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The Key Club King

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  1. The Key Club King

    Club 84 - Supporter’s Group

    It's a complex problem but the reward are great. Palace have been very successful despite not being historically well-known for being vociferous. As much as I prefer the idea that an atmosphere should be created organically, travelling around most grounds today suggest that it is not really working. The big question is would you be prepared to move your seat to house them? I certainly would if there is enough wiggle room in the South stand to stay in there. Having said that I want to be in the singing section anyway. Maybe there could be a scheme where people who want to be in the singing section can give up their original seat for a season but have the option to get it back if it does not work. I would be tempted to say that the process begins with organising the away following. Once there is a significant following then there can be pressure placed for changes at home.
  2. The Key Club King

    Lampard’s comments on January spending

    I'd heard this but do we know for sure that there has been no previous reductions in the assigned value of those out of contract? It would be foolish to have Butterfield and Johnson still valued at £4.5m and £6.7m respectively going into their final contract year (this year) when they will almost certainly leave for nothing or next to nothing. Sooner or later we will have to take a hit on these two rather than extend their contracts to delay the inevitable as we are unlikely ever to recoup any significant transfer monies on them. Then its just Anya, Thorne, Wisdom and Martin to worry about! If Mel basically spends almost all of the allowable FFP budget on wages then the only other way out of it is to sell players to cover the losses.
  3. The Key Club King

    Elite Managers in the Championship

    Fair point. Elite may be overstating the mark somewhat but both Nuno and Bielsa are both managing way below their level in terms of quality of players compared to their previous clubs.
  4. The Key Club King

    Elite Managers in the Championship

    Looking at the success of Nuno with Wolves last year and particularly Bielsa at Leeds this year are we going to see a trend whereby elite level managers ply their trade in the Championship? Financially, promotion to the Premier League is far and away the most lucrative sporting success in the world and there have been many teams that have thrown the kitchen sink at it in an attempt to buy their way out of the division, including Derby in 1993 and 2015. Most of this has been spent on players and their wages and there will obviously be some correlation between player wages and success, but the manager was, is, and always will be the most important factor in a teams success. Bielsa has shown what an elite level manager can bring without heavy expenditure and an average wage bill. Leeds are playing the best football in the division and look nailed on for promotion despite a small squad and quite a few injuries. Derby have spent vast sums since Mel took over but have not got over the line largely due to managerial failures. Hopefully Lampard does not continue this trend, but if he does then why not hire an elite foreign manager with the offer of a promotion related bonus (several millions) that would make them the best paid manager in the country if they succeeded? If we were promoted then we could most certainly afford it. Jorge Mendes saw the potential of putting players and a manager far below their true level at Wolves to gain a financial reward that even a Champions League winning club cannot achieve. Bielsa is doing the same but without the player expenditure. Leicester may have tried a similar tactic with Sven Goran Eriksson, but he was already a busted flush by then. Let me temper this by saying that Frank is doing fine and I do not want him replaced. However, most managers only last 12 months so it makes sense to look at future options.
  5. The Key Club King

    Has Lampard been as excellent as many people suggest?

    He's doing OK. Not as good as Bielsa, but better than Karanka and Rowett. He holds himself very well, is clearly intelligent and well-respected, and I suspect he will come good given time though this is maybe more hope than expectation. Anybody saying he is doing an excellent job are likely to have done it after a win, and anybody saying he is not doing so well is likely to have said it after a defeat. Just filter these reactionary opinions out and ask yourself how have we done overall and do you expect us to improve?
  6. The Key Club King


    Net spending figures tell a story but wage bills contribute 8 or 9 times more to overall expenditure than net transfer spending and give a far better indication of relative success. Derby's wage bill in the past four years has been consistently one of the highest in the Championship outside of the recently relegated Premier League clubs. Wages will never be recouped but transfer fees can be if the right players are bought and is why most clubs in the Championship actually gain money through transfer activity. The high wage bill is obviously not Frank Lampard's fault but with a small amount of tinkering with the value he has in the squad (as he has done by selling Vydra, buying Marriott, Josefzoon, Waghorn and the loanees) then a top six finish would still be about expected through total expenditure. Unfortunately until the dead wood of Anya, Thorne, Martin, Butterfield, Wisdom and Johnson are of the books and we are clear of the FFP consequences of this, then we will continue to have problems and it is Frank's job to somehow manage this. In terms of the OPs unrealistic expectations, we are probably exactly where we should be from money spent.
  7. The Key Club King

