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Half fan

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  1. Official: Will Hughes joins Watford

    Like a new Prime Minister, it seems poor old Will has aged 5 years in a few weeks. The stress of having to perform and deliver at the top level, instead of merely showing promise that he would be able to, is etched on his face. Will he step up to the plate? I am sure we are all Willing him on!
  2. Is there a doctor in the house?

    Apparently not. How on earth can the team be so fit and so crocked simultaneously in such wonderful facilities? Could Uncle Mel afford to buy Eva Carneiro? She'd perk everyone up. Or maybe the queue at her door would lengthen still more for, er, non-medical reasons.
  3. Callum Robinson

    There's a already a song for Mrs Robinson. Easily adapted for Callum: "And here's to you Mr Robinson. Rams all love you more than you will know. Wo wo wo." Should have all of Pride Park singing along knowingly for once. And only take a few games after he's joined for the obvious modification to the lyrics.
  4. Our Mel ( Cbeebies)

    Credit where credit's due. Well done Mel. You are taking the lead in many spheres and making a difference. Whether people always like the lead does not lessen your bravery and philanthropy. Keep up the good work, and thank you. PS Perhaps you could take over Downing Street and put Theresa Mayhem and the country out of our misery?
  5. Mel interview with local media

    Congratulations on this thread to all participants! Be you analysts, psychologists, management consultants, accountants, comedians, ITKers, or mere GOMs, you have created a best-seller which is, without doubt, of Premier League standard. In fact, given Mel's unrivalled ability to follow controversy with controversy, I suggest Season Tickets could be sold for viewing this thread. Never mind about the football. Who cares? Leaving the football in its wake, this forum, thanks to Mel The Producer, has the ability to weave stories around more car crashes and tram crashes than Emmerdale and Corrie combined. All human life is here (apart from murder, though it's early days).What a soap opera! Proud to be a Ram!
  6. Leadership, management and coaching

    No one's replied to my topic, but lots of subsequent comments on other threads bolster my analysis and conclusions above. And having defined the problems, I now have a solution which answers all of the problems. Here goes. What if for five years, Mel was to lend DCFC to Ben Robinson and Ben Robinson was to lend Burton to Mel?! In other words, they swopped clubs as Chairmen.Think what this would achieve to solve the problems I have listed. 1. Leadership.Mr Robinson is a proven and respected Chairman of a football club. He has achieved progress which is almost unbelievable. His track record has none of the failings of novice Mel's. QED. 2. Management. Mr Robinson has selected Messrs Clough, Rowett and Hasselbaink. All three agreed to work for him because of his track record of providing the environment in which they could prosper. All three retained their respect and admiration of him when they left to join bigger clubs because of what they achieved at Burton under his leadership.QED. 3. Coaching. All three improved the teams they led, because the leadership and management facilitated the coaching. QED. Of course, this swop would never happen! Why not? Because Mel wouldn't want his ego punctured by his successor being a competent Chairman; and Mr Robinson wouldn't want his 'baby' ruined by Mel's faulty leadership. Which powerfully makes my case, does it not? Of course, Mr Robinson may well take all five years to get us to the Premiership. Oh dear, how awful. Er, how many years exactly is it since we were in the Premier League despite a succession of Chairmen? So this is the test for Mel. He's a fan, above all, so he wants his club to be promoted. And if he is as good a businessman as we like to think, he knows the key is to appoint people who are better than himself. I feel a song coming on: "And here's to you, Mr. Robinson / Rams' fans love you more than you will know / Wo wo wo / God bless you, please, Mr. Robinson / The Premier League holds a place for those ..." etc etc.
  7. This is an attempt to answer the increasingly asked question:"what on earth keeps going wrong at Derby County"? I guess none of us have played for Derby County, but many of us have worked in, and been employed, by sizeable commercial organisations of which DCFC is one such. So let's try empathising with the players to understand what keeps going wrong at DCFC. 1. Leadership. The Chairman and Chief Executive of an organisation have to be seen constantly by all the stakeholders, united as a pair, and singing off the same hymn sheet. Although they have different roles, they have to paint the same aspirational but tangible vision of where the organisation is going (objective) and how it intends to get there (strategy). And they have to command respect for the wisdom and consistency of the high level decisions they make to deal with the inevitable obstacles and problems that crop up along the way Here we have our first set of failings. How many of the above requirements have been met by Mel and Sam? I suggest none of them. I only need to select "the Derby Way" which was incomprehensible at the time; Mel bursting into the dressing room; Mel and Sam appointing Clement as a coup and then sacking him when - good heavens - we lost some games; Mel firing Steve and then re-appointing him; Mel being too visible and then invisible; Sam's role being shrunk such that he no longer wrote to season-ticket holders. The excellence of the facilities can never compensate when the leaders lose respect - and I suspect the players have little confidence in the leadership. Worse still, the leadership has raised expectations - and then demonstrated uttter incapability to achieve them. 2. Management. Despite the failings of the leaders, a good manager can sometimes succeed: "never mind those .......s up there lads, this is how we will win the league". Clough Senior v. Longson comes to mind as short-term proof of this possibility. So how would we employees judge the management? In a football context, the ability to select tactics and formations which are tailored to beating the competition; a track record of picking new employees who we admire and respect and want to have alongside us in the trenches; a fitness and health regime which minimises absence for sick leave; an ability to cope when - good heavens - injuries do occur; the nous to put round pegs in round holes; and a persona which clobbers us when we deserve it, consoles us when we need help, and fights our battles with the media and the outside world. Here we have our second set of failings. How many of these requirements have Mel and Sam's Managers met? I suggest none of them. I only need to select Pearson and now Steve using formations which for many reasons lose games; Steve recruiting Mascarell and then 'fairy' De Sart for the same role and the same results; Steve joking with Hughton when Hughton's lot are humiliating us - humiliating in itself; Steve playing people out of position and in different postions; players passing sideways or to players who are standing still (whereas Brighton passed to players who were on the run who then passed to another player who was running through us). To list but a few failings. 3. Coaching. I suggest this differs from management (structure and staffing) by its focus on motivation, enjoyment, job satisfaction, self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, hard work; time-keeping, attitude, and the technical skills and experience employees need for them to be the best and at their best. If leadership and management are failing, the scope for good coaching to succeed is limited. So although Steve is allegedly a good coach, his own obvious failings as a manager coupled with the absence of a Jim Smith or Ferguson which allowed his coaching to blossom, negate his coaching expertise. So in a nutshell, I suggest that if we were employed under DCFC's current leadership and management in our own organisations, we too would perform poorly and slide downhill week by week to the low of last night. We'd be wondering when we get acquired or the Receiver walks in. Sorry to be so gloomy but business schools do say that correctly analysing the problem is half the solution. I have no idea who is going to provide the other half!
  8. It's time for Mel to act

