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86 Schmokes & a Pancake

Recrutiment Needed or Not?

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2 hours ago, Millenniumram said:

Think long term it’s fairly clear that cocu is looking at a 433 in the main with a couple of other options in our locker (like a 4321), when we consider the long term. He’s only playing 4231 at the moment due to what personnel we have fit imo. So I think we need to assess the squad relative to a 433 set up, which is exactly what I’ll do.

I think first of all I’ll make the point that I think we need a signing Before January. We really messed up on deadline day not getting another CM in, and that’s contributed to us having to switch formations. So I think we need to use the free agent market to sign that CM we missed out on. The midfield quality is desperately poor, and it’s too much of a problem to leave until January to sort imo. It’s nowhere near top end championship standard and needs sorting now before we drop away. I’m not sure who, but we need that quality CM if there’s one available. So in my theoretical world in this write up, I’m gonna assume the club listens to me and signs a CM before January.

Think the other thing we need to consider is it’s quite hard to do anything like this at this point. Some players are gonna leave in January, and it’ll be which players leave that’ll determine in the main what players we look to bring in. We can hazard a reasonable guess at who may leave, but at this point it’s only really just that- a guess. Too early to have any real knowledge of who may leave, which will naturally effect what transfers in we make. You also have the possibility of loan recalls/ Long term injuries effecting things as well. So we can have a go at working things out from where we stand at the moment, but things chnage quickly in football so this thread will probably date quick! Anyway imo.....

Defence 

First choice lineup for me is:

Roos

Bogle Keogh Clarke Lowe

I think that’s an excellent backline capable of taking us where we need to go. I’ve no concerns here particulary in terms of quality, other than perhaps Roos who’s sometimes error prone. I’d look to get someone more reliable if possible, particulary in terms of commanding the box. Other concern is whether Lowe can keep up his decent form and has truly improved from his loan spell, or whether this is just a purple patch and he’ll return to being dodgy at the back. I’ll assume in hope mode thna knowledge that it’s the former and he’s good to become first choice now. In terms of numbers we’ve got:

GK- Roos, Hamer, Mitchell, Ravas- One too many here, I’d look to give Ravas a loan at whatever level he’s currently at.

Rb- Bogle, Wisdom. No problems here, but there’s always the fear we may lose Bogle to the top flight. If that happens in January, naturally a new first choice is needed here.

CB- Keogh, Bielik, Clarke, Davies. No problems here.

LB- Lowe, Malone, Forsyth. One too many imo, and I’d look at selling Forsyth in January when fit. That is unless we lose Lowe which is still possible, in which case depending on his fitness he could return to the squad.

Buchanan I rate highly but there’s a lot of depth here, so I’d potentially look at loaning him out as he’s still very young. May be best for him to get his mistakes out the way on a loan and come back here more experienced rather than being thrown in the deep end, but he’s handling it well so far so I may have changed my mind on this in a couple of months.

Midfield

I’ll start here by saying I don’t think dowell fits well into a proper 433. He’s too much of a luxury player and doesn’t impact a game enough across 90 minutes to play anywhere other than a free role in a 4231. He’ll be too much of a passenger in a 433. This is similar to what I said when he joined having seen him play a fair amount, and nothing’s changed my view yet. Imo he was another classic poor bit of recruitment by our muppet scouts who don’t seem to ever find round pegs for round holes. That’s not to mention that he’s just a bit poo anyway. He may change my mind yet don’t get me wrong, but as it stands, based on what I’ve seen so far, harsh as it sounds, I’d terminate his loan and get someone better and more suited in. So I won’t include him in my write up here, but I will include the aforementioned CM I said I’d bring in now. This leaves us imo with this first choice:

Huddlestone

NEW Knight

Now this I’m a bit iffy with. Huddlestone I think will find form eventually in a properly suited team to a 433 (Cocu rates him highly it seems so I think he’ll be staying in the side), but the two in front I’m more concerned about. Knight looks good so far but is still an unknown quantity who’s just come up from the academy (and so is of course his partner, quite literally!). So we could need to see further improvement here, but it does depend on how knight develops into the first team squad, and who else eventually settles into the role next to him. It could all end up working out fine yet and we’ll stumble across a good midfield from our existing players, it’s hard to tell yet. In terms of numbers we have:

CDM- Huddlestone, Evans, Bird, Thorne. Thorne obviously will return in January, but you have to expect he’ll leave on a Perm to league one, hence why he’s in italics. We’re still heavy imo even with his departure, and I’d look to get bird a loan somewhere.

