The Rams are a bit light in midfield
The injury to Will Hughes, although the full extent of it is yet unknown, seems to be serious. Craig Bryson also picked up an injury yesterday. Suddenly, in the central midfield department, Paul Clement’s squad looks light.
A loan signing would seem to be the likely route for Clement to address this issue. It has to be someone that can match the creativity of Hughes and the engine of Bryson. In the meantime, the manager had to decide whether new club captain Chris Baird should cover in midfield or stick to right-back. Given the alternatives, I think Baird should stick to right-back, especially if the diamond formation is pursued in which the central midfielders have to do much of the work out wide.
Warnock vs Forsyth
A selection battle is developing here. Stephen Warnock never really broke into the side last season but yesterday he began the season as the Rams’ first choice left-back. I think Craig Forsyth is the better option to add a force to the attacking element of the side. A League Cup start should give Fozzy the chance to bounce back.
Is it all over for Chrisitie?
Sticking with full-back, it was notable that Cyrus Chrsitie didn’t even make the squad yesterday. It’s now getting difficult to see a place for him at the club. A lot has happened since he began the last campaign well with a decent debut and an assist for Jeff Hendrick to score against Rotherham in last season’s opener.
So, Chris Baird is the new captain. I think it is a good choice. He is a fresh, new face with bags of experience but, also importantly, he has no associations with the failure of last season and no inside loyalties or disputes to his name from the previous McClaren regime. A shrewd free signing that could prove to be like the free signing of John Eustace two years ago.