Rams Diary 19/8/13 – 25/8/13


My day-to-day account on all things the Rams over the course of the past week, including what’s gone on and my thoughts on the happenings.

Monday

Still a bit sore after Saturday’s defeat? Yes, disappointed. Now on with the new week.

The Rams’ Under-21 side were defeated 2-1 at Crewe in their first league match of the campaign. A 25-yard free-kick from Michael Jacobs wasn’t enough for Derby. He won’t just go down as having scored, he’ll also go down as having a last minute penalty saved.

Valnetin Gjokaj, Michael Hoganson, Mason Bennett and Michael Jacobs. Also among the side were Luke Hendrie, an 18 year old former Manchester United midfielder, and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dean Parrett.

Tuesday

A report in Metro said that Liverpool are set to launch a £6 million bid for Will Hughes. However, the Derby Telegraph were, as ever, swift in putting their word out regarding the speculation “The Derby Telegraph understands that as of Tuesday afternoon, the club has not received any bids for Hughes.”

Firstly, £6 million isn’t near enough. I’m sure Derby would hold out for much more. Also let’s remember that Liverpool paid £35 million for Andy Carroll, and look how he turned out for them – if they can splash it on him, why not on the ‘next Gerrard’, as some people have dubbed him? If it is Liverpool that do come in for Hughes then, Derby, please hold out for as much more than usual – and not just because they believe £6 million is the right price!

Today the below tweet was made the club.

I had to check twice if it was the club’s account. Maybe they’ll be following Doncaster in signing one of the band members to boost interest and shirt sales!

Theo Robinson popped up with another goal for his new side Doncaster tonight. He’s scored two in two now. Both of his goals for his new team have now been from inside the six yard box, typical Theo style. Cries on Twitter and the forums that we should have kept him are obviously rife but I don’t think he’s the way forward for a club aiming for the top six, do you remember his general ability on the ball?

Finally, this piece on ex-Ram Giles Barnes caught my eye.

Wednesday

News emerged today that transfer-listed defender James O’Connor is training with League One side Bristol City, with a view to a permanent move. City boss Sean O’Driscoll managed the defender while at Doncaster Rovers. Him, Adam Legzdins, Nathan Tyson and James Bailey are the remaining transfer-listed players on Derby’s books, while Tom Naylor is on loan at Newport.

It’s all good and well being able to be Mr Flexible and be able to play all across the back four but O’Connor never showed the credentials of a very able player. He was clumsy and often caught out defensively.

In a poll last week, I asked ‘Of the five still at the club for the time being, which would you most happily drive away to another club tomorrow?’ – just over 40% of voters responded with James O’Connor. I was even asked on Twitter, by @jimDCFC, if he had to wait until tomorrow to drive him away – he was prepared to do it there and then!

Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey today completed his month-long loan move to Championship new-boys Yeovil Town, who are the Rams’ opponents this Saturday. It’ll be a welcome boost for this weekend’s hosts but the Welsh ‘keeper hasn’t played a senior game since April 2012 – when Wolves were a Premier League side, now they’re in League One.

Amid all the speculation about Will Hughes, Nigel Clough has remained adamant that no bids have been received “We’ve had no bids or contact from anybody”, he added “Unless there is somebody sitting there with an awful lot of money burning a hole in their pocket I cannot see it [Hughes being a Derby player] changing.”

Away tickets for Saturday’s game sold out therefore the Glovers allocated the club a further 500 tickets. If sold, there will be 2,000 Rams fans cheering Derby on in Somerset.

This isn’t directly related with Derby but still of interest. Rumours are doing the rounds about Lee Camp joining League Two side Chesterfield!

Thursday

I wake up to more Will Hughes speculation. And more today. The Independent reported that Liverpool are on the verge of signing the youngster for £10 million and loaning him straight back. Nigel Clough continued in maintaining that no bids have been made and added “I cannot predict what is going to happen but I do not see it changing”.

