Despite a 3-0 win last night over Bristol City Conor Sammon still managed to receive plenty of criticism and was the main talking point post-match.
The former Wigan striker missed a golden opportunity from just a few yards out that he most definitely should have put away. Having said that, Sammon had a good game – he was strong and always aware of his team mates. The Irish international played much better than the poor Robins strikers last night.
Sarcastic “Conor Sammom dah dah dah dah” were sung by some fans. “Sammon, you’re sh*t” was another widely used phrase by some members of the home crowd. Is it any wonder he headed straight down the tunnel at the conclusion of the game?
It’s time for these supporters to stop these demoralising chants. They’re meant to be supporting their team, not booing and shouting abuse. Pride Park should be a friendly and supportive venue towards the Rams players, a good environment for the players can be very helpful on the pitch – I’m sure it’s better to play in front of a supportive crowd, which can potentially aid more victories. I do hope and believe this abuse is a minority and short lived because it can severely affect his morale and confidence going into more important fixtures.
However the other side of the argument is that the fans pay their hard earned money and should be allowed an opinion. Yes they should be allowed a view and they have every right to but what happened last night was going way too far.
Jamie Ward, less notably, missed a penalty in the opening minutes of the game. The number 10 received very little stick for that, which seems to have been totally forgotten by some supporters – particularly when you consider the Sammon abuse. There’s no doubt, it was an awful penalty kick.
Anyway, Conor Sammon is a hard working striker – nobody can disagree with that. I do agree that he lacks some technique and a great finishing ability in a demanding league for chances to be finished. When the former Kilmarnock player came to the club he arrived with a large price tag, well for a Nigel Clough signing it was very large. That increased the already huge pressure from fans, who have been begging for a 15-20 goals a season striker for a while now.
Recently, loan signing Chris Martin has benefited from Sammon’s unselfishness and excellent awareness. He’s also been recognised on the international stage, with more caps for the Republic of Ireland. I won’t shy away from the fact that he has had some poor games, such as the defeat at Birmingham last month, but you know what you get from him – 100% every game.
For the record, I’m as a frustrated as anybody about his missed chances in front of goal. Looking at the bigger picture he does bring some qualities to the squad but, as a striker, he should do better. As a consequence, the board should address this in the summer and sign a natural finisher (not necessarily to completely replace Sammon) and some more experience to get a better balance between youth and experience, which has been lacking at parts of this campaign.
I hope Rams fans can leave this horrible and uncalled for abuse aside and support the team.
Leeds away coming up on Monday, which will be Derby’s stronger test after playing a very poor Bristol City side, who find themselves fighting for survival.