CM- NEW, Knight, Shinnie, Sibley. Well still be one short here, and I’d obviously be looking to bring someone in here to replace dowell, preferably someone from the prem on loan with some real quality for a short term boost till the end of the season. Could even bring in a second as well and loan out Sibley who seems to be a little way off the first team squad yet.

Attack:

First choice for me:

Josefzoon Rooney Lawrence 

Again, a bit iffy for me. Obviously delighted with Rooney. We have to carry Lawrence at times, so if we could get someone more reliable that’d be great, but I think he has the quality to be worth persisting with. However, Josefzoon doesn’t impact upon games enough for me across the full 90. He has his moments, but we can’t carry both him and Lawrence. Lawrence is better, so I’d get someone with a bit more quality in there if possible. In terms of depth we’ve got:

WING- Josefzoon, Lawrence, Holmes, Paterson, Bennett, Anya, Whittaker. That’s obviously too many players. I think we’ll lose Josefzoon abroad somewhere so that’s one down. I’d then look to get shot of Anya permanently and loan out Whittaker. May even sell Bennett too as he doesn’t seem to fit too well.

ST- Rooney, Waghorn, Marriott, Martin. I think we’ll sell Martin to another champ club which I think will be the right move on Rooneys arrival. Delighted with the options here, think it’s our strongest area and one of the strongest in the league.

Summary: Defence is pretty decent, midfield is a mess that needs sorting desperately and quickly, and we need more quality wide up front- but centrally we are strong. As a disclaimer, obviously certain players here can play multiple roles, I’ve just put them where they’ve played most/ where I think Cocu will use them.

Whilst you do acknowledge that players can be deployed elsewhere, I think you are sleeping a little bit on Holmes and Bielik playing in midfield. 

Holmes took a bit of adjusting to midfield early on but once he got accustomed was one of our better players towards the end of the season last year. Honestly I think he'd be first choice currently.

Bielik to me seems a bit wasted at centre half because he carries the ball so well and I think will provide substantially better covet than Huddlestone does.

 

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Need another striker. 

Marriott is our only 'natural' goalscorer and his fitness is iffy. Waghorn is a 15 a season man at best. 

Without Mount and Wilson we don't have many goalscoring options from midfield. 

Can't see any of our U23s stepping up in the striking role, though Mitchell-Lawson looks good out wide. 

Rooney will help but for me we need another centre forward. 

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2 minutes ago, Anag Ram said:

Need another striker. 

Marriott is our only 'natural' goalscorer and his fitness is iffy. Waghorn is a 15 a season man at best. 

Without Mount and Wilson we don't have many goalscoring options from midfield. 

Can't see any of our U23s stepping up in the striking role, though Mitchell-Lawson looks good out wide. 

Rooney will help but for me we need another centre forward. 

Between Mariott, Waghorn, Martin, Bennett and Rooney in January we have more than enough at centre forward especially as more often than we only play 1. 

If we do go looking for a goalscorer we will more than likely be looking at wide players or attacking midfielders because that is where we are weak.

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4 hours ago, Alpha said:

It's true though @Duracell

Pre season always means a big deal to a lot of fans at the time but it barely gets a mention after the first game. Look at the Rangers game and how people were predicting our season off that

It's the same now. These games will be "they had a slow start/they started well" games once the cold nights come in. The real meat of the season is in there and if you dare mention that you beat promotion chasing Fulham 3-0 in August then everyone laughs at you. "That was before they clicked, you dhead!" 

Pre Season and early season for some teams just seem to be a bit of a honeymoon and when the hope fades and the slog comes in then out goes the Barcelona plan and in comes the ugly average. 

Some teams like Leeds "will run away with it". But they'll find a muddy patch where they won't feel like a legendary Brazil side. It will come and test them. They didn't cope with it well before so let's not promote them yet. 

