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Bob The Badger

Reasons To Be Cheerful - Part Three

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I know a lot of people are down on the Rams and the job Cocu has done, but I’m not one of them.

I think it’s really important to understand and accept the steep learning curve he and his staff were, and still are, going through. 

He’d never played, nor managed in English football, and he was walking into a dressing room full of players I doubt he’d ever seen play live before the speculation started - I’m presuming he watched a lot of film when it looked like he was coming - but that’s not the same.

I’ll not get into the Frank leaving debacle and who is, or isn’t, to blame, but that surely didn’t help matters. Neither did having players like Shinnie imposed on him.

I got shot down for saying I thought we were lucky against Huddersfield and that I thought the defense were exposed down the flanks way too often. 

If their strikers hadn’t been so profligate we could have lost that game after two world-class goals from Lawrence.

I think that win was a blessing and a curse because of what it did to supporters expectations.

but, it is what it is and I’d rather have the 3-points.

Since then we have played some dreadful football, but other than at Brentford (and those games happen, think Villa last year and Sunderland at home 2 or 3 yard ago) - we have also played some nice free-flowing football.

At times you can clearly see what Cocu is building even if at other times you want to scream, ‘get it forward’.

It’s light years ahead of Rowettball irrespective of the results.

Similarly, we got result under the poison dwarf, but jeez it was uglier than a warthog licking urine off a nettle at times.

I asked a few times before he broke through, what the deal with Max Lowe was, but nobody seemed to know.

It seemed like Derby wanted him away. For that reason and that reason only, we could see the Bogle injury as a bonus in months to come because it pushed Lowe into the fray.

He’s young and raw and he’s playing on the wrong side, but the signs are promising.

Wednesday was the first time I was happy with Cocu’s team selection. Sure Malone was in, but he is a threat going forward and I thought he had one of his better games.

Dowell has bothered me a LOT. I’ve a good friend who’s an Everton diehard and he raves over him.

I’ve seen nothing.

NOTHING.

I know Tomori and Wilson took time to settle in, but there were signs before they started to play with consistency. 

As I say, I liked the team. Clarke isn’t the Mark Wright-lite that I thought may be the case and his inability to use his right leg concerns me at times, but when he bothers to, he can bring the ball out with pace and threat.

You’d not describe either him or Keogh as quick, but they are bothy long striders and can ghost past players that may seem faster with surprising ease at time - the Leeds goal was a classic example of that.

And Biliek, I mean come on?

I posted in the game thread that I think we can put to bed any talk of where his best position is.

Without playing brilliantly he showed touches and moments where you can clearly see the potential to be a stand out player - at least in this division.

I’m going to repeat something that I posted after the game - I think this team is close to being good.

We absolutely need Bogle back and Lowe on his natural - but those two alone will terrorize a lot of championship defenses.

Bogle could be that Igor spark that somebody mentioned last night

Unlike many, I also think Huddlestone is playing well. The problem is that he hits a lot of balls that many players on’t attempt and when they go awry it looks awful.

I do think he’s a calming influence and that moment he brought the ball out when we were under intense pressure last night was pure class.

Roos otoh, is anything but a calming influence and  worries me more than any other player. 

He’s punching way too often and that is either because he lacks confidence in his handling, or he’s learned bad technique. There was one cross last night that I with me with my dodgy achilles and girl sized hands could have caught while simultaneously scratching my nut sack.

I’ll not dwell on that though because I see us as becoming more  and more attack minded and the opposition can’t score from their own half. 

Unless that is, you have Wayne Rooney in your team (see the goal he scored against Orlando City this season).

I’m not a  wrist-slasher and I’m not a happy clapper - I try to be objective when I can. 

But, I rarely have this level of confidence. I could look like a fool come next May and be gently retreating from the board hoping nobody will notice, but I think we could be on the cusp of something pretty exciting.

If that is, Cocu can stick to the plan, find his best team  and get everybody fit. And the supporters let him breath.

And on that note and a final note. I thought the fans were brilliant last night. You all deserve a pat on the back because nobody would have complained if PP had been like an undertakers office on their day off.

Come on you Rams, to Leeds and beyond!

PS. Don't be confused that there was no Part 1 and 2, it was just an Ian Dury hat tip for those of you old enough to remember.

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24 minutes ago, Wolfie20 said:

....and a lot of fans - including me - don't care a toss how Forest are doing - only the Rams matter

Totally agree. 

@Eatonram was freaking out after the 2nd game about the teams 'above us' all winning. 

