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v Huddersfield Town (A) Match Thread


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1 hour ago, Shaftesbury Street said:

A good results against (I think) a mid table side. Didn't feel like we was at our best but two moments of magic was the difference. 

For me there was some obvious improvements to be made, which coincidentally are in the positions that we have/are looking to strengthen - DM and RW. Hoping Beilik starts on Saturday and we can get a winger in before then, if not I think Bennett should start over Zoon. 

Good away performance. 

Bielik is a week and a half away from readiness according to Cocu so won’t start on Saturday unfortunately; can’t wait to see him though. Will be akin to an Igor Stimac like player in front of our defence. 

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I haven't had time to read much of the thread, but am I the only one who thought we defended poorly as a unit?

Huddersfield could have comfortably had 4 if they had had a half decent striker.

And I'm not in the least bit down on this, it's the opening game of what will undoubtedly be a glorious season and a march back to the Premier League - it's more of an observation that I think some people (including Radio Derby for the bits I heard after the game) thought that this performance was better than it was.

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1 minute ago, Bob The Badger said:

I haven't had time to read much of the thread, but am I the only one who thought we defended poorly as a unit?

I disagree. Something that already looks much improved from last season. Players got back in numbers and put their bodies in front of the ball. Huddersfield never really looked dangerous, yes they counter attacked with pace but mainly just got down the right flank and put a ball in to the box. Every ball they put in was comfortably headed away by us, something that troubled us a great deal last season. 

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1 hour ago, SKRam said:

Mention for ref and officials. No cards, plenty of other refs would have handed out a few but respect to him for how he handled game. Didn’t recognise him, has he worked his way through leagues? Excellent game 👍

Thought he was fairly average to be honest - missed a few fouls, then gave free kicks for what didn't seem like fouls. Refreshing to see no cards in a game which wasn't particularly aggressive.

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25 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

I disagree. Something that already looks much improved from last season. Players got back in numbers and put their bodies in front of the ball. Huddersfield never really looked dangerous, yes they counter attacked with pace but mainly just got down the right flank and put a ball in to the box. Every ball they put in was comfortably headed away by us, something that troubled us a great deal last season. 

You're right in so much as a lot of the balls put in were headed away - I thought Clarke was excellent and so was Keogh in the second half (he gave away possession and got beaten for pace too much in the first half - and I LOVE Keogh).

And similarly, you're right that that was a problem last season.

But that wasn't the danger and that wasn't what I was referring to.

The times they got behind our full backs were numerous, especially on Malones side were countless.

The first touch of both their strikers was Conference standard.

We also looked shaky when they bothered to run at us.

If they'd had a fit Jack Marriott in their side, they'd have, if not won, because who knows how we'd have responded, but certainly scored more goals.

 

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1 hour ago, SuperDerbySuperRams said:

That first half had the intensity and slickness that is usually lacking in early games. Thought Dowell and Lawrence were fantastic. 

I was nervous for last night and thought we might struggle but that was a statement. One or two new players, and a promotion charge could be on the cards! 

I was disappointed with Dowell to be honest, but I'll put it down to him not being at match peak fitness level yet; were a few in that category I thought, but overall not too bad for the first game of the season.

We still look suspect on the left-side of defence, despite Lawrence's hard work. I like Malone as an attacking midfielder, but he's got little defensive nous.

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Je suis well-satisfied with that. I had no idea what to expect especially with Chelsea and Frank pulling our pants down for the pre-season preparation. I was expecting a tougher test from Huddersfield, but in reality their team consists of a lot of big, physical players, some of whom a very quick. But very few actual footballers.

We very quickly got the upper hand and outplayed them, and once the two goals went in, we could have gone on to get 4 or more, such was the difference between the two sides. We weren't doing the "fast-flowing, high-pressing" zinging the ball around that was Frank's stated intention last season, but we were very assured, with everyone seeming to know what they were supposed to do. The penalty changed all that and brought Huddersfield back into the game, and slowed down our flow.

