|Tickle Tackle - A Case For The Defence?|
Wed 15th Apr 2009 10:31 by Steve Tickle
Is there in fact a case for the defence? The Rams have the best goal difference of the bottom third of clubs in the Championship along with Norwich but that's down more to the goals they've scored.
The Rams and Norwich, with identical goals for and against records have both actually scored more goals than second placed Birmingham City but the Bluenoses, along with Swansea City, have conceded fewer goals than any other team in the Championship. It doesn't take a genius to work out what their success has been founded on this season, does it?
I make it that the Rams have conceded two goals or more in the Championship on sixteen occasions this season, that's more than one game in three.
So would anyone like to put some money on where Nigel Clough will be focussing his attention when the transfer market reopens in the summer? Well I don't think the bookies will be offering very attractive odds on that one, do you? Nigel's dad built his teams on miserly defences and it's pretty plain that the Rams' defensive failings have irritated Clough Jr more than a little in the short time he's been in charge at Pride Park.
Although Wolves look dead certs for promotion this season, I had more than a sneaking feeling that they'd leave PPS empty handed on Monday. In the event, I think that game just served to illustrate once more that it's really only the fallibilities of the defence that sets us apart from the top teams in the division.
I'm certainly not going to comment on individual performances and yes, there have been some crucial injuries that haven't helped any but the Rams' inability to keep a clean sheet often enough has persisted all through the season, regardless of personnel or manager.
It seems to me that it's more often than not been lack of concentration and application rather than lack of ability that has been our downfall but reading between the lines of some of his interviews, Nigel has already decided one or two won't be required at PPS next season.
Certainly, I think next season that while we can still expect to see attractive, flowing football, the team will be founded on the principle that successful teams don't concede unnecessary goals.
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