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Red Ram

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    West Upper - Block Q
  1. Hillsborough - Six Charged

    Perhaps a reprise of "The Truth" would be appropriate, since it actually would be this time.
  2. Official: Tom Ince joins Huddersfield Town

    Who said anything about hating Ince? Never met the bloke. It's based on watching him every home match for the last two seasons. So based on direct observations - the absolute opposite of 'pre-conceived ideas'. My pre-conceived idea when he signed was that he would be a top player at this level, based on what he'd done at Blackpool, and I was delighted when we signed him permanently. It's the evidence of watching him play that has led to the conclusion that I'd be happy to see him go.
  3. Official: Tom Ince joins Huddersfield Town

    I'm probably in a pretty small minority here but personally I'd be more than happy to see Ince go. He's undoubtedly got a lot of talent but he's just not the kind of 'team player' Rowett's system requires. For example, if he PERSONALLY loses the ball he tracks back like mad, determined to try and win it back but if someone else gives away the ball he often doesn't bother. In other words it's all about him! His decision making with the ball is similarly self-centred. He freqeuuently shoots from absurd positions when he has little or no chance of scoring with team-mates in far better positions. To compound this, he also sometimes decides to try and pass for no apparent reason when he actually IS in a good shooting position. Weimman, Russell and Anya are all hard-working team players who will fit with Rowett's team ethic much more than Ince ever will. Hopefully we can use the money we get for him to strengthen further in the wide positions. Sell sell sell...
  4. Finsbury Park Mosque Incident

    Maybe the underlying problem is not religion itself but hard-right ultra-conservatism? I doubt the perpetrator of this latest atrocity is any more religious than Thomas Mair was. ISIS are effectively ultra-conservative hard-right Muslims. They're no more representative of the vast majority of Muslims than the DLF were/are representative of the vast majority of Derby fans. Perhaps religious belief makes it more likely that an individual will hold hard-right, ultra-conservative views but it's a tiny minority that do and they're certainly not one and the same thing. See for example the attached I came across recently... https://public.tableau.com/profile/neil.richards#!/vizhome/MuslimPopulation/Dashboard1 What's needed is for liberal, tolerant, pluralistic people in ALL communities to work together across community boundaries to defeat this. The alternative is a continuing spiral of senseless killings...
  5. Nigel Clough Sacking

    Good points Ronnie. What most fans don't seem to get about Clough, or any other manager for that matter, is the CONTEXT in which they're operating - they just look at results and league position. I went to a meeting at Pride Park with Ton Glick when Clough was manager. I was expecting to be underwhelmed but Glick was actually pretty impressive and surprisingly open and honest. It was made pretty clear by Glick that Clough was working under such severe financial constraints that he'd more or less "got one hand tied behind his back". This was simply because (in Glick's words), there wasn't a viable business model for football clubs in the Championship. People forget but this was at the time when we desperately needed a new striker but couldn't afford to buy a decent one e.g. we were unable to compete with Huddersfield for James Vaughan and were continuously linked with, but never signed, Bill Sharpe. Glick said we'd need another 10,000 on the gate to finance a new striker of that calibre. Clough somehow managed to halve the wage bill whilst improving our league position year-on-year and subsequently even managed to solve the striker problem by pulling off the masterstroke of signing Chris Martin on a free. We'll never know now whether Clough would have eventually succeeded in getting us promoted but given the financial constraints he was working under, IMHO he should have at least given him until the end of the season in which he was sacked, given that he'd finally managed to somehow piece together a squad capable of challenging for the play-offs (as McClaren proved that same season). He'd earned that. As for Rush, I also went to a similar Q&A event with him before Clough was sacked. He seemed to know very little about football (not even in relation to it's business model aspects) and seemed completely incapable of giving a straight answer to a simple question. Not long after that he sacked Clough, and stated that one of the reasons for this decision was the need to improve player recruitment. Given the financial constraints Clough was operating under and the fact that he'd nevertheless managed to acquire Chris Martin, Craig Bryson, Richard Keogh, Craig Forsyth, Jamie Ward, Johhny Russell, Jake Buxton and John Brayford I felt Rush's comments where incredibly unfair and have been looking forward to the day he left the club ever since. Good riddance Sam.
  6. An Evening with Gary Rowett

