Here’s a summary of a few developments regarding Derby County and my thoughts.
Firstly, I wanted to discuss this weekend’s friendly against Rangers. The ticket prices are adults £15, seniors £12, juveniles £10 & under-12s £5. Meanwhile Sheffield United are charging adults £12 for tickets to see two friendlies, one against Huddersfield and the other against Fenerbache.
Now I think those prices are a little steep for a pre-season friendly, especially considering the opposition and that I would consider matches of this kind as a family affair. Back in May it emerged that the club had lined up a ‘big’ side to come to Pride Park so, to me, Rangers is quite a disappointment.
I would have preferred to watch Derby take on a team such as Stoke or Aston Villa, like they usually do, than Rangers, a second division Scottish side. While I appreciate that many big sides are jetting off around the world on tours, they do spend some time over here. And what about Barcelona? Again, I can imagine they’re difficult to pin down to a friendly but over this week they’re in the area at St George’s Park.
The match itself has attracted attracted 8,500 away fans so far (as per John Vicars’ tweet) and 5,500 home supporters to buy tickets, though, naturally many will purchase on the day, yet we still face the prospect of being outnumbered by a side 300 miles away! Forest fans on Twitter will have a field day at that!
At least we can welcome back former striker and Derby top goalscorer, Kenny Miller!
Bamford will be missed
Reports suggest that Patrick Bamford is heading north to Middlesbrough on loan. Last season the Chelsea striker made a huge impact at Derby and won points with his moments of brilliance.
With a full campaign in this division it isn’t hard to see him bagging plenty of goals, rivalling Chris Martin’s total of 25 last season. At Derby he managed 8 goals in his loan spell.
Since he returned to Stamford Bridge I have been surprised to read comments on fans’ forums saying they wouldn’t have him back. Personally, I’d have had him back like a shot and I’m disappointed that, since it doesn’t look like he’ll be returning, it is a fellow Championship club where he is due to arrive – I can quite easily envisage him scoring against the Rams!
The reason I would have him back is simply because he scores goals. And plenty of them. Do I need to say anymore? OK, I will. There’ll be times in the coming season when I know I will say on this blog in a post-match report that a Bamford figure was needed to change a tight match. He offered that very effectively. Also, the Forest thrashing (any excuse to mention that!) demonstrated that he offered more than the moments of quality that Steve McClaren had become dependent on at times.
However, a move back to Derby wouldn’t have really suited him under the current system. It seemed that he wasn’t the man for the Chris Martin role and therefore he was left out wide when he did play. Good luck to him.
The Thorne Saga rumbles on
It seems that Derby will look to the loan market for a replacement for George Thorne.
John Eustace showed that he is still more than capable at this level and I think he will be a valuable squad member; I don’t think he’s the man for the whole season. Paul Coutts could work in that role too and Jeff Hendrick and Will Hughes have been tried there too but, ultimately, I believe it needs a real specialist to cover it as it is essential to the way the team plays.
Nathaniel Chalobah from Chelsea has done the rounds in talk between supporters. Jose Mourinho has said he wants to loan him out along with Bamford “to compete against men in a different league” to the Under-21 division.
I think he’d be a good replacement on a temporary basis only; Derby will undoubtedly stick by Thorne. Nonetheless, it looks like Derby would face competition for him and it is no surprise given the success of his previous loan spells in this Championship, Burnley have been reported as being keen on the defensive midfielder.
Here’s a famous goal scored by the 19-year-old.
Thorne’s been there before
If there is any bright side to this it is that he has been through a similar lengthy recovery before and come out the other side, as we found out last season, as an impressive player.
His current injury is a cruciate knee ligament injury. The previous one was an anterior cruciate ligament injury, it saw him out of action for eight months.
Roos shines in pre-season
If you missed it last week, see my feature on goalkeeper Kelle Roos.