A number of comments suggest that we went off the boil, or weren't as good in the second half. In reality Huddersfield got a right bollocking at half-time and came out "giving it the beans" as my son said. It was a case of soak up the early second-half rush, take the sting out of the opposition and then carry on as before. They did manage to create a couple of chances in the second half, but in the main we kept them to long distance shots and balls lobbed into the area. And this year it looks like we have got a defence - we were actually cutting out crosses,e and defending those that did get into the area, with virtually no panicks, apart from Roos giving a corner away, and that misplace pass by Keogh. Nowt to worry about, and a great improvement on previous years/decades. We have seen how our defence plays better when they have confidence in the keeper, so the whole team will benefit from kn owing that the defence isn't going to go AWOL at any moment in time.

Our performance was not only assured, it was very mature, which is quite remarkable given the minimal amount of time that management and players have had together. 

I am not quite as fulsome in my praise for the ref as Mafiamob is (am I ever? !!!!!). He did do  a good job, and was pretty unobtrusive, but missed a clear penalty on Tom Lawrence, as well as a handball very early on in the match. He ought to have clamped down on the persistent fouling, especially of Tom Lawrence, and did seem to penalise Derby players for non-offences late on in the game. But overall he was well ok! I noticed that there was very little protesting, if any, from Derby players about the decisions of the match officials, unlike the Huddersfield players who displayed very clear signs of dissent. This is a big improvement on previous seasons.

Oh, and the Rooney rumours - are they a massive distraction to take everyone's attention while we still go and sign Harry Wilson?

 

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5 minutes ago, DavesaRam said:

Je suis well-satisfied with that. I had no idea what to expect especially with Chelsea and Frank pulling our pants down for the pre-season preparation. I was expecting a tougher test from Huddersfield, but in reality their team consists of a lot of big, physical players, some of whom a very quick. But very few actual footballers.

We very quickly got the upper hand and outplayed them, and once the two goals went in, we could have gone on to get 4 or more, such was the difference between the two sides. We weren't doing the "fast-flowing, high-pressing" zinging the ball around that was Frank's stated intention last season, but we were very assured, with everyone seeming to know what they were supposed to do. The penalty changed all that and brought Huddersfield back into the game, and slowed down our flow.

A number of comments suggest that we went off the boil, or weren't as good in the second half. In reality Huddersfield got a right bollocking at half-time and came out "giving it the beans" as my son said. It was a case of soak up the early second-half rush, take the sting out of the opposition and then carry on as before. They did manage to create a couple of chances in the second half, but in the main we kept them to long distance shots and balls lobbed into the area. And this year it looks like we have got a defence - we were actually cutting out crosses,e and defending those that did get into the area, with virtually no panicks, apart from Roos giving a corner away, and that misplace pass by Keogh. Nowt to worry about, and a great improvement on previous years/decades. We have seen how our defence plays better when they have confidence in the keeper, so the whole team will benefit from kn owing that the defence isn't going to go AWOL at any moment in time.

Our performance was not only assured, it was very mature, which is quite remarkable given the minimal amount of time that management and players have had together. 

I am not quite as fulsome in my praise for the ref as Mafiamob is (am I ever? !!!!!). He did do  a good job, and was pretty unobtrusive, but missed a clear penalty on Tom Lawrence, as well as a handball very early on in the match. He ought to have clamped down on the persistent fouling, especially of Tom Lawrence, and did seem to penalise Derby players for non-offences late on in the game. But overall he was well ok! I noticed that there was very little protesting, if any, from Derby players about the decisions of the match officials, unlike the Huddersfield players who displayed very clear signs of dissent. This is a big improvement on previous seasons.

Oh, and the Rooney rumours - are they a massive distraction to take everyone's attention while we still go and sign Harry Wilson?

 

That would be a "NO" then. Just typed my ITK guesswork and was hit by a barrage of Rooney announcements just as I clicked on "SUBMIT". Woops!

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4 hours ago, Bob The Badger said:

I haven't had time to read much of the thread, but am I the only one who thought we defended poorly as a unit?

Huddersfield could have comfortably had 4 if they had had a half decent striker.

