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About Jourdan

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    Porto, Portugal

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  1. You would love to think that all footballers from a certain level upwards would be in a position to defer wages and still live comfortably. But then again, how many would have had the foresight to anticipate a pandemic that endangers the very existence of the club they work for? While I think it is a sad state of affairs, I think it’s important to remember everyone handles the money that comes with being a footballer differently. Much like at the other end of the spectrum of society, you will have sensible spenders and ones that are less so. In the case of footballers, I am sure you have some who have accountants to control spending or some who are naturally very careful and will live day to day on some of what they earn and save the rest. But there will be others who spend to the very limits of what they earn or maybe even beyond and thus count on that money coming in regularly to fund their lifestyle. So yes while it would be heartening to see our players deferring wages and helping not only the football club but also the local community, I think it’s probably too much to expect it. But maybe some of them will voluntarily come forward.
  2. Yes, in the end, that’s how it worked out. Both of them were poor in a Derby shirt. But at the time of signing, I don’t think there were many who felt that they were poor signings. Earnshaw, up until that point, was one of the most prolific goalscorers playing in English football and he was just coming off the back of an excellent season at Norwich and had also scored for fun wherever he had been, even when in and out of the side at West Brom in the PL. Davis was excellent for Preston in the Championship and hadn’t disgraced himself while playing for Sheffield United, who were unfortunate to get relegated, the previous year. As it transpired, both were terrible for us. No arguments there. Yes, it was a risk signing players who had only proven themselves as top Championship players. But at the time I could totally see the logic behind the signings if we had also added other players of a greater quality in key areas like midfield, for example. It was the signings of Todd, Griffin, Lewis and the inability of young players like Barnes, Jones and Leacock to step up that was more damaging to us. Anon mentioned we could have got better value for £6.5 million, and perhaps he is right, but did we have the scouting network and the resources to find those players?
  3. Worst manager in Rams history? Billy Davies? How is he even entering the discussion? And some of you say I'm harsh on Cocu! Love or loathe him, it is impossible to deny Billy did a fantastic job here. In the summer of 2006, the club was on its knees and needed rescuing by Gadsby and friends. There was little hope for the season ahead because the team Burley had so craftily put together was a distant memory. Smith and Idiakez left that summer and many fans thought our chances of having a decent season went with them. It's easy to forget that. Bottling automatic promotion? Scraping into the play-offs? A top half finish would have been an achievement coming from where we had come from. The fact that finishing third was a disappointment to some speaks volumes about the scale of the job Billy did. We finished third in a tight race. The real bottlers were the likes of WBA, Wolves, Southampton and Preston - all of whom had better squads, played better football, and had better promotion credentials compared to ourselves. It told you everything you needed to know when we finished third - some eight points in front of our nearest rival in fourth - and still entered the play-offs as massive underdogs. Billy did very well to get us promoted. What happened from the summer of 2007 onwards was just a case of the club - from top to bottom - not being ready for the demands of Premier League football. Without knowing all of what went on behind the scenes, I find it very difficult to put the blame solely at Billy's door. Of course, we can say Billy Davies ultimately looked out of his depth. But you could say the same for all of the key people at the club at the time - the owners, the executives, the scouting and recruitment teams, the coaching staff, the club secretary, Rammie, everyone. It was a club issue. There was a lack of direction. There was a lack of strategy. There was a lack of ambition. There was a lack of investment, and none of the vision or creativity to make up for it. Earnshaw and Davis were good signings based on their track records at the time, but they were not meant to be the bedrock of our team. They were meant to supplement much better and much more expensive signings. But it never transpired like that. At the time, Billy was one of the brightest young managers working in English football. He was ambitious, he was driven, he was arrogant, he wanted to prove himself worthy of being at the top table. I don't, for a minute, believe he would have sabotaged his chances of success to prove a point. The truth is both Billy and the board failed each other and worse, both parties failed the fans. We deserved a club on a united front going into that season. Without it, we didn't stand a chance. But one of the worst managers in our history? Not even close. In his first 12 months at the club, he achieved more than all of the managers we have had in recent times. That alone should keep him well away from such a discussion.
