|Derby Down Under: Mutiny On The County|
Fri 21st Aug 2009 13:57 by Daniel J Sewart
Captain Savage a scallywag of renown was brought aboard the good ship Derby by General Jewell, to lead a crew fighting a losing battle. As time passed the General grew unreasonable, stripping Savage of his rank sending him to the lower decks, all the time planning to have him walk the plank.
Then began the mutiny on the County and by its conclusion these events had come full circle. The newly installed General Clough returned Savage to his rightful place at the wheel although some of his crew mates did not survive the journey.
Many will feel the introduction to my column slightly fanciful or melodramatic but frankly that is pretty much how things have felt at Derby over recent years, full of drama and the odd pirate.
Like a phoenix from the flames, Robbie Savage has had a revival that Lazarus would be proud of. Personally I was glad to see the white booted, blonde bombshell returned to the role of Captain as he is easily the one player who constantly leads from the front. Since Nigel returned his stripes and status in the first team he has played more good games than bad and off field has showed his genuine gratitude to the club for another chance.
His insistence on players handing back their bonuses if they don’t make the play offs is something I would never have imagined hearing from a football player of this generation. I am sure only the most negative fan would not appreciate a gesture that is good for the morale of each and every supporter who spends their hard earned on all things Derby County.
As for the previous incumbent, I am not surprised that the arm band was taken from Connolly who has had more ups and downs than a fairground attraction at Derby. Paul is a very serviceable player but too often has been found lacking especially in the pace department. If Nigel taking the burden of captaincy off him improves his game, then fabulous but I can’t see that alone helping him to find that extra metre he needs in a chase.
If it hadn't been Robbie, the other option available to the club was to allow a player to grow into the role, someone such as Miles Addison who obviously has the desire and talent to be a big part of the Rams future.
The main problem with such a plan would be heaping an extra responsibility on a young man trying to become what everyone believes he can be. Allowing a senior player to hold the position, even if only for a year while these youngsters blossom, is by far the best plan.
Savage also gives the team a passion, inspiration and niggle on field that is essential in any team. A loud voice, a player nipping at the heels of the opposition while trying to dictate the way the team plays every time he is on the ball. At his best Robbie Savage has all of those things in abundance.
When speaking to ‘therams.co.uk’ Robbie spoke of finally being ready for captaincy:
"I did not want to take it away from Connors, who probably had his best game of the season for us at Blackpool, being captain of Derby County is a lot of pressure, as I found the first time I did it. This is a big club”.
"I was relieved when the armband was taken off me and given to Alan Stubbs. It lifted a weight off my shoulders at the time. I did not deserve the captaincy when I first came to the club. I was handed it from the first day and I shouldn't have been”.
"I think we have a lot of captains on the pitch and it is not just about who wears the armband, I think Miles Addison will make a good captain one day and Stephen Bywater could be a good captain."
"It was too much pressure for me and I had a nightmare. I let it get to me. I think I'm ready for it now. I feel more comfortable with it now."
The ironic part is most fans weren’t ready for it the first time round either but I like most, are now more than happy with the decision. It's funny how things change.
Wear it with pride Robbie and do us all proud!
C’mon Ewe Rams!
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Daniel J Sewart