|RamsWeek 22 - You Can't Always Get What You Want |
Sun 31st May 2009 15:41 by Paul Mortimer
Whilst Rams fans could relax enjoy the ‘showpiece’ football finals in Rome and Wembley, Derby County were working further towards their close-season squad development plans.
Manchester United were reduced to ordinariness by Barcelona in the European Cup Final, (just like they were in defeat by Derby County in the Carling Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg!) going down 0-2 in Rome. A Catalan calamity for Fergie.
Chelsea overcame the early setback of ex-Red Devil Louis Saha slamming Everton into a 31-second lead in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, to eventually triumph 2-1.
That gave Guus Hiddink a happy Stamford Bridge farewell. Bad luck goes to ex-Ram Steve Round, now David Moyes’ assistant at Goodison Park.
It was a slow news week at Pride Park Stadium with no major developments on the transfer front. The clubs holding Derby’s current transfer targets were playing cat and mouse with the Rams.
At Blackpool, owner Owen Oyston was busy ‘doing a Swansea’ and fans hope that we don’t have another protracted Ferrie Bodde-type saga unfolding. Nigel Clough wants the Seasiders’ centre half Shaun Barker but Oyston rejected Derby’s offer of £400,000 as way below his valuation.
It’s the latest example of a club conducting business in the media (they usually blame others for press leaks…) Oyston is trying to hold on to what he’s got in his Player of the Year Barker, as either a great playing asset or a potential goldmine to keep Blackpool afloat should the bids become irresistible.
The Seasiders are, realistically destined for the present to be a ‘feeder’ club to the Rams and other larger clubs and so will seek to ‘mine their jewels’ accordingly. Just like Swansea did last year, they are hoping to attract further interest from other clubs so as to gazump the player’s valuation, force the bidding club to pay silly money, or test the player’s resolve to tow the line and honour his contract.
For Clough, it was a case of ‘you can’t always get what you want’, as Mick and Keef wisely declared many years ago. No doubt our Nigel has other transfer irons in the fire, the watchword could be, should the Barker deal collapse will be: ‘…if you try sometime, you’ll get what you need!’
There were media suggestions that misfit Derby striker Liam Dickinson (who spent his time on loan at Bloomfield Road scoring goals) could be part of a deal but there’s still no movement officially so it seems - and Adam Pearson has said that Derby won’t increase their offer. Blackpool finished above Derby County in the Championship but there’s no denying that Derby are a bigger club.
Barker might wish for a more high-profile future; at not far off 27 years of age, he is at the peak of his career so is no improving rookie or last-chance stalwart. He’s an East Midlands lad too, born in Trowell. Blackpool could well be tempted by being offered a player plus the money…. who knows at the moment?
Another club could usurp Derby by offering a figure closer to what Oyston expects. Let’s hope it isn’t all too drawn out, embarrassing and frustrating once again.
Exeter ’s young left-sided star, Dean Moxey is on Nigel’s shopping list too and Exeter are realistic about the player’s potential and ambitions. The Grecians say they have yet to receive an offer from Derby.
Clough wants to play with width next season to sustain the goal threat from Rob Hulse and his partners up front and it is significant that Norwich winger Lee Croft has been released from his contract a month early. House-hunting in Derby, perhaps? Croft is just the kind of productive wide player who can provide the service that Derby’s forwards will need.
Other media rumours include a Derby bid for Southampton’s young forward, Dave McGoldrick though I’m sure that Clough would sooner land a significant defender or two as per his declared priority. Want to hear a funny story? Well, Paul Jewell is allegedly being lined up for a return to Wigan Athletic, if Steve Bruce hops it to Sunderland. Perhaps Wigan’s time in the elite is soon to expire - time will tell!
Clumsy Claude Davis was sent off in the first half playing for Jamaica against Haiti in Florida; the Reggae Boyz managed a 2-2 draw. Come on, Warnock: please take the plunge and take Claude off our hands permanently! Special summer discount, call now: just ask for Nigel or Adam!
Rams’ defender Lewin Nyatanga helped Wales to a 1-0 win in their warm-up friendly against Estonia and Rams’ goalie Lewis Price was on the bench.
Mile Sterjovski is off with the Aussie squad again soon for their June World Cup qualifiers; it’s been a more successful habitat for him than the bread-and-butter demands of grinding out Championship results with Derby. Perhaps Mile is destined to link up with Andy Todd in Perth or at some other A-League outfit; I can’t see much of a future for him at Derby and he’s always seemed somewhat superfluous to Derby’s needs.
I’d expect the next fortnight to be much more productive in player arrivals and outgoings…the season’s only just over but soon, the fixtures will be with us - and before you know it, July 1st will arrive and the Rams’ players will report back for training. Nigel’s new regime will crack on with their first Moor Farm pre-season programme.
RamsWeek 22 last year heralded ‘the changing of the guard’, with Kris Commons poised to arrive at Derby County, Earnshaw slinking off to the City Ground, Kenny Miller wanting a contract with Glasgow Rangers and unemployed firebrat Scot Billy Davies mentioned in the Leicester City managerial shortlist.
Doncaster midfielder Paul Green joined us on a free transfer in one of Jewell’s more sensible transfer sorties. Swansea’s Ferrie Bodde saga was still in full swing, with the player not knowing what was on offer at Derby and not being allowed to talk to the Rams.
A Delloitte report on Premier League player wages showed that Derby County had paid the equivalent of 125% of turnover to fund that hopeless shower of…. well, that was the Pride Park players' wage bill in the Premier League in season 2006-07!
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