The average time for a train journey from Leeds to Alfreton works out at about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Add to this the 15 minute train from Horsforth to Leeds and the 15 minute walk from Leeds Trinity University to Horsforth Station and you’ve got yourself roughly two hours to collect your thoughts and write a blog post.
So here it goes.
Following the departure of Paul Clement as manager of Derby County football club, it came apparent that every man and his dog who was remotely interested in football has now become a Derby County specialist.
Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and yes not everyone will agree with everyone else’s opinion.
But when you read comments about the boring football and the over rated pedigrees of certain players signed, social media becomes a very stressful place to be on a Saturday night.
Same old, same old. Lack of ideas, slow, lifeless and boring. Derby County this season, Derby County under Clement. #dcfc
— Jack Housley (@JackHousley_F1) February 2, 2016
At the start of this season Paul Clement was assured that his job would not be under threat if the side failed to gain promotion to the Premier League. £25 million pound, 14 league wins and currently sat in fifth place, Clement now finds himself out of the his job.
There may be more to this story than meets the eye, rumours of training ground bust ups between players, the influence of the owner appearing in the dressing room, revolts from senior players regarding certain tactical ideas, plenty of news for the papers to pick up on.
Believe what you want but the main news is in black and white. Clement wasn’t providing performances nor results since the Christmas blockade of fixtures and may be the main reason behind being sacked.
Mel Morris said: “Paul’s horizon was shorter term than ours. With all good intent I think Paul had a slightly different view.”
Suggesting that perhaps Clement was rushing his duties, having a fixed mind set on a second placed finish at the minimum may have led to trying almost too hard.
Paul Clement clearly had the pedigree to become a very good head coach. Having assisted Carlo Ancelotti at three of Europe’s biggest teams he has clearly learnt his trade from the very best. No doubt about it he could have become exactly what Derby needed for a bright future.
Where did it go wrong?
Tactically there was times where he struggled. 4-3-3 was the preferred formation carrying on from where McClaren left off. Martin was again the focal point and George Thorne carried the midfield. Too much emphasis was applied on playing this style of play week in week out. Often leading to very predictable performances. Losing the likes of Will Hughes and Craig Bryson in the opening game certainly didn’t help the cause, as the side were desperate for two of their main stars to thrive this season.
However when push came to shove there was never a plan B. Subs tended to be like for like swaps rather than impact or tactically made substitutes. The focus on possession was too intense often leading to few shots on goal. Meaning the top scores in the league of two seasons ago were wishing for a flurry of goals.
Now Darren Wassall, academy director, has been appointed as the head coach until the end of the season (Indefinitely) whether this is the best way forward remains to be seen. Wassall who has been at the club for some time now knows the players better than anyone else. If he is cut out for the job long term, or even short time is still very much up for scrutiny.
Hopefully this works. Hopefully the ‘Derby way’ will return to the IPro and promotion will again look very likely.
Should Clement still be in charge?
It’s a tough one for me and very hard to put down in words how I feel about the decision.
Half of me says a good decision. The other half is a little unsure.