And I'm not in the least bit down on this, it's the opening game of what will undoubtedly be a glorious season and a march back to the Premier League - it's more of an observation that I think some people (including Radio Derby for the bits I heard after the game) thought that this performance was better than it was.

Thought the defence looked fine, especially Keogh and  Clarke, and Huddersfield never looked like scoring 4 goals, funny how different people see different things in game, thought Derby deffo deserved there 2-1 victory.

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1 minute ago, Derby blood said:

Thought the defence looked fine, especially Keogh and  Clarke, and Huddersfield never looked like scoring 4 goals, funny how different people see different things in game, thought Derby deffo deserved there 2-1 victory.

It is, you're right.

So you didn't notice that we barely got out of our half in the second period and that we didn't have a corner all game?

And you didn't notice their strikers (I actually think the most egregious error was the guy who came on in the second half) 3 times take a terrible first touch when in a great position in our box with our defense in big trouble?

And did you not see Keogh rush out and mistime a challenge badly in the first half, or get beaten for pace only for their guy again to take one touch too many?

And you didn't notice their fullback with an unpronounceable name get round the back of Malone 4 or 5 times and have more space than he knew what to do with?

They all actually happened, all that is missing is - what does that mean?

Did we allow them that amount of space because we knew we had the support behind to manage it - especially bearing in mind their dreadful forwards?

Or, were we getting pulled out of position and then scrambling to make up?

Villa and Leeds of last season would have destroyed us with that amount of space.

Look at Lawrences goals, both were world-class first touches and lightening thinking. They lacked anything remotely close to that, they were utterly abject up front.

It was a really hard fought and excellent win - the kind you need in this division if you're going to darh yourself above the competition.

And if you have read much of anything I post, I'm not a downer or wrist-slasher in the least. And Keogh is a legend in my mind, I rarely get why people criticize him. 

I'm just trying to look at it with a neutral eye and on areas we could improve - and I think we will, so I'm not at all worried.

As for whether we deffo deserved the win.

Maybe because they sucked so badly in front of goal and we should have had a penalty.

But equally, I think if we'd have the amount of play at home in the opposition half we'd be saying we were unlucky.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bob The Badger said:

It is, you're right.

So you didn't notice that we barely got out of our half in the second period and that we didn't have a corner all game?

And you didn't notice their strikers (I actually think the most egregious error was the guy who came on in the second half) 3 times take a terrible first touch when in a great position in our box with our defense in big trouble?

And did you not see Keogh rush out and mistime a challenge badly in the first half, or get beaten for pace only for their guy again to take one touch too many?

And you didn't notice their fullback with an unpronounceable name get round the back of Malone 4 or 5 times and have more space than he knew what to do with?

They all actually happened, all that is missing is - what does that mean?

Did we allow them that amount of space because we knew we had the support behind to manage it - especially bearing in mind their dreadful forwards?

Or, were we getting pulled out of position and then scrambling to make up?

Villa and Leeds of last season would have destroyed us with that amount of space.

Look at Lawrences goals, both were world-class first touches and lightening thinking. They lacked anything remotely close to that, they were utterly abject up front.

It was a really hard fought and excellent win - the kind you need in this division if you're going to darh yourself above the competition.

And if you have read much of anything I post, I'm not a downer or wrist-slasher in the least. And Keogh is a legend in my mind, I rarely get why people criticize him. 

I'm just trying to look at it with a neutral eye and on areas we could improve - and I think we will, so I'm not at all worried.

As for whether we deffo deserved the win.

Maybe because they sucked so badly in front of goal and we should have had a penalty.

But equally, I think if we'd have the amount of play at home in the opposition half we'd be saying we were unlucky.

 

 

 

 We deserved to win in my opinion, sky sports opinion and Cocu opinion, but  yes I agree we will get better , and when we have Bielik in the team, we will be better for it ,  it could be a very interesting season, and yes I agree with you, Keogh will be a mountain for us again this season, think we will hit top form around October, then in Jan we will kick on another notch when a certain Mr Rooney joins us, like Mel has said very exciting times ahead.