  4. Only entertaining if we get to taste those sweet Yorkshire tears...again. 😂
  5. For me, in the EFL, I would end the season with promotion and relegation decided entirely by play-offs. Take the promotion picture: 12 teams, three promotion places decided with one winner per bracket. Teams initially play in a one off ‘semi final’ (including extra time and penalties) with the higher placed teams gaining home advantage and a favourable draw. So Leeds being 1st would face the 12th placed team. In this case, us, for example. Then the two winners in each bracket meet at Wembley. As an example: Bracket 1 Leeds v Derby Preston v Bristol City Bracket 2 West Brom v Swansea Forest v Millwall Bracket 3 Fulham v Blackburn Brentford v Cardiff For relegation, you have the same format but the losers of each semi-final tie have a relegation play-off at Wembley and the winner stays up. To finish the season as normal in the Championship, it requires 113 games to be played. With this, it requires 18 games including 6 showpiece games at Wembley, and the season can be decided on the pitch as it deserves to be.
  6. Obviously we need some results to go in our favour. But all we can do is win games and see where it takes us. Our run in is tough. Make no mistake. But if we play to our potential, we can give anyone in this division a game. I think Leeds at home is the only game I doubt our chances in. They have recovered from their blip and they are looking good again. Under Bielsa, with the exception of one game we deservedly won and one game we stole a point in, they seem to have a hold over us. All of the rest are winnable. If we play like we did v Stoke, Sheff Wed and Blackburn, even more so.
  7. To be honest, there has been a change of opinion over time. I’ve always maintained that Cocu is a good manager, but is he the right fit for us and our circumstances? At the start of the season, I was surprised that Cocu was here and hopeful he would have a big impact and prove himself to be above the division. It was probably only in November or December that I started to lose belief in him and feel disillusioned. So it’s not as though I’ve been against him since day one. It’s possibly my own fault for expecting too much from him too soon. But yes, since Charlton at home, there have definitely been some very good signs and the team have been playing much closer to and sometimes even above the level we’d expect. We have a tough run in and I am not suggesting Cocu has to get us in the top 6 from here. Not at all. For me, it’s all about seeing signs for next season and not ending the season with a whimper. Yes, Millwall might win next week, but if they are going to win, let’s make sure they’ve been in a game and they have had to work hard for it. Not having their fans come on here saying it was the easiest 3 points they’ll get all season. And the same is true of the other 8 games.
  8. I am just being consistent. Compare the first half of the season (26 points from 23 games v 25 points from 14 games) to now and surely it’s normal to be scratching your head. Similarly home form (10 wins and 37 points from 19) versus the away form (10 losses and just 14 points from 18) and surely it’s normal to be scratching your head. My post was more about Chris Martin. But for what it’s worth, Cocu doesn’t have to do very much to win me over. We have nine games left. Let’s see a consistent line up from week to week where possible. Let’s see some improvement away from home, not the 3-4 defeats from 5 we might reasonably expect given our overall form. And let’s see us really take the game to teams because we are capable. The last two games show that. The cherry on the cake would be us giving strong performances against Forest, Leeds and Brentford when they come to PP irrespective of the result, so we can go into the summer feeling positive.
  9. I am still not sure about Cocu. But I am sure about Chris Martin. What a player! Get him the best treatment money can buy, set up a porta potty on the touchline. Whatever it takes!
  10. Those qualities are important, I agree. We can see that in the difference between before Holmes got injured and now. But I think it’s all about finding a balance. You can’t have a team of Chris Martins, nor a team of Theo Robinsons. Now if you had said we had a good but unbalanced squad, I’d be right there with you. But surely working in the Championship, a manager understands rarely will he achieve the perfect balance on a typical budget for this division, and he has to get the best out of what he has got. So let’s see where we end up. Of course players can and do decline over time. But when played in their natural positions, both Martin and Forsyth have shown that they still have more than enough to offer at this level.
  11. The one thing that could be either a blessing or a curse for us is that we play eight of the current top 10 in our run-in. So if we do go on a winning run, the impact it will have on the promotion picture will be very favourable for us. It’s still a huge long shot and I wouldn’t really entertain it until we have at least been able to win 3-4 on the spin. But it only takes one result to start a run...
  12. I don’t think I have ever said we have a divine right to be at the top. But usually the cream rises. I rate our players based on what they have done in a Derby shirt. We have finished in the play offs in four of the last seven seasons, so there is a solid basis for confidence in this existing group of players, many of whom have shown themselves to be good Championship players who can compete at the right end of the table. As with any squad and any manager, I have always asked myself if we could be doing better and if so, why aren’t we? This discussion reminds me of Clough’s time in charge. People had similar differences of opinion back then. Some people thought the players simply weren’t good enough and others thought the manager was the problem. Time will tell. It’ll be interesting to observe how our poor squad matches up to Blackburn, Millwall and Preston in the upcoming matches. If we are handily beaten by these superior sides, I will accept that you are right and it’s the players holding Cocu back.
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