    I was at this too, so since you asked, here are the main points he covered. I didn’t take notes so this is all from memory and I'm paraphrasing so ti may not be 100% accurate, and I've probably missed some stuff out too. As Needles says, nothing particularly controversial but here goes : - Once he became aware of Derby's interest he jumped at the chance and this ended any possibility of him going to Norwich. He didn't mention the Forest job. In response to a question about relationships with owners and 'managing upwards' (OK I'll admit to asking that one), he came up with a nice one-liner along the lines of "I better be careful with that loaded gun you've just handed me". Went on to say that actively maintaining a good relationship with owners/chairman is an inevitable part of the modern game at any club. Any owner investing large amounts of money is understandably going to want to keep an eye on what's going on. Even Ben Robinson, who was a very supportive chairman, would question him if he didn't agree with his decisions. Joked that at Birmingham he was "sacked for winning too many matches" but with the benefit of hindsight they'd probably done him a favour. Added that all managers need time and ultimately any manager needs to be trusted to get on with the job once the parameters are set. However, he's always happy to discuss his approach with anyone and that includes owners/chairman because he's got nothing to hide and anyway he thinks it's healthier to have an ongoing dialogue (compared with the initial period he spent at Birmingham when there was effectively no-one running the club). His approach to formations and tactics is best characterised as entirely pragmatic. He has a slight 'default' preference for 4-2-3-1 but is only really interested in what works and what wins matches. He likes to adjust formations and tactics dynamically within matches to respond to what's happening on the pitch (which we saw put in to practice to good effect during the Fulham game - my words not his). The ideal first team squad size is around 20 on the assumption that two players are likely to be injured at any given time which means that all available first players will be in the 18. Two or three players from the under 23s can then be used flexibly to make up any temporary shortfalls "as long as they're good enough". However he acknowledged that in practice it would be difficult to reduce squad size with players on long contracts etc so there wouldn't be a massive clear out in the summer and that's definitely not the message he wants to give to the players - it will be more of a process of 'natural attrition' over a period of time. However he did add that some players may well choose to move on and also mentioned that we might conceivably get big money bids for some of our players. He gave the example of the Hendrick to Burnley deal as being excellent business for Derby. On managing players, his approach is openness and honesty. His door is always open and he attaches a lot of importance to telling players personally if they're not going to be in the side. On player recruitment, Chris Evans will not be replaced for the foreseeable future because he sees identifying and evaluating signings as a key part of his own role and wants to do a lot of this himself. There's no one specific profile for the type of players we’re looking for. Could be from Premier League, Championship or Lower Leagues. Could be UK or overseas (which he did successfully at Birmingham with Maikel Kieftenbeld). He's more interested in the attributes of the player and whether he fits in with the squad. CHARACTER is just as important as ability with respect to player recruitment. He's looked at why Derby have fallen short in recent years and will be looking to recruit players that can help address those specific issues. He's already produced a list of players he'd like the club to pursue over the summer. He doesn't envisage being mainly restricted to players registered with one specific agency (this was in response to a specific question about Wasserman which didn't mean much to me). On the academy, he wants and expects to see academy players breaking through to the first team, otherwise there's not really much point in having an academy (unless it's to sell players before they break into the first team). He recalled Igor's debut away at Tranmere when we lost 5-1 and they "found out that Igor didn't like to mark"! Jim Smith switched to 5 at the back immediately afterward and the rest is history. In the aftermath of the victory against Palace when they got promoted to the Premiere League he jumped on Marco Gabbiadini's back (not wearing his kit) and the News Of The World printed a photo with the headline "Gabbiadini celebrates with fan", much to the amusement of the rest of the squad! He talked of Jim Smith's exemplary man management skills where players would go into his office angry because they knew they weren't going to be in the team for the next match and would somehow come out with a smile on their faces without quite knowing how Smith had managed to do it. In terms of data analysis and stats, he makes use of them to some extent and has brought his Head of Analysis with him from Birmingham. They use data to assist in the recruitment of players but the most important data for them is what he called the 'physical' data which I assume relates to fitness and performance measures for individual players. They have 8 KPIs which they track throughout the week to measure 'marginal gain'. He's less interested in data from matches (OPTA etc) as he's not really convinced there's much correlation between the various metrics and winning matches. He pointed out, for example, that Leicester City won the Premier League whilst consistently having lower share of possession than virtually all the other teams in the league. Overall he seemed very focused on fitness in general and work-rate in particular and has told the players we need to be the hardest working team in the division Managing supporters expectations is not an issue for him. Expectations are the inevitable consequence of success so really it's his job to create expectations rather than manage them. He certainly succeeded in raising mine! I've been to similar events with Clough, McLaren and Clement and I would say Rowett came across much better than any of the above. Clement was perhaps more analytical but Rowett came across as more of a 'people person' and we came away with the distinct impression that he'd be very good at man management and handling the players. Overall I'd say Rowett's approach is more similar to Nigel Clough's than any other manager since (good news from my point of view), particularly in relation to the emphasis on 'character' during the player recruitment process, which I think we've perhaps lost sight of when spending Mel Morris's money. So as Needles says, the overall impression was that we're in very good hands. My only personal concern was about Will Hughes. I'd hate to see him leave ('one of our own' etc) but since Rowett mentioned the possibility of big money bids for some of our players and given that Hughes isn’t in the team at the moment I can't help but wonder whether Hughes was who he might have had in mind. That said we do have a few other high value assets such as Ince and Martin but it's hard to think of too many others apart from perhaps Vydra who only joined this season and appears to fit with the way Rowett likes to play. Overall though we came away with a very positive impression and a increased sense of optimism about next season and beyond. Looks like Mel Morris might have got this one right - let's hope he's Mel's first long term appointment.
  7. Football League Paper on Derby, Mel and Rowett