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2 hours ago, Bob The Badger said:

It is, you're right.

So you didn't notice that we barely got out of our half in the second period and that we didn't have a corner all game?

And you didn't notice their strikers (I actually think the most egregious error was the guy who came on in the second half) 3 times take a terrible first touch when in a great position in our box with our defense in big trouble?

And did you not see Keogh rush out and mistime a challenge badly in the first half, or get beaten for pace only for their guy again to take one touch too many?

And you didn't notice their fullback with an unpronounceable name get round the back of Malone 4 or 5 times and have more space than he knew what to do with?

They all actually happened, all that is missing is - what does that mean?

Did we allow them that amount of space because we knew we had the support behind to manage it - especially bearing in mind their dreadful forwards?

Or, were we getting pulled out of position and then scrambling to make up?

Villa and Leeds of last season would have destroyed us with that amount of 

Look at Lawrences goals, both were world-class first touches and lightening thinking. They lacked anything remotely close to that, they were utterly abject up front.

It was a really hard fought and excellent win - the kind you need in this division if you're going to darh yourself above the competition.

And if you have read much of anything I post, I'm not a downer or wrist-slasher in the least. And Keogh is a legend in my mind, I rarely get why people criticize him. 

I'm just trying to look at it with a neutral eye and on areas we could improve - and I think we will, so I'm not at all worried.

As for whether we deffo deserved the win.

Maybe because they sucked so badly in front of goal and we should have had a penalty.

But equally, I think if we'd have the amount of play at home in the opposition half we'd be saying we were unlucky.

 

 

 

Think you are being a little harsh and maybe in a danger of over analysing ( see bold above)

One area where we can improve on last season is in grinding out results against unglamorous teams away from home ( reference bolton, rotherham, millwall, blackburn ). At championship level especially its a huge attribute to be able to do that - the last promotion season was based on exactly that. Its the championship - no team is going to dominate playing pretty football , its unrealistic. Its not about possession stats, its about creating goal scoring opportunities.  And then taking them. Your point assumes that Huddersfields problem was the latter. It wasn't, it was the former. And that was down to us. 

Roos barely had a save to make , unlike say at Rangers. I can remember one really worrying opportunity for Huddersfield in the second half. Other than that what clear cut chances did their strikers have, despite all their possession ? Its not like they missed a hatful of sitters and roos just about kept us in the game. So shouldn't the credit for that go to the defending team ? The euphoria of rams fans at the end of the game was maybe  based on a hugely impressive first half and a demonstration of proof that, yes, they can grind it out in the second. Which together gave possibly more optimism for the rest of the season than was there at the opening whistle.

Have to agree with you on the left back position. Once upon a time full backs in rubbishy sunday pub teams would get absolutely vilified by their team mates for allowing just one cross to get past them into the box. The fans have been bemoaning the apparent passing of this principle at Derby in recent times. So it was good to see Bogle put in several good blocks in the second half. It didnt happen on the other side though, in fact it wasn't even attempted.  Malone takes up a no mans land position on the edge of the penalty box and delegates responsibility to his team mates. But at least it was glaringly obvious to Cocu and so its up to him to decide how to deal with it. In the meantime, no doubt the opposition will continue to target that vulnerability. 

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If you think about the chances Huddersfield almost had then I think you have to think about some of the situations we almost had

Lawrence chose to go alone on at least 2 occasions where there were players waiting in better positions. Clarke got in a good position to pick out a pass and I think it went between two players? I think Jozefzoon got a in a position where he had players to pick out and he fluffed that. 

A few times in the first half I was thinking "give it him!! Give it him!!!" And it didn't happen.

I don't think Derby were miles better than Huddersfield. But I do think they were better. Huddersfield away on opening day sounded fairly tough anyway. 

You know how teams buzz for that opening day home match. 

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Watching the game back and just want to say, in defense of Jozefzoon's performance; when Huddersfield got the ball with Bogle caught up the field, he was sprinting back just like Lawrence.

I hadn't noticed during the game, and it is generally less noticeable as Bogle is out of position far less than Malone (it only happened a couple of times in the first half); but good to see nonetheless.

