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About LeedsCityRam

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  1. I was never a Johnson fan but I totally agree with you - he was vital to our late season surge & I do like the idea of us having at least one midfielder who is able to mix it & compete for the ball. That all said, its harder to go to ground these days so pressuring players is a very modern way of turning possession over - I saw Holmes win a lot of ball last year, no reason why the others can't too. Aerially we'll probably be a bit weak next season in midfield unless we sign an out & out DCM, which I can't see given Cocu's previous teams.
  2. I'm not sure that we currently have the personnel to play 4-3-3. Right wing would mean either Waghorn or Bennett - they can clearly 'do a job' but I think both are better up top and I don't see Holmes as a winger. I'd also really like to see what Marriott and Waghorn could do as a front 2 (given they are clearly 2 of our very best players) & in certain games where we need a bit of finesse rather than pace & power, Martin up top with either one of them. I think a 4-1-3-2 looks much better if Shinnie has the role to sit in & allow Bogle & Malone/Forsyth to go forward. I also strongly suspect Evans will get the nod over Davies at CB, although I do see another signing there. My ideal XI (with the squad as things stand); Roos Bogle Keogh Evans Malone Shinnie Holmes Dowell Lawrence Waghorn Marriott
  3. Got chatting with an Aberdeen fan at the cricket a few weeks back & the impression he gave me was that Shinnie was basically a mobile Bradley Johnson - tenacious & gets everywhere (He also said he was OK in the air but a good passer of the ball so different to Johnson in some respects) It would appear from his previous teams that Cocu doesn't play with an explicit DCM but if Dowell and Holmes are the other midfield starters, it may be a good call Shinnie patrolling in front of the back 4 rather than having an outwardly interchangeable midfield 3.
  4. I was just checking a post I made after the Derby v Forest game end of 2017 - basically Dowell ripped us to shreds time & time again and only a fantastic defensive display and very efficient finishing got us a slightly fortunate win. He's technically very good, likes running with the ball, scores plenty from outside the area and is very decent at set pieces. Its true he's no Roy Keane but I don't care so long as he can retain possession & presses when out of possession along with the team. Basically see him as a cross between Harry Wilson & Mason Mount and he will be earmarked to play the role Mount played last season. Very good loan signing, look forward to seeing him play in a Derby shirt.
  5. I'd disagree - the squad looks leaner than it has done for 4/5 years & I think we're better for it. We've already replaced Johnson with Shinnie - the key question for me is to what extent the youth players feature in the first team squad. Last year, virtually no-one on this forum would have called Jayden Bogle a first choice RB in waiting - Lampard called it early & a year later, we have a very sought after asset & a much better RB than Wisdom (who we spent £2m on). I'd be uncomfortable if we made 4/5 permanent signings unless there were significant outgoings also. The only areas of the squad that look light are centre-half and midfield. On the first, I suspect that Evans will see more action at CB than he ever will sitting in front of the back 4 - Cocu comes from a footballing culture where midfielders are often utilised as defenders (i.e. Mascherano) and Evans' best attributes (good in the air and good anticipation) for me, makes CB a much better fit than midfield where he often lacks the physicality and passing accuracy to make a positive impact. I do definitely see one more signing at CB though. We do have Shinnie, Holmes and Huddlestone as decent midfield options currently - plus Lawrence if Cocu decides he'd like him playing centrally(which I personally think is a better position for him & curbs some of his selfishness). This is where I'd really like to see Sibley/Bird/Knight seeing plenty of game time - like Bogle, we may need to show patience but I don't know how they're going to develop if we buy 2 ready made midfielders to slot straight into the first team XI. Up top - Marriott and Waghorn are as good as any striker at this level with Bennett a decent option, who can also play on the right side. Left side might be a problem if Lawrence moves centrally & Cocu's relationship with Jozefzoon is as bad as we fear. It would good for Mitchell-Lawson to see plenty of game time also. The unknowns here are a) the physical condition of Thorne and Martin and to what extent they could be useful b) what loan players we could attract - I suspect we won't struggle for young Prem players wanting to move here. In short, I don't think we're in that bad shape.
  6. Yes, good point - no way Cocu would have been on our radar after Rowett left. Maybe hasn't ended the way we wanted but Lampard's stint with us has raised our profile significantly - win/win really & I'm sure everyone will realise this once the dust has settled. Massive credit to Mel for having the vision to chase both & fully agree, we're on a upward curve here 🙂
  7. A glittering playing career, assistant manager of a World Cup finalist, 3 League titles, a track record of bringing through youth and making a net profit on transfers? Good grief Derby. No wonder Mel seemed so chilled on TalkSport the other day - he must have known this was a real possibility. Noticed a few comments about the relative strength of the Dutch League. No doubt its not the number 1 league in Europe but PSV have won 2 European Cups, Ajax and Feyenoord have another 5 between them and Ajax should have gone back to the final this year too. To have won 3 titles against that competition marks him out as a quality coach, no doubt whatsoever. The only 'black mark' on Cocu's CV actually gives me more confidence perversely. Reading various reports, it would appear there was something of a backroom revolt by some of the local coaches at Fenerbahce. Bearing in mind how volatile the football culture is over there, that must have made his task nigh on impossible. He's now only 48, with a wealth of experience and most importantly, a point to prove after being so highly rated only a couple of years ago - someone is going to reap the benefits of this guy's talent - I can't believe it may well be us! Yes he will ultimately be judged on first team results but the thought of him overseeing our young prospects is probably the highlight for me. Its a club culture we need to build & what Morris is correctly looking for - get the foundations right, get the talent in place and the results and success will follow.
