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Players Derby have ruined, and why are there so many?


DCFC Kicks
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I can’t recall thinking that we got a good deal from the players we signed over the past five/six years. The closest probably being Curtis Davies or Tom Huddlestone though both arrived on top-end Championship wages and were only top-end Championship players for one season.

We’ve overpaid, and by quite a bit, for a good 80% of the signings made during Mel’s tenure.

We spent more on Tom Lawrence than Ward, Bryson, Russell, Martin, Forsyth, Keogh, Eustace, Grant, Buxton and Dawkins combined...

Literally our entire playoff 2013/14 team cost less than Tom Lawrence or Jacob Butterfield combined. 

 

Edited by Bris Vegas
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4 hours ago, DCFC Kicks said:

Inspired by the other topic listing our best signings during the Mel era, I thought I'd bring a bit of positivity to this forum and list every player whose ruined or damaged their career by joining us during the Mel era. As in players who had a good reputation before joining Derby but were never played in the correct position or system, or whose confidence seemed to just disappear as soon as they joined us for whatever reason.

Jacob Butterfield - Stated in his first Radio Derby interview that he wanted to be the player making the most passes on the pitch and running the show. Never gonna happen with Thorne in the team. Played as a goal scoring #8,

Raul Albentosa - He was immense in a deep defence for Eibar, where he just had to head and kick. We played a high-line and wanted him to pass it out. 

Abdoul Camara - I remember a Radio Derby interview just before we signed him in which a French Football journalist stated that he was nowhere near a key player for Angers and that his role in the team was to carry the ball up the pitch with pace when they’d been defending deep. This is for a Derby team that wanted to play football in the opposition’s half.

Nick Blackman - Even if you give him the BOTD and say it wasn’t just a purple patch, he was at his best drifting in from the right and getting in positions to finish. This was never going to happen with Ince on the right-wing. Naturally we shoehorned Blackman wide-left.

Bradley Johnson - 14/15 was an anomaly. Norwich only played him wide-left because it got him away from their other midfielders who were capable of playing football but he was in too rich a vein of goal scoring form to drop.

Ikechi Anya - Signed to play in Pearson’s 442 - Pearson had been ousted 29 days after his arrival. Don’t know what happened long term with him, however. 

Tom Lawrence - He’s been about as good for us as he was for Cardiff, even if the numbers don’t completely reflect that. 

Florian Jozefzoon - I text my dad 20 minutes into his pre-season debut that he was crap. Five goals from open play and seven assists in THAT Brentford team is poor, if anything. I don’t know what we were doing. 

Jack Marriott - There’s the theory that Peterborough’s overtly attacking style of play is to make they centre-forwards look better than they are and allow them to take in a massive transfer fee. For every Ivan Toney there’s a Craig Mackail-Smith. He always looked like he needed to play off of somebody to me but we played him as a lone striker. 

Martyn Waghorn - Another player signed based on his best ever season. Even during that season he didn’t have a consistent position. He started the season wide right and finished it up front - his goals and assists split evenly between the two. I’m still not sure where we even signed him to play. 

Kieran Dowell - Not sure he’s ever been that good. He started seven games for Sheffield United and in two of those he was hooked at half-time. Three of his goals and one of his assists for Wigan all came in an 8-0 thrashing so you can call that stat padding. My Forest mates never really rated him either. 

Mike te Wierik - played the odd game as a wing-back. The manager that signed him was gone by October. Didn’t look like he could read the flight of an aerial ball. 

Kamil Jozwiak (on the way to be)

Why has this happened so often? You could say it's because we changed manager so much but there's other clubs who sack their manager regularly and their players aren't affected on this scale. Did we overpay players that much that they joined us anyway even though they knew it might not be a good fit football wise? Is our recruitment just bad and these players were never good? What is it about Derby that seems to destroy the confidence of some players?

I personally think it's because each time we changed manager, their style varied too much from the last.

Take Dowell as an example: 

- Gets promoted with Sheff Utd

- Does nothing at Derby

- Scores 5 goals in 12 games for Wigan

- Now playing in the PL with Norwich

 

 

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2 hours ago, cannable said:

 

Classic case of signing a player without understanding their attributes and how they can feature in the team’s style of play.