A loan-back would be an absolute imperative for me. Would he benefit more from warming Liverpool’s bench and playing in their under-21s or playing regular first-team football with Derby? It’s a no-brainer. Not only is it about Will’s development, he’s also a key man for the current season in Clough’s side.

Little else other than the Hughes saga, if you insist on following suit of the Premier League with the word ‘saga’, today so here’s a video that was uploaded today showcasing the midfielder’s talents. Good work, Derby Goals!

Friday

This isn’t really of much concern for us Rams fans but when it comes to our rivals, we’re naturally interested as to what they’re getting up to. The Nottingham Post exposed of how Forest are freezing local media access and therefore distancing fans. Read it here.

Injured skipper Shaun Barker is taking bigger steps to recovery (see below). His tweet today was great to read.

Also, a piece on Ram Zone grabbed by attention today – and a sensible one it is too.

Further reports on Hughes today- in the Express and in the Daily Star.

Finally, happy birthday to defender Valentin Gjokaj today. He is 20.

Saturday

Matchday. Yeovil away.

Many Rams fans encountered traffic problems on their way to Somerset – with some even missing kick-off.  In total 1753 made the long journey to cheer on Derby.

Derby emerged with three points with a 3-0 win. Goals courtesy of Johnny Russell, Craig Bryson and Chris Martin. Unfortunately, Jeff Hendrick did pick up an injury. It appears it’s nothing too serious, he could be available for the game against Burnley but a doubt for Tuesday’s home League Cup tie against Brentford.

Watch the goals below.

Here are the 24 passes and goal involved in the second goal. An incredible team effort.

Neil Bates (@NeilDCFC) made the trip and sent in his thoughts:

At 1.50 we were starting to feel like the effort we had put in to get to Yeovil wouldn’t be worth it after having left at before 8 o’clock in the morning. Thankfully, Derby produced a performance to warm the 1700 Rams fans that had all come down to the heart of Somerset in an August chill. Huish Park is the one away ground that has made me realise how lucky we are as Derby fans to have Pride Park, the away end is uncovered and shanty to say the least, and the rest is not much better.

Derby controlled the game from the first whistle thanks to neat interplay between the midfield diamond. However, we were starting to think it would be the same old story, all play and no end product, until Johnny Russell finished his goal well before laying a hand in an extremely well-worked second for Craig Bryson. The game was effectively over just after the hour-mark when Chris Martin tapped home in front of the delighted Derby fans in the Copse Road End. After that, we took a slightly more negative approach to the game but the clean sheet was well worth it. The 9 hour round trip was made much easier by the fact that we had witnessed Derby score 3 goals away from home for the first time since 2009, as well as a good night’s sleep in a Yeovil B&B.

Amazingly, it was the first time the Rams have scored three away goals since October 2010 (a 3-2 win at Doncaster). Also it’s the first time since February 2009 (two wins at Forest and one at Plymouth) that Derby have won three consecutive away matches. Are we beginning to see the ruthlessness and cutting edge away from home that have been so sorely lacking away from home for a long time?

A 100% away record. Long may it continue.

Sunday

Following the win yesterday, Richard Keogh received some plaudits in the Sunday Mirror – the defender made their Team of the Day in today’s paper.

Another report in the national media regarding Will Hughes said that Liverpool must pay at least £15 million for the young talent. It’s now become routine over the week for Rams fans to be reassured (below) that Derby haven’t had any constant from any other clubs about Hughes.

Giovanni Trapattoni named Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon in his 29-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad for September’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Richard Keogh has no place in the squad, even after a good performance yesterday.

Ex-Derby full-back John Brayford had no place in Cardiff City’s 18-man squad today in their win over Manchester City, as was the case in their opening Premier League fixture at West Ham. I hope he gets his chance soon, he has the credentials to succeed in the top flight.

Also, a post on Ramspace appeared today – worth a read.

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