Derby have had a meh start. And while now it's a time of frustration and envy we will just look back on it as those plastic points. The warm up session. We only lost to Bristol because we hadn't clicked. We only beat Huddersfield because they hadn't clicked. They will be meh games in blah blah part of the season. 

Obviously 3 points count as real points whether they come in August or May. But I think the beginning and the end of the season show you a fresh faced novice and a tired old lady of a team. It's that ugly middle that tells the truth. 

Leeds have showed the fresh faced eagerness to pick up where they left off. I think their ugly middle will still be strong because they're simply a good team that work hard for each other. And I reckon this season the tired side of them will be pushing a little harder than before. Maybe with some January strengthening. But that could be entirely wrong in a league that's so close in ability and demanding of squads that aren't all so deep. 

Derby do look in the early stages like they're pretty but that's about it. But we had a late and disruptive season that had us looking unprepared when we played Rangers and Girona. 

The question is, do you think Cocu will improve as we go into the grind? 

I think the team has more to give. Like the team we already have. There's more fight and skill in the squad that haven't featured so much. We will find a better balance imo before January even comes. 

Not saying names but there's a few players that will probably play themselves out the team soon. And their replacements are good players. Certainly not worse. 

Cough  Cough Malone, I'm looking at You Mr.Huddlestone, you too MR. Dowell as strong as a wet towel.

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5 hours ago, 86 Schmokes & a Pancake said:

Not entirely sure what system Cocu wants to play as yet. He seems a very pragmatic kind of guy and we've seen him experiment a little with different formations which I take to be him and his team working out how the players available mesh together best. I guess it's been quite tricky for them with the shortened pre-season and the niggling injuries / lack of match fitness with some key personnel.

When Cocu was first announced, the accepted wisdom was that he'd have out and out wingers and I think that probably remains true. I think we were kind of late to the table and maybe missed opportunities to sign players we'd hoped to bring in. Paterson seems like something of an afterthought really and seems more of a filler than a nailed-on starter so my first guess as to the recruitment side would be that we'll be working hard to identify wide men for possible moves to the club come the January window. Tricky though, as it's a window where it's notoriously hard to get any real value so patience is required. There seems nothing knee-jerk about the current management set-up however, so I'd be confident that the madness of previous years won't be repeated.

My early season observations are then:

Defence: I don't think there's too much to work on here. Assuming all are fit, I'd like to see us start with Jayden, Keogh, Clarke and Lowe. I know Bielik has been playing alongside the skipper but Clarke is a decent player and some of the defence's recent mishaps have been caused by our midfield and front line not really holding onto the ball the way they ought to be. It creates unnecessary pressure on the defence when we turn the ball over cheaply, too often and in the wrong areas.

Midfield: We're still not quite there. I really would like to see Bielik sitting in front of the back four. He seems wasted to me at CH and I think he needs a run of games to see what he can do in the middle of the park. He's not quite matched the hype yet but he should be getting sharper with playing time and I still think he's a potential game-changer in this league.

The balance of midfield remains more of a conundrum though as Dowell seems to have gone backwards having looked a real player early on. Evans has looked good to me but I'm not sure he's a really creative player as such, more of a tidy one. Huddz has been hit and miss but I think he's not helped by a mis-firing front line so I think the return of Duwayne the pocket rocket is very much needed if we are to see more fluidity in our attacking play. In recruitment terms, I think we do still need a top attacking midfielder but they don't come cheap and therein lies the problem. Hurry up Wazza!

Young Jason Knight looks a proper player to me and not just because of his technical ability. He doesn't shirk a tackle, that's for sure and he has bags of ability on the ball. I think he's kind of leapfrogged Sibley who I thought might be the one to step up but Louis has time on his side and remains a huge prospect if he can curb his wild side!

Attack: Not really firing as yet but can do better! We've missed Jack but like Bielik, his fitness levels must be close to optimum now and he's worked hard off the ball, especially against West Brom where he ran himself stupid without reward. Despite the forward line not really hitting their straps just yet, I don't think we need more strikers. A front paring of Jack and Waggers with Lawrence sat in-behind can do some serious damage at this level so I'd not be wanting to change anything there unless Mel pulls another rabbit from the hat. Rooney might be the ace in the pack in terms of linking up our play but January still seems a way off yet.