It generally happens when the manager has little say (other than yes) and the players are bought by figures who don’t really understand the game.

Derby aren’t the only club guilty of this. Even the very best clubs make such stupid signings you wonder how it got passed off.

Classic example being Liverpool selling Luis Suarez and finding his replacement. Brendan Rodgers, renowned for adopting a high press and having strikers run in behind. So they signed Mario Balotelli. Literally one of the most static centre-forwards you could find. The average fan with basic understanding of the game knew this was never going to work.

 

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1 hour ago, Bris Vegas said:

Classic case of signing a player without understanding their attributes and how they can feature in the team’s style of play.

It generally happens when the manager has little say (other than yes) and the players are bought by figures who don’t really understand the game.

Derby aren’t the only club guilty of this. Even the very best clubs make such stupid signings you wonder how it got passed off.

Classic example being Liverpool selling Luis Suarez and finding his replacement. Brendan Rodgers, renowned for adopting a high press and having strikers run in behind. So they signed Mario Balotelli. Literally one of the most static centre-forwards you could find. The average fan with basic understanding of the game knew this was never going to work.

 

Maybe (hopefully) like Ronaldo joining Man Utd too.

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I think this explains a lot of these strange signings. Wolves did this too, but got an agent who represented lots of exciting Portuguese talent. Our "super" agent was unfortunately linked to average championship players. Sam always got his man though, how did he do it?!

"Rush joined Derby in January 2013 but before taking on the top job at Pride Park he was head of European Operations at Wasserman.

Former manager Paul Clement wpas a Wasserman client when he took over at Derby in June 2015, and during a two-year period Derby signed five players who were also represented by Wasserman.

They are Darren Bent (free, Jan 2015), Jason Shackell (£3.7m, July 2015), Bradley Johnson (£6m, Sept 2015), Jacob Butterfield (£4m, Sept 2015) and Nick Blackman (£2.5m, Jan 2016)."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.skysports.com/amp/football/news/11696/11306499/Derby-county-sue-ex-president-sam-rush-for-7m-over-transfer-dealings

Might be worth us exploring strange Watford links too. Pearson spent big money twice from them, then he joins them later on too. We also sell them Hughes for much less than we would have dreamed possible.

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1 hour ago, ariotofmyown said:

I think this explains a lot of these strange signings. Wolves did this too, but got an agent who represented lots of exciting Portuguese talent. Our "super" agent was unfortunately linked to average championship players. Sam always got his man though, how did he do it?!

"Rush joined Derby in January 2013 but before taking on the top job at Pride Park he was head of European Operations at Wasserman.

Former manager Paul Clement wpas a Wasserman client when he took over at Derby in June 2015, and during a two-year period Derby signed five players who were also represented by Wasserman.

They are Darren Bent (free, Jan 2015), Jason Shackell (£3.7m, July 2015), Bradley Johnson (£6m, Sept 2015), Jacob Butterfield (£4m, Sept 2015) and Nick Blackman (£2.5m, Jan 2016)."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.skysports.com/amp/football/news/11696/11306499/Derby-county-sue-ex-president-sam-rush-for-7m-over-transfer-dealings

Might be worth us exploring strange Watford links too. Pearson spent big money twice from them, then he joins them later on too. We also sell them Hughes for much less than we would have dreamed possible.

There were some links for sure. I think there was even talk coming out that Mel Morris wasn’t even aware some players like Darren Bent had triggers in their contract to extend another year.

Sam Rush acted like a DOF but he is probably another who doesn’t really understand the game or he possibly had financial incentives to target players under the Wasserman umbrella.

 

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13 hours ago, MuespachRam said:

Blackman scored 11 goals in 58 seasons… he was always rubbish. 
 Actually looking down your list, they were all rubbish before, during and after being at Derby. 

Tosh.

Butterfield, Johnson, Anya, Lawrence, Marriott and Waghorn were all, at the very least, solid players before coming to Derby.

And, to take inspiration from yourself, you 100% had never heard of Albentosa or Te Wierik before they arrived, so I don't see how you can comment on them.