We all want to beat Forest badly as well as finish 23 positions above them, but I can't be arsed to give them head space unless they want to pay rent this early on. 

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Totally agree with the OP. Last night was our first 'proper line up' with the midfield we've been waiting for since Bielek signed & the signs looked promising. With the truncated pre-season & a new manager onboard, it was always going to be a slowish start but theres a good team waiting to fire here.

Although I totally agree Forest shouldnt be a consideration, some fans will judge Derby based on the treetards' short term pick up. Is important that the many who back Project Cocu continue to preach patience. Leeds away next up might not be pleasant but come Christmas, we'll be in the mix.

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21 minutes ago, LeedsCityRam said:

Totally agree with the OP. Last night was our first 'proper line up' with the midfield we've been waiting for since Bielek signed & the signs looked promising. With the truncated pre-season & a new manager onboard, it was always going to be a slowish start but theres a good team waiting to fire here.

Although I totally agree Forest shouldnt be a consideration, some fans will judge Derby based on the treetards' short term pick up. Is important that the many who back Project Cocu continue to preach patience. Leeds away next up might not be pleasant but come Christmas, we'll be in the mix.

Agree with you on everything bar being in the mix, I would doubt we will be anywhere near top 6 this season with our team

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3 hours ago, Bob The Badger said:

I know a lot of people are down on the Rams and the job Cocu has done, but I’m not one of them.

I think it’s really important to understand and accept the steep learning curve he and his staff were, and still are, going through. 

He’d never played, nor managed in English football, and he was walking into a dressing room full of players I doubt he’d ever seen play live before the speculation started - I’m presuming he watched a lot of film when it looked like he was coming - but that’s not the same.

I’ll not get into the Frank leaving debacle and who is, or isn’t, to blame, but that surely didn’t help matters. Neither did having players like Shinnie imposed on him.

I got shot down for saying I thought we were lucky against Huddersfield and that I thought the defense were exposed down the flanks way too often. 

If their strikers hadn’t been so profligate we could have lost that game after two world-class goals from Lawrence.

I think that win was a blessing and a curse because of what it did to supporters expectations.

but, it is what it is and I’d rather have the 3-points.

Since then we have played some dreadful football, but other than at Brentford (and those games happen, think Villa last year and Sunderland at home 2 or 3 yard ago) - we have also played some nice free-flowing football.

At times you can clearly see what Cocu is building even if at other times you want to scream, ‘get it forward’.

It’s light years ahead of Rowettball irrespective of the results.

Similarly, we got result under the poison dwarf, but jeez it was uglier than a warthog licking urine off a nettle at times.

I asked a few times before he broke through, what the deal with Max Lowe was, but nobody seemed to know.

It seemed like Derby wanted him away. For that reason and that reason only, we could see the Bogle injury as a bonus in months to come because it pushed Lowe into the fray.

He’s young and raw and he’s playing on the wrong side, but the signs are promising.

Wednesday was the first time I was happy with Cocu’s team selection. Sure Malone was in, but he is a threat going forward and I thought he had one of his better games.

Dowell has bothered me a LOT. I’ve a good friend who’s an Everton diehard and he raves over him.

I’ve seen nothing.

NOTHING.

I know Tomori and Wilson took time to settle in, but there were signs before they started to play with consistency. 

As I say, I liked the team. Clarke isn’t the Mark Wright-lite that I thought may be the case and his inability to use his right leg concerns me at times, but when he bothers to, he can bring the ball out with pace and threat.

You’d not describe either him or Keogh as quick, but they are bothy long striders and can ghost past players that may seem faster with surprising ease at time - the Leeds goal was a classic example of that.

And Biliek, I mean come on?

I posted in the game thread that I think we can put to bed any talk of where his best position is.

Without playing brilliantly he showed touches and moments where you can clearly see the potential to be a stand out player - at least in this division.

I’m going to repeat something that I posted after the game - I think this team is close to being good.

We absolutely need Bogle back and Lowe on his natural - but those two alone will terrorize a lot of championship defenses.

Bogle could be that Igor spark that somebody mentioned last night

Unlike many, I also think Huddlestone is playing well. The problem is that he hits a lot of balls that many players on’t attempt and when they go awry it looks awful.

I do think he’s a calming influence and that moment he brought the ball out when we were under intense pressure last night was pure class.

Roos otoh, is anything but a calming influence and  worries me more than any other player. 

He’s punching way too often and that is either because he lacks confidence in his handling, or he’s learned bad technique. There was one cross last night that I with me with my dodgy achilles and girl sized hands could have caught while simultaneously scratching my nut sack.

