Enjoy Some Euphoria, It is Free - Derby County Pre-Season Report
Friday, 27th Jul 2018 11:45 by HarryFromBath
In the 11th of a series of pre-season reports, HarryFromBath assesses the mood around the Championship clubs by delving into their forums, looking here at how things have progressed for the Rams under new boss Frank Lampard this summer. A report on Nottingham Forest will follow later today and all of the teams in the division will be covered between now and the start of the season.
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of Frank (Senior)”, “How fantastic does this feel at the moment? I’m so glad Stoke took Gary Rowett because the football is already much better to watch. Patience may still be needed but how good does it feel to be a Ram?”
Derby fans are heading into the new season full of optimism. The disappointment of last season’s play-off semi-final loss to Fulham has been supplanted by new high-profile manager and a brand of high-octane football which culminated in Saturday’s 3-0 pre-season friendly win over Southampton.
“We look like we are going to rip teams apart with quick, incisive passing, one touch football”, “We will win this league this year. If we do not then we will at least be the most watchable team in the league. The interplay between these players after more game time will be at Premier League level.”
“Keep playing like this and we will show people what Derby really are”, “Overall I’m super-excited for the new season and I love the new brand of football”, “I can see Derby really pushing for automatic promotion. I must remind myself not to get too carried away, but how can I not?”
“Is there a St Frank?”, “I applaud Lampard for that team and his signings so far, very impressive and on a shoestring budget, just goes to show you don’t need to spunk millions to put together a decent side at this level”, “He totally knows what he’s doing and he will get us up. I’m quite sure of that.”
“Rowett-ball is history.” The 40-year-old Lampard took on his first managerial post at the end of May when he replaced Gary Rowett, who departed to Stoke. Rams have been captivated by his preferred style of play and the way in which the squad have embraced it. “Players clearly buy into his ideas.”
“I was unsure of appointing Frank but I’m really excited by his start to managerial life”, “It has provided us all hope and excitement where many felt there wasn’t going to be any”, “He won’t be tempted away because he is a chap of integrity and intelligence and he will be a man of his word.”
Arrivals and Departures
The Rams have brought in four players. Winger Florian Jozefzoon, 29, (from Brentford) and 23-year-old striker Jack Marriott (from Peterborough) have joined permanently while two young midfielders, Mason Mount, 19 (from Chelsea), and Harry Wilson, 21 (from Liverpool) have arrived on loan deals.
The two youngsters have impressed in pre-season. “Wilson and Mount have showcased their quick feet and technical ability. They look really intelligent players, you can tell they come out of great academies.”
“Mount in midfield is Will Hughes reincarnated”, “If he's more consistent with a little more quality he will be some player. He's buzzing all over the park and his first thought is to go forward. it's like Hughes reincarnated”, “He is always looking to receive the ball but is occasionally a little sloppy.”
“Wilson has looked fantastic. He's linking up very well with the players around him and has been involved in most of the good moves”, “He is class on ball but a bit hesitant in his positioning”, “He
Andreas Weimann (r)
Striker Andreas Weimann (to Bristol City) is the one departing player to find a new club this summer. Veteran defenders Chris Baird, Jason Shackell and striker Darren Bent are unattached at the time of writing. With a deep squad, many Rams expect further departures before the summer window closes.
Derby started their pre-season with a 4-1 win at Notts County before losing 3-1 away to Mansfield. Last Saturday’s 3-0 home demolition of Southampton was followed by Wednesday’s 1-0 at Coventry, in which Lampard heavily rotated his side. A visit from Wolves on Saturday will be their final friendly.
For many Rams, the team (above) that started on Saturday against the Saints will probably begin the league campaign against Reading next Friday evening. New additions Marriott and Jozefzoon, along with midfielders Bradley Johnson, Tom Huddlestone and winger Mason Bennett are alternatives.
“Good lord, there has been some good football from Derby. We move the ball from defence to attack within seconds, passing around the opposition’s press”, I can see us causing a lot of problems with this fast, high pressing from the front”, “We dominate possession but move the ball quickly.”
“Our football is reminiscent of the Steve McClaren team. Craig Bryson’s playing like he used to, non-stop running and coming to collect the ball. Mount playing like Hughes, nice little passes and looks like the man to open up the opposition, and Joe Ledley is playing like John Eustace, no nonsense and doing what's required.”
“Max Lowe has been sensational at left-back”, “The defence looks extremely solid. I’m happy with that back four with Tom Huddlestone or Joe Ledley in front of them. We have added the attacking players doing their thing. Those minimal additions with a change of tactics stand us in good stead.”
There is one problem area. “Up front has not been great all through pre-season. I hope Jack Marriott can change that or Martyn Waghorn is that man, but he will be a better option than Cameron Jerome or David Nugent in this set-up”, “If we sign an energetic top striker the front three will be even better.”
“Waghorn is strong, he presses well and can hold up play. He has pace, is good in the air and a good finisher. He’s a complete centre forward and younger than the strikers we already have. He’s better than our current strikers, more suited to our system and has the energy to actually finish a game.”
Paul Hurst confirmed yesterday that there have been bids for our striker but not at a valuation we would consider. Many Rams believe he would perfectly suit their style of play, but they are nervous about paying excessively for a player who they feel has had just one admittedly excellent season.
“I thought that we had learned our lesson on paying exorbitant transfer fees for players on the back of a golden season”, “Waghorn cost around £250,000 12 months ago. One good season and he has suddenly become an £8 million player”, “Ipswich are a notoriously tight club to do business with.”
“Waghorn doesn’t lack in work-rate and he would certainly suit Lampard’s high and fast-pressing system”, “He impressed me at Pride Park last season, and gave our defence a very difficult time. He held the ball up well and got players running off him”, “He’s strong and his hold-up play is good.”
“Waghorn for anywhere near £8 million would be very disappointing and short-sighted for me”, “He is not a bad player and more suited to the formation than Marriott but not one to set pulses racing”, “I'm not convinced at all. At £8 million it is insane. He just a slightly quicker version of Luke Varney.”
All Looking Positive
“It’s all looking positive here with our style of play getting the best out of our attackers. The fear in me is always how we will cope under pressure defensively with our open style of play but I will try my best to put that out my head for now and hope that we don’t do a Zola at Birmingham.”
“Lampard’s instructions are the equivalent of a Championship version of Manchester City.” It will be interesting to see if Lampard can finally fulfil the wishes of many Rams and take the Championship by storm after several near misses on promotion. It certainly promises to be anything but dull.
“Signs are very positive at the moment”, “Lampard is not Rowett. Rowett is not Lampard. We have the right man. What a dude”, “How we are to play is now clear. Have we got players who can do it? I think so. Why calm down? It has been terrible for quite a while. Enjoy some euphoria, it is free.”
The busiest Rams’ forum is the friendly and knowledgeable DCFCFansUK.
Photo: Action Images
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