  8. I remember from the Sky coverage of our 4-1 win there that they were saying Moore was responsible for the defence & Jones the attack. It would be odd for them to be that explicit unless there was some truth in it. Pretty strange set up if you ask me but it did seem to work until just after Christmas. Assuming that was right, it further harpoons Moore's credentials as a) he largely failed to make West Brom defensively secure, which was his side of the bargain & b) it would seem he hasn't actually had full responsibility for an entire team yet!!
  9. Ah, our annual managerial guessfest. Darren Moore getting some mentions here - my understanding is that West Brom had a shared managerial approach last year with Moore in charge of the defence and Graeme Jones in charge of the attack. On that basis, Jones did a very good job and Moore a pretty poor one - hence I get why Moore was shown the door. I do not think Moore is good enough to be our manager & I would be reluctant to put any stock on any previous Derby connections - its immaterial. Danny Cowley is the bookies favourite - nice guy, intelligent & very impressive managerial record to date. Unfortunately his Lincoln team demonstrate physical, direct, agricultural lower division football at its worst. He would instantly alienate a significant proportion of Derby fans with his style and would be totally ill-suited to the players we have on our books. It'd be a disaster. We're in a transition period still with some expensive players cleared off the wage bill & some talented young players waiting to step up. We need an experienced head with a track record of playing decent football - almost a Jim Smith type character who will build the squad sensibly. On that basis, I'm not that keen on going down the route of well known recent ex-player - I would have made an exception for Lee Bowyer based on his impressive start at Charlton though. Nigel Adkins would be my number 1 pick - always rated him and the style of his teams. Although Reading and Sheffield Utd weren't great, many of the players Adkins worked with at Sheff Utd formed part of Chris Wilder's promotion team a year later. Southampton and Scunthorpe were exceptional jobs, Hull was very good. Chris Hughton I'm on the fence with. A lovely guy with a fantastic record - he's more of a pragmatist than many would like & I wonder how motivated he would be to tread the same Championship > Premier League path, having done it a few times before (and then ultimately been sacked every time).
  10. I've no issue with Chelsea wanting Lampard. I've no issue with Lampard wanting the job. (If either/both is the case) That said, I think its best for all parties if Chelsea make their move now & this is all concluded quickly. If as @Cornwall ram suggests, stringing this out is a tactic from Chelsea to lower the compensation figure, that smacks me as being a pretty disrespectful move. There's still recruitment to be done & decisions to be made with regard to our youth players - do they step up or get loaned out? This is going to be very difficult for someone to sort out mid/back end of July. Of course, if the silence is because Chelsea are actually speaking to someone else as their first choice, then I retract my above comments entirely 🙂
  11. The 3 candidates I would look at if Lampard goes would be Nigel Adkins, Lee Bowyer and Alex Neil (in that order) Really rate Adkins, his teams play good football & his positivity is infectious. Exactly the kind of character you want in charge of a team at the business end of a season. Did a superb job at both Scunthorpe & Southampton and has impressed at Hull this last 18 months under very difficult circumstances. I think him taking charge at Derby would be his biggest appointment to date (he took on Saints job whilst they were in League One) & he's available after refusing to sign a new contract with Hull. Lee Bowyer is obviously a controversial choice given his past off-field activities but there again Jody Morris was no angel either - I think folk need to see past events from 15 years ago now. In terms of managerial experience, he's pretty much where Lampard is now but with a promotion on his CV and under harder circumstances - Charlton are a real basketcase of a club. Despite that, they play good football and his knowledge of lower divisions would give us a real advantage from a recruitment perspective. The obvious risk is the same as Lampard - he played at the top level, ergo success with us could see him being being coveted by Premiership clubs very quickly. Alex Neil has had a very decent start to his managerial career - Hamilton & Norwich (mostly) being very successful stints. He's done a solid job at Preston and think he would do even better with more resources (that he'd get at Derby by comparison). His sides tend to play high intensity, good football so aligned with where Lampard has been trying to take the squad. He was on the verge of taking over at West Brom in April but wanted more control over recruitment. Significant downside with Neil is that he signed a new contract with Preston in April so would cost a lot to get him to Derby.
  12. I know this will be unpopular with some....whilst he filled a important role in the last few weeks shoring up our midfield, Bradley Johnson should not be offered a new contract. His limitations as a player are well known but he is now 32 & likely to be on high wages having been purchased from then Premier League Norwich City. We have Graham Shinnie incoming (predominantly a DCM) and a number of talented young midfielders waiting to break through. Time to move on I feel.
  13. I'm comfortable with another season at this level. As evidenced by the all-English finals in both European competitions, the Premiership is having one of its strongest periods & this really isn't the time to fluke a promotion. Last time there was an all-English CL final, it coincided with our 11 point season - I remember thinking even the other teams in the bottom 6 that year seemed so strong. Have enjoyed this season more than any since 13/14 but I didn't think at any stage we were good enough to go up. Lets do it properly. We're now able to release a number of highly paid out of contract players & have an exciting youth set up so we're going in the right direction. I definitely do want Derby back in the Premiership very soon though - yes, its been nice to be consistently winning more than we lose but we're settling for mediocrity being content in the second tier. Cloughie wouldn't have tolerated it, Cox didn't accept it, Jim Smith didn't accept it and neither should we.
  14. Lincoln play a very direct, physical style. I like the Cowleys, they're very intelligent & great man managers but totally ill-suited to Derby from a style point of view. If the worst happens, we need someone with a track record of playing both good football & bringing through youth.
  15. Yes me too, probably because QPR were so obnoxious and so obviously not a top division club. And that we knew we were the better team - I never truly believed that at any stage in the run up to Monday. Villa being up definitely removes a major title contender for this coming season - just Colin and Leeds to contend with instead!
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