There`s never a dull moment at Pride Park and with the international break upon us it`s time to take a step back and enjoy watching England (hopefully) securing World Cup qualification.
I`m sure all football fans have built up their expectations at one time or another as their side have played like Brazil one week only to lose to bottom of the table/lower league opposition the next week and uttered the refrain ‘Typical [insert team here], always letting us down, it only happens to us`. Despite this missive being repeated at a number of grounds up and down the country every weekend I`m still a firm believer that the topsy-turvy world of The Rams is slightly more (un)predictable than most.
Opening day promise gave way to a disappointing exit from the cup to Rotherham United and this was followed by some chaotic defending at Scunthorpe but it was the week prior to the international break that summed up what we have all had to endure over the years from hope to despair back to hope again only to have this dashed just as we begin to believe.
A somewhat scrappy win over Plymouth maintained our 100% home record (it may be only two games but I will take it!) and set up us up nicely for the return to the scene of last season`s greatest triumphs at the other end of the A52. After two victories there earlier this year and The Reds` poor start to the season confidence was high of returning home with something so it was with almost metronomic predictability that Nigel Clough`s side found themselves 3-0 down at halftime and staring down the barrel of an embarrassing derby day defeat. Even after last season`s come from behind FA Cup victory surely not many had thoughts of another epic comeback when Miles Addison`s effort was deflected into the net early in the second half but sure enough another deflected effort from Jake Livermore had Rams fans dreaming again. An outstretched foot took the ball away from Rob Hulse as he looked set to tap into an empty net for 3-3 and suddenly the impossible seemed possible only for the momentum to not quite be enough and our neighbours to claim their first victory against us in over six years.
Follow this up with the news on transfer deadline day that last season`s leading scorer and reigning player of the year Rob Hulse was the subject of a bid in the region of £3 million and suddenly things were starting to look down again. In previous years we have seen last minute deals in the transfer window seeing players leave Pride Park with no time for replacements to be signed and sub-standard loans being brought in at a later date. This time however, despite the bid being accepted, Hulse remained a Derby County player and will spearhead Nigel Clough`s attack for the foreseeable future. There have been countless rumours about payments and replacements being lined up but those are best saved for another time!
I have the pleasure(?) of working at the red end of the A52 so I`ve taken my fair share of banter this week in relation to events of last Saturday and the flag waiving incident (Robbie Savage telling footballers to think…. really?) so I, for one, welcome the relative anonymity of international football over the next week, it`s not as though England have ever let us down in a vital match…….
I will (hopefully) be writing this column every couple of weeks during the season so if you have any ideas for articles or even want to write one yourself feel free to get in touch with the powers that be on the site. Input is always welcome as we look to build the site and you can also check out our predictions league via the forum or articles that will be published so if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pundit then why not give it a go?