    'suspicious' man outside Derby County's training ground

    New England Patriots Bill Belichick was fined $500k for recording the opposition in the US and the Patriots lost their first draft pick. All joking aside, I think this is pretty serious, underhand stuff and Leeds should be suitably punished. Formations and team selections are likely to be tested in the days before a game and this would give a major tactical edge to Leeds. Sending an employee to essentially break and enter is utterly lamentable and I would be thoroughly ashamed if Derby did this. Throw the book at them.
  8. The Key Club King

    Marriott the ultimate clone

    When Marriott receives the ball he is one of only a handful of Derby players I have seen who immediately tries to figure out the most direct way to goal. This is not only through his finishing, but his crossing and the timing of passes which are always forward and direct. The question mark is over his general technique, which is raw and often rushed. This makes me think that he will be an "Earnshaw" - an elite Championship player but a poor Premier League one.
  9. The Key Club King

    Standard of officiating

    Here we go again with the referees are awful debate. Referees are not getting worse. Players cheat all the time and contest every decision at every level of football. The players cheat and people blame the referees for getting things wrong. The problem is that we as fans tolerate cheating players. We ignore our own players cheating as "getting the rub of the green" and blame the refs when it goes against us. As the great Half Man Half Biscuit sang in the Referee's Alphabet; "And the Z Well the Z could be for Zidane, Zico, Zola, Zubizarreta, Zoff Even Zondervan But is in fact for the zest with which we approach our work Without this zest for the game, we wouldn’t become refs And without refs, well – zero Wouldn’t it be fun If they gave the ref a gun" Admittedly, the last line is a bit over the top.
  10. The Key Club King

    First out the door

    I didn't say he should walk away. He has every right to see his contract out if he so chooses. Nick Blackman went looking for football elsewhere in a similar situation and I respect this attitude far more than someone who knows they are on a contract far higher than their true value as a player and chooses to stay in the reserves rather than play football. Between transfer fee and wages he is looking at being one of the worst value signings we have made. However, this is the fault of Derby County and not him.
  11. The Key Club King

    First out the door

    He has failed to make an impact under four managers now. He has been frozen out completely by two of them. He is clearly not good enough and is a victim of nothing.
  12. The Key Club King

    Would the real Derby County please stand up

    Well I for one am concerned. Not for the quality of football, which has been pretty good, but that someone in this thread is going to use the words philosophy or ethos soon.
  13. The Key Club King

    Out of their skin (racism again but please don't remove the thread)

    BAME percentage of UEFA Pro Licence holders is 7.7%, and 7% of UEFA A Licences as of 2015. BAME percentage in senior coaching roles i.e. manager, first-team coach, assistant manager, head-coach, academy director, U18/21 head coach is around 4.5% as of early 2018 but this obviously changes continuously. BAME percentage of players is 25% in 2017. BAME percentage in "senior administration roles" in clubs is <1% in 2016. BAME percentage of population as a whole is 14% in 2011. Mostly from the following report: "Ethnic minorities and coaching in elite level football in England: 2016 update: a report and recommendations from the Sports People's Think Tank in association with the Fare network and the University of Loughborough" Bradbury (2016).
  14. The Key Club King


    It seems Spurs were too hasty to condemn the incident as racist although it was right to be suspicious of racist intent and justified an investigation. I have witnessed racism at the game, from Derby fans as well as others, and I'm not just talking about the 70s, 80, or 90s. "Small town in Asia" was sung at Leicester City fans amongst others as recently as around 2010 in the South-East corner, though this seemed to dissipate with the move to the South Stand. I think football has done a reasonable job of putting a lid on racism and forcing it elsewhere and I have noticed quite a few more Asian people in the stands at PP than in the past. More widely on this debate, I would say that if a group has been previously discriminated against -and it is pretty hard to argue against that being the case in this instance - then to suddenly let them join in with the rest of society through equality of opportunity and expect immediate equal outcomes is naive. Be it with money, power, race, gender or anything else, privilege begets privilege.
  15. The Key Club King

    Championship or Premier League?

    I love the Championship and it is clearly more unpredictable and entertaining, but I harbour dreams of Derby being in Europe at some point in my lifetime and this is only likely to happen through the Premier League. This may only involve us travelling once to Moldova to play a tie against a team that make a Wednesday night in Stoke look exotic but it is my loftiest ambition. Unfortunately, the nature of the Premier League means that this dream would be ruined by playing the U23s so that the players aren't too tired for the subsequent 5 nil defeat to Man City on the following Sunday. So many English clubs have done this to preserve the glory of finishing 16th in the Premier League and tramples on the fans wishes more than anything else I have seen. And this is the problem with the Premier League - money takes precedence over sporting endeavour. Thinking about it, we could get in to Europe by winning the League or FA Cup whilst in the Championship, so I will go for this option.

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