|Promises Made - Will Clough See Signings Delivered?|
Thu 18th Aug 2011 13:02 by Daniel J Sewart
If you were Nigel Clough, would you be pulling your hair out? It seems that unless he can move on some high wage earners, once again the manager will be forced to settle for loan signings to fill important gaps in his squad.
As rumours grow louder by the day that both Steve Howard and Matt Oakley are about to sign loan deals with the Rams, as much as many of us would like to see them back at Pride Park, what has happened to the promises made pre-season?
Tom Glick promised a ‘Director of Football’ figure to be brought into the club to help Nigel in the transfer market; he promised significant funds to be made available to sign players and he promised that fans would be excited by the ‘experienced names’ that would be brought in.
Instead, we have signed out of contract players, players bought on what could be considered as minor fees in today’s market and only one really significant fee in Jason Shackell.
At the same time, the club has off-loaded a couple of players and made a good profit from the sale of Luke Varney.
Nigel Clough was positive and looking forward to adding genuine talent at the beginning of the transfer period - but once again seems to be forced to tow the company line in that we must move players out to bring players in.
With all respect to Howard and Oakley, if their loan signings eventuate, is this the best we can do to build our squad? Are they the type of signings Nigel would have been targeting when the club rolled out its ‘money back guarantee’?
The time is fast approaching, if it has not already arrived, for us to ask questions of what was promised against what is being delivered.
The club has constantly trumpeted their ‘nine new signings’ over the off-season - but really only a couple come even close to the criteria of player that Glick was promising when urging fans to renew their season tickets.
With no disrespect to the players involved, budget buys, out-of-favour players from other clubs and unproven SPL players do not fulfil the criteria set by Tom Glick prior to the 2011/12 season.
The club has started well on the field against the odds, with injury once again taking its toll on the team. Despite the annual club hiccup, Nigel and his team must be applauded as they have dug deep and produced two gutsy league wins.
That start buys those at the top of the DCFC tree some time - but if results slip, Mr. Glick had better be prepared for backlash on a scale that will make last season’s small rumblings pale in comparison.
If they are not going to give Nigel the support financially and in administration as promised, are most of us happy to ignore that if we are winning?
Is it likely that a an experienced ‘Director of Football’ with contacts in football would, at the very least, be able to find a loan home for the likes of Bywater, Leacock and Martin to assist with the wage bill.
Has no one been appointed because they may actually expect to be given a budget to work with?
Has no one been appointed because they would not just want to dabble in the loan market and instead sign some genuine Championship performers to boost a squad that the manager happily admits, has serious holes that desperately need filling?
Tom Glick told us all he had Nigel’s shopping list and they would be working hard to bring in these players. Why do these signings, that the manager tells the media he needs, seem so hard to deliver, especially when it was promised they would happen, and we were all privy to that promise?
If we are expected to believe that the shopping list initially included the likes of Eustace, Howard and Oakley as a priority, then Glick is having a laugh.
Nigel Clough takes the brunt of the fans anger and if it goes wrong again this season that will happen again - and it will be likely to cost him his job.
This problem needs addressing now and addressing fast before a good start to the season may be wasted and the Rams' lack of depth can be exploited by opponents, as players tire and (heaven forbid) we pick up even more injuries.
Nigel is not perfect but he has done all we can ask of him by delivering two wins from two starts. Even the most optimistic fan would have struggled to honestly predict that!
It is now time for his bosses to deliver on their promises and make sure they give their employee – who constantly takes one for the team (and quite often two or three) – some real help in getting the cattle on the pitch that he requires.
Rams fans are loyal and love their team - but they are not stupid. The time is coming where supporters may have to remind those who hold the purse-strings of that fact!
'Mr. Everywhere' Tom Glick has been very quiet by his standards of late – it makes you start to wonder if something is up behind the scenes… hmmm I wonder.
Does the club need to back Nigel with more signings?
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Daniel J Sewart