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17 hours ago, DCFC Kicks said:

Inspired by the other topic listing our best signings during the Mel era, I thought I'd bring a bit of positivity to this forum and list every player whose ruined or damaged their career by joining us during the Mel era. As in players who had a good reputation before joining Derby but were never played in the correct position or system, or whose confidence seemed to just disappear as soon as they joined us for whatever reason.

Jacob Butterfield

Raul Albentosa

Abdoul Camara

Nick Blackman

Bradley Johnson

Ikechi Anya

Tom Lawrence

Florian Jozefzoon

Jack Marriott

Martyn Waghorn

Kieran Dowell 

Mike te Wierik

Kamil Jozwiak (on the way to be)

Why has this happened so often? You could say it's because we changed manager so much but there's other clubs who sack their manager regularly and their players aren't affected on this scale. Did we overpay players that much that they joined us anyway even though they knew it might not be a good fit football wise? Is our recruitment just bad and these players were never good? What is it about Derby that seems to destroy the confidence of some players?

I personally think it's because each time we changed manager, their style varied too much from the last.

Take Dowell as an example: 

- Gets promoted with Sheff Utd

- Does nothing at Derby

- Scores 5 goals in 12 games for Wigan

- Now playing in the PL with Norwich

 

The fans are too quick to jump on their back and dragging them down. The players never get a chance to settle. 

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2 examples. Butterfield I believe was Huddersfields fans player of the year. Came here and looked as if he hardly knew how to lace his boots up. Maybe trying too hard but never made it. After leaving here his career went down and down until he ended up briefly in Australia. 

Shinnie was bought by lampard. Cocu was questioned why shinnie wasn't even on the bench. Reply was along the lines of we have to get him playing our way. Butterfield was hero at Huddersfield rapidly via Derby to zero. Makes me wonder what happened here to change him. Appreciate managers changed but we had to change the way shinnie played to get him in the team. So who sanctioned his purchase, who specified the kind of midfielder we needed when we signed him and who though we would get the best out of him by changing his natural game. Can anyone think that Brian Clough or even Jim Smith would do that.

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As well as paying overly-inflated transfer fees and putting square pegs in round holes, we spent half a decade buying players during the best form of their entire life. We weren't paying for the talent, we were paying for the form they were in. No surprise that with many of them, their Derby career simply saw a regression to the mean.

Some of our best signings in the modern era at Pride Park have been cheap-as-chips transfers with players who had a point to prove and - and I really cannot stress this enough - were signed with a specific role in mind. A fairly average Championship player can become indispensable to a playoff side if the system is correct.

In this bracket, we have Inigo Idiazek, Morten Bisgaard, Steve Howard, Christ Martin, Jamie Ward, Craig Bryson, Jake Buxton, Darren Moore, John Brayford...the list is long, but they were almost exclusively signed by George Burley, Nigel Clough and the early, sane version of Billy Davies. Those managers had a way of playing and signed players that fit the system and/or changing room, and none of them needed buckets of cash to do it.

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Just now, I know nuffin said:

Butterfield I believe was Huddersfields fans player of the year. Came here and looked as if he hardly knew how to lace his boots up.

Huddersfield used Butterfield in a *very* different way to what we did.  They played him in the hole in a 4231 (i.e. in the middle of the 3). They then had 3 very mobile guys playing around him and running off him (the likes of Nakhi Wells, Sean Scannell, Joe Lolley etc).  Their game plan was get the ball into Butterfields feet and just have him play endless through balls for those guys to run onto. He didn't have to run around, he didn't have to pass-and-move, he didn't have to defend or track runners, just get it and play someone through.

We literally did none of that. He mostly played in the 2 holders in our 4231, so he was much more exposed defensively and lack-of-mobility wise.  We played 3 direct runners in the 3 (the likes of Ince, Camara, Russell, Ward etc), but they were all starting miles ahead of Butterfield and running away from him, instead of running off him.  So those cute little 10 yard through balls at Huddersfield needed to be 40 yard inch-perfect balls to have the same effect.  Added to that, we had Martin dropping off the front, effectively doing the same job Butterfield had done at Huddersfield, so even if he did get forward, he was competing for space and touches.

It goes back to what @Bris Vegas said about understanding players. We seemingly had no clue what he was good at or why he succeeded at Huddersfield - we just seemed to think that because he was a good passer, he would be a drop-in replacement for Will Hughes.