I’ll not dwell on that though because I see us as becoming more  and more attack minded and the opposition can’t score from their own half. 

Unless that is, you have Wayne Rooney in your team (see the goal he scored against Orlando City this season).

I’m not a  wrist-slasher and I’m not a happy clapper - I try to be objective when I can. 

But, I rarely have this level of confidence. I could look like a fool come next May and be gently retreating from the board hoping nobody will notice, but I think we could be on the cusp of something pretty exciting.

If that is, Cocu can stick to the plan, find his best team  and get everybody fit. And the supporters let him breath.

And on that note and a final note. I thought the fans were brilliant last night. You all deserve a pat on the back because nobody would have complained if PP had been like an undertakers office on their day off.

Come on you Rams, to Leeds and beyond!

PS. Don't be confused that there was no Part 1 and 2, it was just an Ian Dury hat tip for those of you old enough to remember.

I’d like to say thank you @Bob The Badger for the content of this post but also for the way you’ve laid it out. I find it so much easier to read when there are spaces between thoughts rather than a solid block of words. It may just be old age but that was a pleasure to read compared to many posts.

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It made me feel a bit better about how the season's started when I stopped comparing where we currently are in the table to where other teams currently are, and also stopped comparing how many points we are currently on to how many points we were on at this stage of previous seasons, and instead compared the results in the opening seven fixtures to their corresponding fixtures last season.

Substituting in the newly relegated sides for the newly promoted sides:
Villa 4 - 0 Derby -> Huddersfield 1 - 2 Derby (+3)
Derby 2 - 1 Swansea -> Derby 0 - 0 Swansea (-2)
Stoke 2 - 1 Derby -> Stoke 2 - 2 Derby (+1)
Derby 1 - 1 Bristol -> Derby 1 - 2 Bristol (-1)
Derby 3 - 1 West Brom -> Derby 1 - 1 West Brom (-2)
Brentford 3 - 3 Derby -> Brentford 3 - 0 Derby (-1)
Derby 1 - 1 Norwich -> Derby 1 - 1 Cardiff (+0)

Overall that only makes us 2 points worse off than we were from the same games last season, and you could very well make an argument that poor refereeing decisions have made that difference as much as the performances have. It's hardly a massive deficit to turn around either, especially considering some of the places we dropped points last season and would hope to do better this season (i.e., 8 points in the away games to the bottom 3, 6 points to Millwall, 5 points to Blackburn, etc.).

I know it's not a perfect way of looking at things, but I think it probably gives a slightly better summary of how we're doing in terms of results than looking at the table does at this point of the season, when who you play has as much of an effect on the standings as how you play.

It gives a different perspective on the situation, at the very least.

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This - we all need to be patient and let Cocu build something. It's the most frustrating thing in the world sometimes being a Derby fan and the screeches of 'Sack the manager', when we're not winning every game.

Do these people realise the reason we're in the current situation is because we've changed the manager so much over the last few seasons?

Take Norwich and Farke - in his first season in charge, they flirted around the bottom of the table and finished midtable, but spent that season building, working on a playing style, and gelling together. Next season, up as champions.

I'm not saying Derby are going up as champions next year, but it shows better than anything that consistency is key in this league. Patience is needed from everyone, so just enjoy seeing the youth coming through, and us working on building as a team this year, rather than a promotion push.

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We’ve lost talented loan players and not really replaced them. Rooney I think would make a difference. Cocu is doing an ok job. Apart from Brentford we have been competitive. The league is tough and we are weaker than last season. Bielik looks good. I think the players need to step up a bit. 

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On 14/09/2019 at 21:27, archram said:

I’d like to say thank you @Bob The Badger for the content of this post but also for the way you’ve laid it out. I find it so much easier to read when there are spaces between thoughts rather than a solid block of words. It may just be old age but that was a pleasure to read compared to many posts.

I’d like to say thank you @Bob The Badger for the content of this post but also for the way you’ve laid it out.

I find it so much easier to read when there are spaces between thoughts rather than a solid block of words.

It may just be old age but that was a pleasure to read compared to many posts.

 

Just saying!!

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On 14/09/2019 at 21:27, archram said:

I’d like to say thank you @Bob The Badger for the content of this post but also for the way you’ve laid it out. I find it so much easier to read when there are spaces between thoughts rather than a solid block of words. It may just be old age but that was a pleasure to read compared to many posts.

You didn't have to quote the ENTIRE thing again though! 

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2 hours ago, ThePrisoner said:

You didn't have to quote the ENTIRE thing again though! 

I don’t know how to only quote part or I would have done!

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