|What I.Saw - No Balls Nigel!|
Sun 29th Jan 2012 14:25 by I.Saw
“Derby County from the Championship versus Stoke City from the Premiership. The F.A. Cup, the stuff of giant killing heroics, a cup run to fill the coffers, visions of reaching Wembley, the hallowed turf…”.
the sound of a gramophone needle being dragged across the record before the arm lifts and returns everything to stop.
You have to believe.
You have to go for it.
Team Clough didn’t.
He set up 4-5-1 going for a clean sheet working on nicking something on the break.
After four minutes the master plan of master tactician Clough unveiled. Stoke City had a corner. Team Clough had three, yes count them again, not one, nor two but three players on the half way line.
All poised for that elusive break which would surely justify the cerebral ones plans.
Now not being a mind reader but having watched a little football it was a strategy most teams don’t adopt if for no other reason than it leaves you rather short to defend the corner.
Stoke took the corner short and scored. Right past the man on the post who wasn’t there because he was in the centre circle.
A brilliant start and one that left Clough fuming afterward about it being offside, indeed it was offside but the naivety of the plan was staggeringly absurd.
And yes the officials were poor in a “big decisions go for the big club way” whilst giving the Rams the dregs to even matters out. Jamie Ward fouled outside the box by Andy Wilkinson before the same Stoke player got away with handball again outside the box.
But Derby never really had a serious shot on target. Needing two goals Team Clough refused to bring on another striker until there was twenty minutes left and it was Nathan, “Sore Throat, bad groin, cold” Tyson who joined the fray.
Stoke scored again and with the Rams needing three Team Clough brought on defender Jake Buxton and then finally another defender Tom Naylor perhaps to secure our deserved defeat.
Team Clough left Chris Maguire (six goals in the last four reserve matches) on the bench as he doesn’t control the ball correctly or some such slight.
Team Clough gave away Tomasz Cywka (a prolific scorer, also for the reserves) to Reading, Tomasz's crime was giving the ball away at the wrong time and Team Clough recruited Ryan Noble from Sunderland without first checking if he would be allowed to play in the cup (he wasn’t).
There was also no place on the bench for young striking starlet Mason Bennett; Conor Doyle instead got the nod. And Clough confirmed afterwards it wasn’t a game for Steve Davies, nor presumably namesake Ben a sometimes creative midfielder.
I don’t mind losing. Honestly! I don’t mind us having the occasional poor game. You come to expect it especially over the decades as a Derby fan. Yesterday we played well you couldn’t ask any more from those on the pitch they gave their all.
The decisions of Team Clough though were an insult to every one of the 16,678 Derby fans.
We came expecting to see ambition, to see desire, what we got was a timid manager who even at the end hadn’t got the balls to risk trying to win a game.
Not got the balls to bring on a player who has scored 6 out of 4 because he doesn’t do things the way you like.
Not got the balls to play a youngster in an important match (have you forgotten Stevie Powell)?
Not got the balls to even bring on a midfielder but rather two defenders.
No ******* Ball’s Nigel.
To borrow words from your father Nigel “You’re a Bloody Disgrace”.
Now be a good chap and hand in your resignation will you.
Did you see the Rams Cup loss how I.Saw saw it?
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