Summary: I'd still like to see us play with a bit more width but I'm not sure we really have the players to do so as yet. Even without, I think there's massive improvement to come but, in all honesty, it'd be very disappointing were that not the case. Lowe and Bogle as a FB pairing can certainly assist in this regard so the main focus for me, if any, should be midfield. 

What are your thoughts chaps and chapettes?

I think you and I would really get on outside the forum. My view entirely.

i think Holmes will add some fervour to the advanced portion of midfield and I am hoping knight will get better and Dowell find his feet. 

Bogle back would make us less “back foot” and that will help. Going to be interesting where Wayne fits in but he has to be an asset 

very happy with CB’s .. it doesn’t matter if it’s Clarke or Bielik but like you I think Bielik has more to offer further up and Davis can clearly play well next to Keogh. 

Lawrence / Zoon / Bennett .. honestly feel they are “form” players .. we’ll get some amazing performances followed by where was he for 90 mins ? 

More width, play on the front foot, get the midfield 3 sorted and we can progress. 

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31 minutes ago, Anag Ram said:

Need another striker. 

Marriott is our only 'natural' goalscorer and his fitness is iffy. Waghorn is a 15 a season man at best. 

Without Mount and Wilson we don't have many goalscoring options from midfield. 

Can't see any of our U23s stepping up in the striking role, though Mitchell-Lawson looks good out wide. 

Rooney will help but for me we need another centre forward. 

We don't need a striker, its the wingers and advanced midfielders that are the problem, we only need 1 more player after Rooney comes in and that will have to be a goal scoring winger to play on the right side that can also create chances and put a shift in, we will struggle to find one but that is what we need. Bowen or Lolley are 2 examples, but Bowen would be too expensive and Forest wouldn't sell one of their better players too us.

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No recruitment needed. We have Rooney coming in Jan. A loan for a winger might be nice. Most of us wanted youth promoted. They are all looking decent & need to develop. Lets not block the way for these lads by brining in players a head of them. We dont have a winger coming through so potentially a loan would be nice 

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What a great thread this is @86 Schmokes & a Pancake and such a pity it has been overtaken by all the hysteria brought on by Tuesday evening's Carabao cup defeat. It's the much needed antithesis of the 'How many players would you keep?' thread. (I don't get this "let's swap all the players" mentality at all but I think this is because I am from an era where squads evolved over time and we didn't play football manager!)

I think the international break is coming at just the right time for us and my only disappointment is that some of our key players will be missing at a time when it is essential for Cocu and his team to integrate them into their preferred positions in extended training without the pressure of two fixtures a week.

With key players gaining match fitness and/or returning from injury and a much more varied set of fixtures over the next seven games, I am looking forward to seeing what Cocu is starting to make of this squad.

Work in progress.

 

 

 

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On 27 August 2019 at 11:24, 86 Schmokes & a Pancake said:What are your thoughts chaps and chapettes?

 

I agree with nearly all of the original post but i don't really see the point of a debate about recruitment. The window is now shut. Game over. As for the rest......

If bielik plays midfield then it probably means two holding players as i think cocu is a fan of huddz. i'm not keen on the 4231 rowett system. I prefer more attacking players on the pitch. i think bielik could be very good in central defence. Similarly evans has looked good there, whilst not really shining in midfield. In the longer term evans and bielik might make a very good central defensive partnership (altho lack of pace could prove to be an issue). I agree with lowe at left back. I'm happy to see roos get his chance too. 

Up front marriott, waghorn, bennett, and martin would do for me. I'm dubious about wazza. Hopefully that works out. I don't know if he has the legs for midfield. Unfortunately chris seems to be out in the cold and i don't like to see that - not even for butterfield.

in midfield, first impressions of knight couldn't really be any higher. I think cocu's ploy of giving lawrence a freer role is working but only serves to highlight a lack of natural wide players. We haven't seen much of shinnie yet. Its early days but cocu seems reluctant to play him. Jozefzoon is the new Dawkins. Again, he might be better centrally, but he seems to lack fire in his belly. Its frustrating that two of franks permanent signings - malone and joz - can probably go, but there might not be a queue forming. Some of the sprogs are not physically ready at 17-18-19. Give them time to develop in their own time out of the spotlight. 