    Uncle Mel has been superb recently! Yes, really! He has mended a broken bridge, let Schteve back in, and not stormed into the dressing room again when he and many of us must have felt like doing so. Nor has he made one of those infamous Chairman comments about 'supporting the manager' even though his current manager's recent record is as bad as that of Mr Pearson's. So to give our Chairman his due, has has learnt well from his relatively short experience of owning a football club. As he reviews this experience, might he be forming some conclusions about how to achieve his passionate aim to return our club to the Premier League? The conclusions could be these! When Schteve first came and got us to Wembley, Schteve said he was amazed how well the players had performed to get that far. This suggests what we all know, which is that for many reasons, that squad and the current one is not up to Premier League standard. So the recruitment policy has been inadequate irrespective of the Manager or the Recruiter or the money spent. After Schteve's successful runs, opposing team's have worked us out and we have had no reply. (I recall Wigan unexpectedly beating us at home when Johnny Russell hauled Uwe Rosler back to his feet, as being the only happy part of that match.) So the tactics and formation flexibility have simply been inadequate. Schteve is one of the best coaches around. Too many people have said so for this to be wrong, and we have seen some wonderful football played by DCFC as a result. But those results have simply been inadequate. Coaching is an important element, but its impact is surely determined by the quality of the players (note Mr Clement's transfers and results at Swansea) and the appropriateness of the tactics and formation being coached week by week to beat the changing nature of the opposition. So Schteve's greatest success has been when guided by a superb leader - Jim Smith here and Sir Alex at MU. (Note that MU did not replace Sir Alex with Schteve.) These four lessons have appeared and repeated themselves so often under Mel's ownership, that the task facing him is how to learn from them. I hope he does not get dragged into the wood and fooled by the trees of poor referees' decisions, bad luck, injuries, a curse on DCFC or any of the other distractions which fool we mere fans. So how is he to stand back from the trees? I suggest that one appointment would learn all the four lessons; and that given the relationship between Mel, Sam and Schteve it is achievable. Namely that Schteve works under a wise old head who can see the four lessons and ensure we do not keep repeating the mistakes. We can all have fun suggesting who this reincarnation of Jim Smith might be. But surely Clough Senior's success with Peter Taylor proves the power of the right partnership. Schteve is great, Mel is great, Sam is great, the facilities are great, and the attendance home and away is great. So is this forum, thanks David. All are of Premier League standard. There is just one missing ingredient - a wise leader for Schteve who can spot the players, the tactics, the formation and the weekly flexibility needed so that Schteve's coaching gets us to the Premier League. Who might it be? And will Mel appoint him?
  9. Aston Villa v Derby County

    He is developing four new games called Coachy Crush, Teamy Crush, Sammy Crush and Clubby Crush. He just can't decide which one's first.

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