Bill's Take: Rams Sorry Season Summed Up In Just Two Minutes
Tuesday, 28th Mar 2017 13:19 by Bill Riordan
Two minutes into the four to be added at the end of the match against Forest, the Rams were 1-2 ahead and cruising, with no prospect of any result other than a satisfying come from behind away win.
A win would push our local rivals deeper into relegation trouble, and might even keep alive the Rams’ fading playoff hopes. Instead the failings we have seen so often in recent seasons struck again to deny the Rams victory.
At 2:10 into the 4 minutes added on, Johnny Russell got a breakaway for the Rams. “Johnny doesn’t have the sense to take the ball into the corner”, I thought to myself. Sure enough, Johnny tried to cut the ball back into the middle, and at 2:18 lost possession; something that seems to happen with distressing frequency when Johnny has possession.
As so often occurs when calm and composure are called for, the rams deliver carelessness.
So, instead of the match being almost over, the ball at the Forest end and the Rams in possession, Forest were able to break away unchallenged.
The Forest move ended with a Rams back pass to keeper Scott Carson, but Carson’s poor clearance went straight to a forest player at 2:32 into time added on. This move ended with Forest winning a corner at 3:11 into the final four minutes.
At 3:55 the corner came over from Ben Osborn; it was a decent corner, but as it dropped towards the edge of the Rams six-yard box it looked to have Keeper’s Ball written all over it. Instead of coming out for a straightforward catch, Carson stayed on his line as unmarked Forest player Pinillos headed in from six yards at 3:56.
Carson’s failure to come out was as inexplicable, especially as on so many similar occasions this season; as well as being able to use his hands, the keeper is usually given a great deal of protection from the referee, as we saw in the first half when the Rams were unjustly denied a goal due to an imagined foul on the Forest keeper.
Talk us through it Scott; why was the best course of action to leave an easy ball and let Forest have a free header from six yards!?
The match finally ended at 5:37 due to time added on for Forest celebrations.
Sloppiness and lack of thought had cost the Rams two more points.
In fairness to Johnny Russell, the highlights video of his Rams career would contain many moments of marvellous football. He has given fans a great deal of pleasure over the last few seasons, but far too few of those moments have come this season. Russell’s one league goal from twenty-two starts and six subs is a really poor return for an attacking player.
And in fairness to Scott Carson, he has had a good season; the Rams excellent defensive record is due in no small part to the keeper’s heroics. But if the Rams are ever going to challenge for anything meaningful, they have to eliminate these schoolboy errors.
Paul Clement, Darren Wassall, Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren were not able to iron them out of the Rams game; will Gary Rowett be able to do any better?
While I am whingeing about the Forest match, here is something else that is really beginning to get up my nose; of the fourteen players used by Forest in this match, five came up through the Forest youth system; Jordan Smith, Joe Worrall, Ben Osborn, Ben Brereton and Mattie Cash. All but Osborn made their Forest first team debuts this season.
For the Rams, Mason Bennett was the only youth product to make it onto the pitch against Forest, and Mason made his Rams first team debut well over five years ago.
Producing our own players is no longer just something that would be nice to have; it is vital to a healthy Rams future – especially since we cannot seem to get the hang of this transfer market thingy.
Gary Rowett has a great deal he will need to put right at Derby. I believe he is the right man for the job; I just hope he is able to get on with it without too much interference from above.
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Photo: Action Images
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