Here’s a few points on The Rams from derbycountyfan.com
Stand Out Players
Watching this season, the stand out players are definitely Paul Coutts, Will Hughes, Jamie Ward, Richard Keogh and Craig Bryson. Five players is quite a lot but I’m sure many would agree at how well they’ve done.
Paul Coutts is a real bargain. He takes on defenders, puts in good crosses and links up quite well with John Brayford. The former Preston midfielder has effectively replaced Ben Davies as first choice right winger, looking a far better player. His set pieces have been pretty much spot on and his creativity has been good to watch, having picked up four assists.
As for Will Hughes, his quality is unbelievable for his young age. Although he may not be physical enough for the league he can’t half pick a pass out! It has to be time for him to be played in the centre of midfield, like he did against Brighton. The game at Nottingham Forest was a perfect example as to why he should be in the middle. In the first half, he was out wide and had little influence. In the second half, he was in the centre and helped control the game into Derby’s favour.
Jamie Ward, Derby’s top scorer this campaign, has had a great start. Unfortunately the injury he picked up at the City Ground forced him to sit out the draw V Brighton and Middlesbrough, where The Rams evidently missed him. Derby missed the attacking outlook that he offers, he poses a constant threat to the opposition’s defence. He became even more of a fan favourite in the game against Forest. he expertly wound up the home fans by putting his thumbs up to them, showing them the score in his hands and picking up one of the coins thrown towards him!
I, along with many, thought that any replacement for Jason Shackell would not be as good as him. I was wrong, Richard Keogh has proved a real asset to Nigel Clough’s side. After watching him firstly, I still maintained that Shackell was better but as the season’s progressed the former Coventry defender has looked much better. Keogh has showed immense leadership qualities and was inspirational against Forest, battling brilliantly.
Lastly, Craig Bryson has had a good start to the campaign. He’s run his socks off this season. covering so much ground. It’s great to have such a battling midfielder like Bryson, who you know will do a job on a consistent basis. Now he won’t only be remembered for picking up all the club’s player of the year awards last season he’ll never be forgotten for scoring in the 1-0 win over our bitter rivals from the other side of the A52.
Frank Fielding sat out last week’s game at home to Brighton with a knock. His deputy Adam Legzdins stepped in and pulled off a good performance, winning the club’s man of the match award. The former Blackburn stopper is likely to be fit and available for the game against his former club, with Nigel Clough admitting he could have a selection dilemma on his hands. “Adam has been an excellent number two and he is pushing Frank all the way. We will see what we do when Frank is fit.”
I personally would like to Legzdins given the chance. If somebody comes in to the side and plays well they should be rewarded. But in this case, I’d still pick Frank. Blackburn are a tough side and have some strikers that will certainly cause us problems so the most experienced ‘keeper would, for me, cope better. I’d still like to see Adam Legzdins given that chance, perhaps in a game afterwards.
Next Opponents – Blackburn Rovers (20/10/12) (home)
League position: 9th, 16 points.
League games this season: drew, won, won, drew, won, won, lost, drew, drew, lost.
Top goalscorer: Nuno Gomes, 4 goals.
Rovers still have many players with vast Premier League experience, the likes of Morten Gamst Pederson and Danny Murphy. It’s been a decent start to the season on the pitch, with only one defeat. However, they have lost manager Steve Kean and are still manager less from that. The Scot claimed he was ‘forced to resign’, he also added that his ‘position as team manager had become untenable’. Eric Black is currently their manager, on an interim basis. The club’s owners, the Venkys, have angered supporters since taking over and need to make a good managerial appointment.
The 1995 Premier League champions signed former Portugal international Nuno Gomes this summer, so far he’s bagged 4 goals. In the summer transfer window they also signed Jordan Rhodes, splashing out £8 million for the Huddersfield man. Those two strikers will be two of the biggest threats Rovers can pose but not forgetting Morten Gamst Pederson, he’s a creative midfielder who is probably still Premier League quality.
I expect a tough game but from what we’ve seen so far of Derby, we’re perfectly capable of getting a result. Blackburn’s recent dip in form is a slight cause for optimism. I’m predicting a draw
More Upcoming Games – October
Tuesday 23rd October: Ipswich Town Away.
Saturday 27th October: Peterborough United Away.
Ipswich is usually a difficult place to visit but Ipswich have had a terrible start to the season and lie in the relegation zone, where they are joined by Peterborough. This is an excellent chance for 6 points on the road, let’s hope we get a decent return of points.
Derby winger Lee Croft, who is on loan at Oldham, was involved in an incident with a Sheffield United ball boy yesterday. Croft has denied allegations that he racially abused the ball boy. South Yorkshire Police are investigating the allegation. “I’ve run over to get the ball, he’s kicked it away and in my frustration I’ve said ‘what are you doing?’ and had a go. I’ve not said anything to offend the lad, I wouldn’t do that.” the 27 year old said. Watch video (Sky Sports)
Ball has found a new lease of life on loan at Coventry since the appointment of Mark Robins. He’s now scored two goals at Coventry, one in a League Cup defeat at Arsenal and one in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over York. This loan looks to be benefiting Ball.
The newly formed under-21 league has helped youngsters and those just outside the starting eleven such as Conor Doyle and Michael Jacobs. Derby’s under-21s remain unbeaten and face Birmingham City on Tuesday.
The Rams’ links with Irish club Cherry Orchard benefited one 16 year old defender earlier this week. Republic of Ireland youth international Jack Tuite signed a four-year deal with Derby. Cherry Orchard is also where current Rams Mark O’Brien and Conor Sammon started out.