|Derby Down Under - Can You Manage It?|
Sat 24th Nov 2007 05:29 by Daniel J Sewart
Football management has never been a job that offers long term security.
In the week England axed it’s number one, rumors began circulating Billy Davies is under pressure to produce results sooner than later.
England manager Steve McClaren suffered the ultimate shame following the failed Euro 2008 campaign and now it seems Davies may be under immense pressure to get things moving on the pitch with the Rams. Although denied by Adam Pearson and Billy there is no doubt that better on field performances must surely be on the agenda under ‘required’.
I have been a firm supporter of Davies and the fact that fans should give him time with the aid of the January transfer window to turn things around. I based this theory on the fact he had little choice but to take an unproven squad into the league with only a few bargain basement signings to paste over any cracks (besides a certain striker who although arrived sporting a high price tag, spends his time on the coat hanger in the cupboard).
I have held firm in this belief, that was until the West Ham game. Anyone who read my article before that match would have been met with my limitless enthusiasm that in front of a massive home crowd a result was possible against an undermanned hammers team.
Instead fans not just in the stadium but all over the world were treated to a display of football that not only lacked passion from the home team but also failed to deliver a single positive to walk away with. If forced to find one kind word it would be for Craig Fagan who when brought onto the pitch showed the sprit that I speak of. Sure he was over enthused and ended up with a yellow card for his efforts but at least showed he was willing to run at the opposition when in possession as readily as he was prepared to chase, tackle and intimidate.
Billy Davies has had little to work with this season but surely fans still have the right to ask for performances that show courage and a determination from the players to stop the rot. In saying that I am not jumping off the Davies wagon but instead stating that my patience is wearing thin in terms of the type of display the team delivers.
I will support the Rams through thick, thin and obese; all I ever ask for in return is that they look like they are having a red hot go. There are times this season I have been unsure but against West Ham once the first goal went in they resembled puppets with their strings cut. Player’s heads dropped faster than a lead weight and what followed was a team obviously low on confidence and belief.
Confidence a commodity that is hard to come by at the best of times and when it is shattered it is difficult to get every shard back together. The Rams squad seems to be in the state of mind that when they concede they are finished and from there have gone onto some horror defeats.
This weekend they come up against one of the two ultimate tests this season and there would be few supporters who do not fear what may eventuate. Manchester United and Chelsea play free flowing football and have the ability to score bags of goals if given space and time. Teams that hold them to a draw or even pull off upsets are those willing to niggle and chase them until they drop.
As much as I would like to say I believe the Rams have that ability, I am afraid my confidence is somewhat weary after the last few months but am always open to them restoring my faith at any time. I am hoping that time may be around 5.15am Sunday morning here in Australia!
In this situation it is tough to see light at the end of the tunnel but things in football can turn very fast but it needs to turn in the player’s minds before it will on the pitch. As a one eyed, blind faith supporter I think I speak for all of my fellow fans when I ask the team to stand up and no matter what the result, give us a performance.
We ask for nothing more than that.
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Daniel J Sewart