Wasn't forced into any tackles, but the effort was still there.

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So, my post-match thoughts:

Huddersfield away was always going to be tough, if not a little unknown: They still have some very talented players in their squad: Mooy, Pritchard, Bacuna. They have made a couple of shrewd additions: Elphick. They have a good fanbase. They were also going to be desperate to get that first win to right the wrongs of last season - having not done that, they could hit the sliders.

It was always going to be tough for us: Fairly poor and disjointed pre-season. A new manager and new style only a month old. Our three best players season gone and new additions either not brought in yet, not up to speed or not had much time to settle in. Also a couple of key players out injured.

Picking up 3 points was massive. The performance was massive, too. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised.

First half - outstanding. Played some great football and remained solid at the back. Lawrence looked a threat, Waghorn caused problems, Bogle's width was a massive factor, Dowell had a few nice touches.

Second half - outstanding in a different way (and in a way that we will need in this division). Huddersfield were always going to come at us, how we coped was the important thing. And I never truly felt that we were uncomfortable - they never looked all that much like scoring, apart from a couple of silly individual errors on our part. We kept our shape and our organisation in an exemplary way and seemed happy to soak up the pressure knowing that we'd be alright.

Looked so much better defending crosses.

Looked really strong on the counter attack.

Played some nice, intricate pieces of football.

Malone and Bogle looked to understand the defensive aspect of their game more.

Really pleasing all round - I felt it was the best all round performance I've seen in a while in terms of being able to do both things well.

Our organisation will only get stronger as the players get to grips with Cocu's tactics. Plus, Bielik will add solidity in midfield.

Clarke was brilliant. Dominant, calm, positionally outstanding, allowed us to defend crosses and set pieces far better and excellent playing out. Could be a good partnership between him and Keogh. For all the talk that we needed Tomori's pace (I thought the same) - it is evident that Cocu is looking for us to defend a little deeper so it may not be as much of an issue.

Our ability to dominate games and control things will only get better as things click more (and that's the area where I think we'll see more improvement as the games go on). The midfield, forward line will link up better with time and we will start to see some more expansive stuff.

Bielik will give us a better base to start attacks. I think his introduction will allow us to only play the 1 CDM who can be defensively solid and a little more expansive.

Holmes is still to come back and I feel that he is exactly the player we are missing - a box to box livewire in the middle. His comeback could be massive.

Lawrence will thrive in this system, I feel. Cocu got the best out of Depay (another streaky player) in allowing him a free role to play as a 10/11. That suits Lawrence down to the ground.

All very encouraging and gives me excitement for what's ahead. We now need to turn the potential into a little run - put together 3/4 wins early on and we could be up there. But 3 points this early on is massive.

What we need:

Would like to see us invest in a commanding goalkeeper. Roos isn't bad but I still think we need someone who will dominate more.

Could do with another creative midfielder. Dowell had some nice touches and alongside Bielik and Holmes, could be a talent - but I'd like another creator in there, somebody not quite as lightweight. Ideally, a Mason Mount player, but not sure who. Cocu suggests that we're still after an 'attacking midfielder' so could be.

I didn't think Jozefzoon as as bad as others make out - I think he can be a threat down the right. But we are short of options. And if we had the opportunity to bring in an Ibe or someone similar, of course we should look to get someone in, I don't feel confident that Zoon is consistent enough.

Rooney

The only criticism I had watching the game was that I think we miss someone like Hernandez at Leeds - someone who can dictate play constantly. Even despite his age, he has the energy, experience, calmness, vision and excitement to dominate. I never really feel that we dominate teams enough, especially half decent teams. I think when Rooney comes, he could do that - playing in the middle I think he could be exactly what we need.

In conclusion - promising start, really well rounded and excellent performance and an important 3 points. I dreaded the feel good factor just seeping out had we lost. I feel a manager like Cocu, new to the league, needed a decent start or else things might snowballing. Still lots that I think we will improve on but lots to be encouraged by. And I think that things will get better as we move forwards - hopefully, anyway. I like it.

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