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4 hours ago, DarkFruitsRam7 said:

Tosh.

Butterfield, Johnson, Anya, Lawrence, Marriott and Waghorn were all, at the very least, solid players before coming to Derby.

And, to take inspiration from yourself, you 100% had never heard of Albentosa or Te Wierik before they arrived, so I don't see how you can comment on them.

If I recall Johnson started very well and was a wall Infront of our back four. But after a short time his role appeared to change and he got less and less effective. For some unknown reason endeared up on the left wing a position he was not suited for in any way. Regained some of his effectiveness when moved back into the middle then let go on a free. Totally puzzling career with the rams

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11 minutes ago, I know nuffin said:

For some unknown reason endeared up on the left wing a position he was not suited for in any way

Left of a front 3 is (Ibuleve) where he got 15 goals in 1 season for Norwich. They just had such a good team around him they could afford to carry him, leaving him out of most passages of play but creating space for him on the edge of the box to pick it up and shoot, which we know he can do pretty well.

Edited by Coconut's Beard
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We certainly had a habit of signing players bang in form, particularly during the height of our spending. If you consider how many actually went on to better things, comprehensively better things, it amounts to almost none. 

It just shows that we signed fundamentally poor footballers, gave them the most money they were ever going to earn in their career, only for them to lose their drive once under the microscope. As soon as players hit the downward trajectory of their career, very few end up bouncing back. 

Awful recruitment strategy all round. 

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1 hour ago, I know nuffin said:

2 examples. Butterfield I believe was Huddersfields fans player of the year. Came here and looked as if he hardly knew how to lace his boots up. Maybe trying too hard but never made it. After leaving here his career went down and down until he ended up briefly in Australia. 

Shinnie was bought by lampard. Cocu was questioned why shinnie wasn't even on the bench. Reply was along the lines of we have to get him playing our way. Butterfield was hero at Huddersfield rapidly via Derby to zero. Makes me wonder what happened here to change him. Appreciate managers changed but we had to change the way shinnie played to get him in the team. So who sanctioned his purchase, who specified the kind of midfielder we needed when we signed him and who though we would get the best out of him by changing his natural game. Can anyone think that Brian Clough or even Jim Smith would do that.

 

1 hour ago, duncanjwitham said:

Huddersfield used Butterfield in a *very* different way to what we did.  They played him in the hole in a 4231 (i.e. in the middle of the 3). They then had 3 very mobile guys playing around him and running off him (the likes of Nakhi Wells, Sean Scannell, Joe Lolley etc).  Their game plan was get the ball into Butterfields feet and just have him play endless through balls for those guys to run onto. He didn't have to run around, he didn't have to pass-and-move, he didn't have to defend or track runners, just get it and play someone through.

We literally did none of that. He mostly played in the 2 holders in our 4231, so he was much more exposed defensively and lack-of-mobility wise.  We played 3 direct runners in the 3 (the likes of Ince, Camara, Russell, Ward etc), but they were all starting miles ahead of Butterfield and running away from him, instead of running off him.  So those cute little 10 yard through balls at Huddersfield needed to be 40 yard inch-perfect balls to have the same effect.  Added to that, we had Martin dropping off the front, effectively doing the same job Butterfield had done at Huddersfield, so even if he did get forward, he was competing for space and touches.

It goes back to what @Bris Vegas said about understanding players. We seemingly had no clue what he was good at or why he succeeded at Huddersfield - we just seemed to think that because he was a good passer, he would be a drop-in replacement for Will Hughes.

Butterfield was our best player for his first few months at the club. Despite his apparent lack of mobility, he scored quite a few goals by arriving late on the edge (or just outside) of the box as he carried us up the table in the autumn.

Why he dropped off so drastically is a complete mystery to me. Regardless of the cause, he hasn't been able to recover his form at any of the clubs he's been at since us.

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1 hour ago, DarkFruitsRam7 said:

Why he dropped off so drastically is a complete mystery to me. Regardless of the cause, he hasn't been able to recover his form at any of the clubs he's been at since us.

Did it coincide with him getting arrested? Maybe the toe biting incident caused it all😂

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