First things first. I promise not to mention the FLDC™ phrase. Obviously, we’re all sick to death of it but I suspect you guys probably are too?
Ha, thanks! I’m sure the vast majority of our fans would appreciate such a kind gesture. But not all of us are opposed to our new club name. You’ll see a few of us on the #dcfc feed that have adopted it for our own Twitter names. However, if it wasn’t my club – I’d be sick of it by now too! I can’t see the novelty wearing off until another England legend takes charge at another Championship club. “Rio Ferdinand’s Bolton Wanderers”, anybody?
Sounds like a shoo-in now you’ve said it.
So, a bit about you and your Derby County supporting journey mate. What’s the day job and how did you get involved with the fine Steve Bloomer’s Washing podcast?
By day I’m a content writer for a travel company but by night (and on most weekends) I dedicate a lot of time to freelancing as a football writer – so it’s fair to assume that I’ve got a lot to say! SBW was only set up in 2017 but is now one of our leading fan podcasts. Unfortunately, while I’m blessed with a face for the microphone, my voice doesn’t follow suit! Thankfully, the guys wanted to add more unique written content to their armoury – and that’s where I came in.
Good work mate… is a really good site.
Do you get to watch them live regularly? Season ticket?
Unfortunately not, I currently live in Sunderland and watching the Rams live is now a treat rather than an obligation. Before moving to the north-east in 2011, I had been a season ticket holder at Pride Park for 10 years – I have my grandfather’s Ticket Office Manager job to thank for that! With my student loan days long gone, I rely on a Rams TV subscription and some well thought out away days to feed my addiction.
Sunderland eh? Blimey, keep your head down now they’ve started thinking they’re good again.
Despite losing at Bramall Lane in what looked a feisty one (we know all about that), you’re well placed for a promotion charge, right? Still hopeful of an automatic?
In all honesty, I think the loss to Sheffield United was a well-timed and much-needed reality check. Yes, it’s a cliché but we are in the midst of a big transition period. As well as having a rookie boss cutting his teeth in the world’s most competitive league, our first-team is reliant on loan players who will not be here next season. That’s before you mention the astronomical wage bill we have mounted up. While we possess enough talent to be in and around the playoffs, there are teams boasting more managerial nous and bigger bank balances – i.e. Stoke and Aston Villa – that will come into their own come January time. Automatics? Absolutely out of the question.
Really? Surprised to hear you say that. Still not convinced by Stoke personally, but Villa are almost certain to spend big in January and will be a threat – even for the automatics.
How would you summarise dear Frankie’s first few months in charge? Think I’m right in saying he’s changed the footballing philosophy and, like us, you pass it to death from back to front? (was good to see the dear boy go toe-to-toe with the cuddly Chris Wilder).
Continuing the theme of worn-out phrases and clichés – I would have to go with say it’s been a breath of fresh air. We’ve gone from the humdrum of Gary Rowett’s ‘sit deep, long ball, counter-attack’ tactics to Lampard’s more aesthetic ‘high line, pass from the back, possession’ style. I was once of the mindset that the result was the only thing that mattered, but after watching these two contrasting philosophies played out in front of my eyes back-to-back, I’m much happier watching my team trying to win and entertain.
Presumably, Frank was given a ‘war chest’ as part of the condition of him coming to Pride Park? Early in the summer, I understood there to be little money available to him, next thing he was throwing expensive loan fees around like confetti.
There’s a popular theory amongst our supporters that our crafty chairman had been planning for Lampard’s appointment long before Rowett’s move to Stoke. By stating there was little-to-no transfer funds available, that would push Rowett out the door and get us Frank, and a cool £2 million compensation package, for our troubles. It’s a bit far-fetched for my liking but nonetheless – if you look at our transfer incomings, both transfers and loans, a vast majority of the fees were covered by the sale of Matej Vydra to Burnley. I prefer the fan theory, don’t you?
Yep, most definitely, everyone loves a conspiracy theory.
Fair to assume you have rich owners who have pumped millions into the club?
There’s a lot of positives to having your club being run by a supporter but Mel Morris has done a good job of highlighting the negatives. Earlier I mentioned the humongous wages we’re paying out, that’s not including the 50k or so a week for players banished to the Under-23s. Those players are Ikechi Anya, George Thorne and Jacob Butterfield in case any of the Norwich scouts are looking for a bargain…
(No thanks re Butterfield – been there, done that.)