The transfer window is now shut anyway so thats it with regards to recruitment. Game over. Time to work with what we've got.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, angieram said:

It's the much needed antithesis of the 'How many players would you keep?' thread. (I don't get this "let's swap all the players" mentality at all but I think this is because I am from an era where squads evolved over time and we didn't play football manager!)

Hi @angieram, I am from that era and I am guilty for starting that thread.

I think - as I say in a later post - that I badly phrased what I was trying to ask. If you see my other posts, I am fully behind Cocu and have argued strongly that he should be given time to build the squad and be allowed to do it by developing academy players. Heck I have even defended his team selection in that minor cup competition the other night.

However, even with three cracking loan players last season, we only just limped into the playoffs. So the point of that thread, badly expressed, was to ask which players can you imagine being in a team that can win automatic promotion and that we should build the rest of the team around.

Whether the new players are from the academy, are loans or brought in as transfers....and whatever timescale it takes.....who from the current squad are at a promotion team winning standard?

Clough brought in Willie Carlin, then replaced him with Archie Gemmill, Les Green was replaced by Colin Boulton, John Robson by David Nish and so on. Yes teams evolve but some players are good enough to be kept - Kevin Hector 😍. So all I was asking, is who is good enough for a team that will get us automatic promotion (I find the playoffs too stressful).

Edited by IslandExile

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On 27/08/2019 at 06:24, 86 Schmokes & a Pancake said:

 

Young Jason Knight looks a proper player to me and not just because of his technical ability. He doesn't shirk a tackle, that's for sure and he has bags of ability on the ball.

That sliding tackle he made on the edge of the box against WBA after tracking back was exquisite. A split second before he slid in I was thinking 'oh for duck's sake, no don't please'. But he pulled it off.

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Posted (edited)

Big turnovers of players happened back in the day, in order to win promotion. Compare:

https://www.11v11.com/matches/Derby-county-v-charlton-athletic-19-august-1967-113368/

https://www.11v11.com/matches/Derby-county-v-bristol-city-19-april-1969-114282/

(O'Hare had joined pre-season and I know Ticker remained as a squad player, quite a crucial one in 74-75 but you get the idea)

Edited by IslandExile

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21 minutes ago, IslandExile said:

Hi @angieram, I am from that era and I am guilty for starting that thread.

I think - as I say in a later post - that I badly phrased what I was trying to ask. If you see my other posts, I am fully behind Cocu and have argued strongly that he should be given time to build the squad and be allowed to do it by developing academy players. Heck I have even defended his team selection in that minor cup competition the other night.

However, even with three cracking loan players last season, we only just limped into the playoffs. So the point of that thread, badly expressed, was to ask which players can you imagine being in a team that can win automatic promotion and that we should build the rest of the team around.

Whether the new players are from the academy, are loans or brought in as transfers....and whatever timescale it takes.....who from the current squad are at a promotion team winning standard?

Clough brought in Willie Carlin, then replaced him with Archie Gemmill, Les Green was replaced by Colin Boulton, John Robson by David Nish and so on. Yes teams evolve but some players are good enough to be kept - Kevin Hector 😍. So all I was asking, is who is good enough to get automatic promotion (I find the playoffs too stressful).

Yes. I wasn't criticising you for starting the thread as such - it's the fact that it opened the door to all the usual suspects to start slagging off Derby players who just "aren't good enough". 

The fact that nearly every player we have is on someone 's get rid of list speaks volumes. 

Someone has even written off Morgan Whittaker  (the same player who had most goals and most assists for our PL2 under 18 title-winning team last season and has just been selected to play for England) as not being good enough to make it, based on  what they've seen of him in his fleeting appearances way above his age range this season ffs!

I can't decide if it's just the school holiday effect or whether it's me getting old but I am finding some of the rantings on here this summer tedious beyond belief. I've been on here long enough to know many of the culprits aren't schoolchildren either but they aren't very balanced!

