Local journalist and published author on Derby County, Gareth Davis, gives his views on the latest goings on at Pride Park.
Confession time. I had already written most of this week’s column prior to the Barnsley game, with the intention of then adding a couple of relevant lines, but the evening’s goalscorers have prompted a re-write!
First of all, James O’Connor. For me he is something of an unsung player in the squad, the sort of guy you can always call upon to do his job with the minimum of fuss.
I have been impressed with him since his arrival at the club and when lining up at centre-half alongside Richard Keogh – what a signing he has been by the way – O’Connor has been very effective.
He probably would not have been in the team on Saturday against Blackpool had it not been for Jake Buxton’s harsh suspension but he performed quietly well against the Tangerines, and deservedly kept his place on Tuesday against Barnsley.
The old adage is that you don’t change a winning team and it was great to see O’Connor get his first goal for Derby to spark the victory over the Tykes.
The second goal came, in bullet-like style, from the left boot of Nathan Tyson – a player reborn this season after the troubles of his debut campaign at Pride Park.
Tyson looks a different player now that he is clearly fit again and has been having quite an impact from the bench over recent weeks.
You need all of your squad in a long Championship season and it is great to see players come in – or come on – to such an effect, and that’s without even mentioning the form of Adam Legzdins in goal. Saturday’s trip to Millwall can’t come soon enough now.
And finally, for something different, last Sunday I headed to the WWE Raw tour event in Nottingham – and amazingly came back with some material for my column.
At one point in the evening, the Swiss character Antonio Cesaro claimed to speak better English than the locals, said he couldn’t understand them, and added: “But I can perfectly understand the people from Derby County.”
Before the main event, WWE Champion CM Punk called out Lee Camp for Forest shipping four goals at home to Millwall the previous day, calling him a “loser” who plays for a “loser town”.
It’s all scripted, of course, and I know Campy is a big wrestling fan from when I worked with him at Derby, but it had me in stitches!
As part of a new feature this season I’ll be recalling a former Ram who you may have forgotten about. Some you may remember fondly, others you may wish to forget!
This week it’s Marino Rahmberg – the Swedish striker who was heavily hyped, arrived on loan in the first Premier League season, made one sub appearance and swiftly departed.