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Half fan

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  1. Sir Cocu's calm and precise analysis of the Stoke match surely shows a master at work. He's unhappy at four points lost, despite a far from ideal and rather short pre-season. This shows the high winning standard he has set for the squad. No talk of the last 12 games being the key to promotion - every game is the key to promotion from August onwards. He explains how he saw the first half today and why he made what some saw as baffling changes. He then describes succintly the resulting improvement whilst calmly listing the failings which need to be eliminated. He doesn't talk about Plans A or B, he analyses what's happening in the match and changes formations, tactics and players as soon as the need is evident. Our captain who's had more than his fair share of club and international managers, says training is an eye-opener. Gradually, we can see why. Sir Cocu is taking our club to a higher level than I can recall in many decades. No banal generalities, no superficial banter with the interviewer. The players ere expected to work hard mentally as well as physically. It seems to me that Frank relied on a team formula of hard work, energy, and pressing whilst he motivated the players with his personality, humour and winning determination. Frustratingy it didn't always work, especially away to inferior teams. In contrast, our new management is more cerebral and concentrates on developing each player's technical and positioning and adaptability skills, as well as the team performance. So those players of any age who want to improve themselves and be stretched will relish the fabulous opportunity. Those that don't or can't will fall by the wayside, if the steely glint in the manager's eye is anything to go by. Of course there will be setbacks and disappointments. But there's some real building work going on here and it's a privilege to see it unfold. Thanks DCFC for the astute and synergistic investment in facilities and management.
  2. Isn't David a star?! Our new manager PC (no, sorry not that PC), Phil (no, sorry not that Phil - gosh what will we call him safely) is bound to be impressed by David's inspiring creativity. So the Forum will be the first place to which he turns for excellent guidance on, and experience of, the Championship. Of course, he won't be disappointed by what he reads. Though we might be about the consequences if he takes any notice of it.
  3. Whatever happens with Frank and the Dutch, this forum has made a fantastic contribution to the saga. How could we have coped without the news, thinking, insights, humour and emotions displayed on here? At various times recently I have attempted to read the Chelsea fans' forum. Like many other forums, it's not a patch on ours for structure, layout or content. This Forum must be World Class! Thanks moderators and fellow Rams. And Mel for representing our interests so impressively. COYR
  4. If this is so, Frank is in trouble. Had he come back from holiday early as he should have done, he could have won these battles last week by telling Chelsea to "play ball" or he would stay at Derby. Had Chelsea refused to grant any assurances he sought, he could have taken training yesterday with a rueful confession but his credibility intact with our players. "Chelsea was my dream but the talks have turned into a nightmare and Derby is demonstrably the better club to be part of etc". Sighs of relief all round (except from Jack the Lad perhaps). But when Mel excused him training yesterday and today, he must have lost their respect, as he has with some fans, by showing that going to Chelsea at all costs matters more to him than turning up at Moor Farm and honouring his moral and contractual commitment to lead the players into next season from Day 1. There is now no coming back. So he has now lost his bargaining power with Chelsea. Mel must be in Meltdown because £7m is slowly slipping off the table despite his sterling efforts. Worse, Philip must see us as a Cocup of which he has no wish to be part. He'll be Schweeping out of town.
  5. One day, Frank might learn (to his cost) that it's the Chairman's love which counts, and not the fans' or even the players'. Derby is coming across as a much better club to work for than Chelsea or many other clubs with their distant foreign owners. It all starts at the very top, especially when the Chairman is also the Owner and effectively the Manager's boss and a Fan who lives nearby. Communication is crucial and Derby's Board structure cannot be beaten in this respect. And our Chairman has evolved into a top football man. Well done, Mel.
  6. What if Jokanovic is going to Bournemouth because Mel has swiped Eddie Howe?
  7. "Now then Frank, every year we are in the Premier League we gain £100m. This is how we will split it. The club can have £70m for new players and higher wages and adding 10,000 seats to the capacity of Pride Park. I will pocket £30m and in return allocate 10% of the shares in DCFC to you and your management team. So after 6 years in the Premier League, you and Jody and the management will be the majority shareholders and I will be financially and emotionally happy. Christine can become Non-Executive Chairman, you can change the shirts to blue and the Forum will be relieved that DCFC will truly be 'Frank Lampard's Derby County'. Can Abramovich match that, Frank? No, I thought not."
  8. This is a brilliant analysis and the constructive suggestions are spot on. A Moderator ought to send it to Frank to avoid what I fear will happen - he will stick to his game plan but tell them to execute it better. This would be madness. Leeds prevented us playing out from the back, and we have no one up front - except Forsyth in his prime - who can win the header with the accuracy and consistency needed to exploit the 'kick and hope' long ball from Roos or the centre halves. Bielsa also negated one of our main strengths which is Keogh's ability to win defensive headers. It was hardly ever called upon because Leeds played fast balls through us on the ground. So we need numbers, speed and tenacity in midfield. We have our own Kante lurking in the wrong place - put Evans alongside Keogh in a back three (perhaps with Wisdom instead of Bogle) and release Tomori into midfield. Fikayo has the pace, passion, tackling tenacity, football brain and forward passing ability to snuff out Leeds attacks before they reach our 18 yard box. He'd be worth two Johnsons, who was also negated because Leeds played triangles around him. Complete the midfield with Cole and we have a Chelsea midfield of Mount, Tomori and Cole plus our new Archie Gemmill (wee Duane) and Wilson. Marriott and Lawrence would then get the service they need starting from inside Leeds own half when we consistently press high up the pitch as Cool As Custard suggests. Whether this succeeds or not, we have nothing to lose with this aggressive 3-5-2 and English Frank just might torpedo Argie Bielsa's ship.
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