As for your question, I still thinks it's about the blend rather than the individual players and that you need a mix of player types to win a League. Look at Wes Morgan; he not only won promotion he also won the Premier League title. Good player, right place, right team. 

I could name plenty of Clough's players that were likewise. 

I think we have a squad of good players that don't all necessarily fit together and that Cocu will bring his own choice of players in over time to suit his style of play but if we're going to have this sort of knee-jerk reaction to every defeat in the meantime it's going to be a long season.

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, angieram said:

Yes. ....

Fair enough. I agree many people are not looking at the bigger picture and some of the comments after 5 league games are ludicrous and, I'm with you, writing off young players purely on their full league debut - in front of 30,000 - is crazy.

I also agree with you about the importance of blend. Teams need the Wes Morgan's, the John McGovern's of this world.

However, there has to be a "transition" - the two matches I quoted were from the start of Cloughie's "transition season" and the end of his promotion one.

Even the golden generation of Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick, George Thorne and Chris Martindid did not get promotion. Before them, the team with the fire power of Margo Gabbiadini, Paul Kitson and Tommy Johnson fired blanks at Wembley against the blue fox team from down the road.

I believe that last season, Mount, Tomori and Wilson covered up a lot of cracks. Even Morgan and McGovern were high quality at what they did. I think without the 3 loanees, we are low on quality and in answer to this thread's question: yes recruitment is needed. We cannot lose our best 3 players, not replace them and still expect top 6.

I think next season is the big one. By then, hopefully, Lowe, Buchanan, Knight, Sibley, Bird, Whittaker, Mitchell-Lawson and others will have gained more experience and staked a claim but then we will need to recruit externally. I just wonder who, of the current squad, we won't need to replace; our Hector's, Durban's and Daniel's.

As I and others have said, the preseason - being late and the Chelsea drama - did us and Cocu, in particular, no favours at all. UTR 🐏

Edited by IslandExile

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The return of Holmes and Bogle will make a difference. Tom Huddlestone to drop out of the starting eleven and try Bielek in front of the back four. This however will not address a lack of creativity and clinical finishing. Not too optimistic about loans in January as there are not always quality players available. Not much point adding to the squad unless we can improve on what we have. Otherwise struggle through, avoid relegation and see who Cocu can persuade to join DCFC for next season. 

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i dont think the current problems are down to recruitment , i think if we are honest we all suspected this might happen , due to the prolonged Lampard staying or going debacle , and the very messy pre season , the absolute waste of time USA trip and then Cocu trying to play catch up in 3 more friendlies , Cocu is still trying to work out his best 11 and best formation , until players get fit and others find form then i think we will have a few more bumps in the road , patience required COYR

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On 30/08/2019 at 10:01, angieram said:

What a great thread this is @86 Schmokes & a Pancake and such a pity it has been overtaken by all the hysteria brought on by Tuesday evening's Carabao cup defeat. It's the much needed antithesis of the 'How many players would you keep?' thread. (I don't get this "let's swap all the players" mentality at all but I think this is because I am from an era where squads evolved over time and we didn't play football manager!)

I think the international break is coming at just the right time for us and my only disappointment is that some of our key players will be missing at a time when it is essential for Cocu and his team to integrate them into their preferred positions in extended training without the pressure of two fixtures a week.

With key players gaining match fitness and/or returning from injury and a much more varied set of fixtures over the next seven games, I am looking forward to seeing what Cocu is starting to make of this squad.

Work in progress.

 

Am I in the right place ?      Can't believe what I am reading , is there an outbreak of Sanity in the forum ? ........what's happened to all the wrist slashers/Sack the Manager/Board/Owner / Tea lady brigade ?   I'm beginning to like it here 😎😎

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2 hours ago, Wignall12 said:

Am I in the right place ?      Can't believe what I am reading , is there an outbreak of Sanity in the forum ? ........what's happened to all the wrist slashers/Sack the Manager/Board/Owner / Tea lady brigade ?   I'm beginning to like it here 😎😎

I did write that before yesterday! 😂

Although I still think it holds true. Just hope we use the time wisely to instil a bit of confidence into the players. Only performances on the pitch will do that for the fans. 

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