    Looking forward to Narnia though - it's on my bucket list actually
  8. Pat Murphy on Mel Morris

    I suppose that depends on whether you think it matters if Pat Murphy's claims are true. I think it does because I can't think of a single example of a successful football club where the chairmen gets involved with the players or the football side. For this reason, Murphy's comments were of interest to me, so I thought they might be of interest to other fans. Your view appears to be that because Morris is our chairman and has put a lot of his own money in (which no-one to disputes and almost all Derby fans are grateful for), he can do no wrong. Would you still think that if he appointed himself manager? I'm not suggesting that's likely - just illustrating that there are some limits to uncritical support. My concern is simply that if Morris is too involved with the football side, this of itself will prevent us having the success that he's spent the money trying to achieve. it's not intended as negative - just an honest and realistic evaluation of the situation as I see it. I very much hope that the denials coming out of the club (via David) are accurate and still believe Mel Morris can make a success of his tenure as chairman as long as he lets his managers manage and gives them enough time to deliver success rather than (seemingly) pulling the trigger every time we go on a bad run.
  9. Pat Murphy on Mel Morris

    Personally I'd be delighted if it's not true. We all want the same thing and I WANT to believe we can succeed with Morris as Chairman. If none of Pat Murhpy's claims are true, that prospect seems much more likely because it suggests Rowett will be allowed to manage. Pat Murphy didn't say anything about how regularly Morris exchanged texts with players though and it wouldn't have to be regular to undermine the manager's position. The fact there isn't a flat-out denial suggests that that part at least is probably true. If there's no truth whatsoever in Pat Murphy's claim about managers/coaching staff spending evenings watching re-runs of recent matches at Morris's house the club really ought to challenge Murphy to either substantiate or withdraw it because it doesn't put the club in general or Mel Morris in particular in a good light. Just for the record, personally I'm not looking for "further factual proof of an intefering chairman" I'm looking for the opposite. I've no agenda against Morris as such and we're all appreciative of the money he's put into the club. We all want success and we know that's what Morris wants too. My only concern is that Morris's 'hands-on' style might itself be one of the major barriers to achieving that success.
  10. Pat Murphy on Mel Morris

    If it was my money I'd want success and I don't doubt that's all Mel wants. The best way to achieve that though, is to leave it to the experts and not get involved in the football side of things. In other words, follow the example of Lionel Pickering or Ben Robinson at Burton.
  11. Pat Murphy on Mel Morris

    Not sure if this has already been mentioned in other threads but have a listen to Pat Murphy on 5 Live Football Daily at 13 minutes and 9 seconds. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ws8b5 He's talking in advance of Rowett's appointment and claims that "Mel Morris's reputation is that of a meddler, prone to texting some influential players and fond of raking over the entrails of the last game on DVD last at night with the manager or coaching staff at his home" Seriously hope this isn't true but Pat Murphy isn't usually far wrong. If (and I emphasise IF) it's true we've got big problems...

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