|Tickle Tackle: Sick Again!|
Wed 04th Nov 2009 14:04 by Steve Tickle
Sick again. That description probably applies to Rams fans and players alike as another illness and injury depleted side goes down meekly to a previously winless Ipswich Town.
Maybe the Rams have a soft spot for Roy Keane as it's the second time in four seasons they've handed him his first win of the season. Personally, I'm not in the least surprised, although I am of course desperately disappointed. I did suggest this result was a certainty a couple of weeks ago, didn't I?
There were lots of reassuring noises coming from the direction of Pride Park after Chairman of Football Adam Pearson's departure and one hopes that they were sincere and not merely platitudes. One also might be forgiven for hoping that those in power aren't guilty of fiddling while Rome burns.
Because there can be no doubt that Derby County is right back in trouble again (if it was ever out of it in the first place). The squad is decimated by injuries and illness and it's surely plain for all to see that the current best squad we can field is yet again uncompetitive in what is a very humdrum division.
The illnesses can be put down to bad luck but I'm not so sure about all the injuries. I have to be honest and admit I've done no research but I'd be interested to know what proportion have been incurred in training and as I've said in this column previously I'm concerned our rehabilitation program is lacking.
The screw is turning notch by notch on Nigel Clough and his backroom team and he somehow has to find a way of picking up a few points between now and January when the transfer window reopens. It won't be easy when there are four or five loan-ees in the squad and trainees on the bench (which we still can't fill on a regular basis).
All that we need now is for swine flu to go through the club. Actually, that might not be such a bad thing. We have so few players fit that we might be able to get a couple of games postponed!
To be serious though, we simply HAVE to spend REAL money on players who can and will improve the squad. I believe that the club has seriously underestimated what it takes to make progress in the Championship. Nigel and his team have little or no first hand Championship experience and the Americans are still learning how to spell labour properly.
They may have done an excellent job of getting the club's finances in order but Derby County is a FOOTBALL club and its fans' "match day experience" is based almost entirely on results on the field. Currently, the club is a curate's egg, good in parts but those parts unfortunately don't redeem the whole.
It won't be easy in January but what is required is abundantly clear. The transfer window system works against clubs like the Rams but somehow, Nigel has to find a few gems and the board must back him with the finance.
Failing that, I think GSE will have to take a serious look at amending their five year plan to take account of at least one season in Division One.
Catch you soon.
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