Long time, no post. In fact, my last post on here was after the 1-1 draw with Brentford at the back end of last season – how things have changed! Sorry, who is Steve McClaren?
The club has demonstrated huge amounts of ambition this summer. If Mel wants him, Mel gets him, as per Jason Shackell and Tom Ince. Anyway, I’ve done my bit and downloaded Candy Crush to see what it’s all about!
Quality all over the pitch is the overriding feeling. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see another addition or two. Premier League clubs’ favoured players will increasingly become more apparent over the next few weeks and with the coaching reputation of Clement, like McClaren, Derby look well-placed to scoop up a good loan player if game time is promised. Who? I’ve no idea, I’ll leave that to the ‘ITK’ folk on Twitter!
Bizarrely, in the days of constant rumour and clubs and agents briefing the press, the signing of Chris Baird really slipped under the radar. Effectively the new John Eustace, he seems to be a good piece of business on a free transfer and, despite the natural excitement surrounding other transfers, I think he will be very useful in the months to come.
Current utility man Ryan Shotton’s position is unclear. And what about Bucko? Jake Buxton proved to be, in my view, Derby’s best centre-half last season.
Richard Keogh is a player that needs a fresh start for me. Losing the captaincy isn’t enough but it may help, I think he and Shackell are the current pairing in Clement’s mind to begin the season. It could well work but Alex Pearce hasn’t made the move to sit on the bench.
It’s such a cliche that the Championship is hugely unpredictable and it is, which makes predicting it very difficult. Here’s an attempt. Feel free to laugh in May 2016!
Top 6: Boro, Derby, Reading, Wolves, Hull, Bristol City.
Bottom 3: Charlton, Leeds, MK Dons
The Rams seem very appealing to the TV cameras presently. I’ve totted it up and Sky Sports are showing 6 of the club’s first 17 matches!
With the money spent, clearly there is huge pressure, unprecedented for much of, if not all, this squad, to deliver. Promotion is an expectation, the club can’t pretend otherwise. Everything seems to be going well though, can we dare to dream?