Unfortunately, we’re now paying the price for Morris trying to bankroll us back to the big time. It’s not all bad news, it’s thanks to Mel we have a Category One Academy that is now starting to bear fruit.
Other than Wilson, Mount and Marriot, who we hear a LOT about, who else has impressed this season? No place for the ‘darling of Carrow Road’, Bradley Johnson?
Just like Norwich, we have an exciting 18-year-old right-back that has burst onto the scene this season. He’s raw around the edges and defensively there’s a lot to improve on – but there is some a lot of talent there. Before his injury, Mason Bennett looked like he was ready to make his mark on the first team seven years after making his debut as a 15-year-old. Meanwhile, the less said about Bradley Johnson the better. It was doomed from the moment he put pen-to-paper at ‘Derby City’…
Ha! Some in these parts are still pushing for sainthood for dear old Bradderz (I’m not one of them btw). Am guessing he still gives the ball away with alarming regularity.
Also, am amazed that Richard Keogh fits in with Lampard-ball to be honest – always saw him as a tad …. eeerrr … unsophisticated.
From one touchy subject to another – Richard Keogh is Derby County’s marmite. Love him or hate him, each and every supporter is firmly in one of the camps. Personally, I love the fella. He may not look comfortable on the ball, but he is at his best when bursting forward, ideal for our high defensive line. He wears his heart on his sleeve and in amongst the odd erratic error and unorthodox style, there is an extremely good defender perfect for this level.
I’ll take your word for it mate… you’ve seen far more of the dear boy in action than I have.
Anyway, you up to speed on our Germanic revolution? Your thoughts? Can we…?
On top of some astute signings from his homeland, Daniel Farke has bedded some homegrown talent into the squad. To have four first-team regulars produced from your own academy is an incredible achievement. There’s a lot we can learn from the German club model, and it’s great to see that Farke has been given the time to implement it at Carrow Road. It worked for Huddersfield, so why not you? My heart tells me that you’ll go up automatically, however my head says you’ll have to suffer the lottery of the playoffs.
Hhmm… not sure the old nerves will be up to the playoffs if I’m honest.
Finally – standard – a score prediction for Saturday?
We’re always good for a goal but with no recognised left back and a nasty habit of conceding first –begrudgingly I predict a narrow 2-1 win for Norwich… that’s me being optimistic!
Many thanks to Ryan for his time.
If anything highlights the folly of predicting the outcome of a football match, our guest on the last preview (Forest fan, Christian), gave us the following little gem;
I’ve noticed you’ve ridden your luck a bit at home recently (Millwall springs to mind) and I don’t think we’d be as careless holding a decent lead heading into stoppage time.
To be fair to Christian, few could have predicted the turn of events last time out at the Carra. A game that 9 times out of 10 would have given City three points was slipping away through a combination of poor defending, inspired goalkeeping and a howler from the ref. But City’s last-gasp heroics conjured up a fairy-tale ending, that should see players and fans relishing another home clash.
Penney predicts: I’m going to plump for a City win. Wilder’s filthies eventually took them apart and hopefully we can do the same – albeit in a very different manner, although the make-up of our depleted bench will be interesting. I hope Tim Krul is fully aware of Wilson’s set-piece ability. 2-1 City.
Andy assumes: With our squad looking increasingly injury-ravaged the head says a defeat, but the heart remembers Wednesday and the never-say-die spirit. I’ll split the difference and go 1-1.
Gaz guesses: Proper heart v head conundrum this one. As the injury crisis really starts to bite, you wonder how many more rabbits are left to be pulled from the Farke hat. But… this bunch are extraordinary, so even in adversity I reckon they can emerge with a 2-2.
Cookie concludes: A mounting injury list is a big cause for concern with the relentless Championship schedule, but with Hernandez and Vrancic ‘doing the business’ in place of Buendia and Leitner, I still fancy City to find a way. City 2 -Derby 0.
Stew suspects: The head says it’ll be difficult – Derby have broader and deeper resources than ours. But the heart says City, and heart is overcoming everything these days. 3-1 Norwich.
The oppo’s opinion: Begrudgingly I predict a narrow 2-1 win for Norwich.
Siri says: The answer is City 1 – Derby 3.