Local journalist and published author on Derby County, Gareth Davis, gives his views on the latest goings on at Pride Park.
SO ten games have been played, the second international break is upon us, and with that in mind what is the verdict on Derby’s Championship season so far?
For me it’s steady, with some high points to be pleased with, and while we would rather see the Rams in the top half of the table than the bottom – they are 13th after the last round of fixtures – there is plenty to ponder.
I’m generally a believer that you get what you deserve in football and while some of Derby’s performances this season have been argued to have warranted more of a reward than they have got, there is a reason why they have drawn games they should have won and lost games they should have drawn.
At Wolves, for example, it was a case of failing to stick away one of the numerous chances they had until pretty much the last kick to escape with a 1-1 draw, while at home to Burnley more recently the Rams had led and squandered opportunities to score again before switching off late on and losing 2-1.
You can play all the good football in the world but what ultimately matters most in the beautiful game is getting the results and to do that you have to get it right at both ends of the field.
Though if you are playing good football and out-playing teams for most of the match then you are giving yourself a platform to build from – and then it’s down to not giving anything away and taking your chances when they come along.
Two clean sheets in the last three matches is a good start towards the Rams cutting out conceding the goals they have done so if Nigel Clough’s men can combine that new-found defensive tightness with the goals they were scoring earlier on in 2012/13 then the next stage of the season should see them push on.
But the word if, as we all know, is the biggest in football and 23 other Championship teams will have the same ambitions in the coming weeks.
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 Brian Launders – the young Irish midfielder who signed on loan in 1998/99 from a Dutch club and made just one substitute appearance that season before being released.