvement but all I see is a collection of misfits and a manager hoping for a miracle and yet not knowing how to produce it. Perhaps he should look at his training methods, his scouts and his own man management because none of the recent signings has improved since they came to the club. I just hope we can beat Lincoln City in the Carling Cup on Tuesday because if we don't then I think that the manure will hit the whirring mechanism attached to the ceiling!
UPDATE: Derby 3 Lincoln 1... but a damned close run thing! Well done Wayne Ellington!