Derby FM20 – May 2020: End of Term Report

The continuing adventures of Derby County via Football Manager 2020. If you would like to read this from the start then a handy index of story chapters is available right here.

So how ready are we for a long campaign of top flight football? The sobering truth lies in this table, which categorises the Derby lads according to where our coaches believe their current playing level to be:

I have included the Premier League as a column to illustrate how far away from that standard we are right now. Various players are considered capable of rising to that level, but they aren’t there yet. For now we are very much a Championship side, with some ageing and young players bubbling under, and poor old Marcus Olsson some way off the pace.

What you really want to know are my thoughts on each member of the team, how they’ve performed and what their prospects are. This then is the place for you. In squad number order…

1. Lorenzo Montipo
Age – Nationality: 24 –
Current Value: £5.25 million
Position: Goalkeeper
Appearances – Clean Sheets: 53 (0) – 25
Average Rating: 6.83
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Potential to be a decent Premier Division goalkeeper in the future
A key signing in summer 2019, Enzo was brought in to be an instant starter with a developmental brief to improve himself to top flight standards. He absolutely hit the former, pulling off any number of important saves and ending the term with the division’s second best record for clean sheets. I can indicate on one hand the number of times he let me down. Solid and lacking eccentric ‘qualities’, his value rose beyond the £3.6 million we paid for him and he is especially impressive in his reflexes. I now have to rule on whether he is up to the challenge of the higher level, where he will be facing world class players on a weekly basis. It might all be coming to him a season or two before he’s ready for it.

2. Andre Wisdom
Age – Nationality: 26 –
Current Value: £3.4 million
Position: Right Full-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 20 (0) – 0 – 2
Average Rating: 6.86
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Doesn’t enjoy big matches
Something of a dead man walking, my intention for some months has been to sell Andre once the season finishes. Since returning from injury he’s been largely fine, not spectacular but defensively sound, and good enough to become a regular for the Jamaican national team. I think I’m fairly bang on, however, to consider him incapable of prevailing at the higher level and that the sooner we part terms the better it will be for both of us. Some bright spark told him he’d be a regular starter, which he isn’t, and offered him a contract that pays him £23,000 per week, and that’s steep even for someone who would figure week after week. I guess this is what comes of signing a Liverpool prospect, however there are good reasons why they sold him to a Championship team.

3. Marcus Olsson
Age – Nationality: 31 –
Current Value: £23,500
Position: Left Full-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 0 – 0 – 0
Average Rating: N/A
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Has taken several large steps backwards as a footballer over the last two months
You might think I’m going to criticise Marcus, who never troubled the first team with what amounts to his services. I’m not going to do that. He was drafted in for free to help Alex Milosevic get settled into the team and achieved just that, so as far as I’m concerned this Swedish veteran has done his job. But he isn’t anything like good enough, and his association with us will end when his contract expires in the summer.

4. Graeme Shinnie
Age – Nationality: 28 –
Current Value: £2.7 million
Position: Ball Winning Midfielder
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 27 (6) – 0 – 2
Average Rating: 6.75
Key Coaching Comment: ‘His bravery and work rate make him a good team player
A difficult player to quantify. Graeme wasn’t a natural selection for me. I prefer to have deep lying playmakers in central midfield and the Scot is better in a more withdrawn role, almost a DM but playing further forward. Too often I found myself subbing him off as we were chasing a result and it was clear he wouldn’t be a part of that effort. At the same time Graeme isn’t lacking for steel, for sheer busy running in the middle third of the pitch. He’s also a good leader, our vice-captain for the year. If I needed someone to simply put his foot on the ball then I could think of nobody better. My instinct is that this will be the end of the line for him here; he’s a fine professional but consummately second tier.

5. Krystian Bielik
Age – Nationality: 22 –
Current Value: £9.25 million
Position: Ball Playing Centre Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 33 (2) – 3 – 1
Average Rating: 7.05
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Has improved as a footballer
Expensively acquired before my time, Krys was brought in to develop and improve his game, and he’s done it. Becoming increasingly important within a competitive defensive unit, the youngster enjoyed a banner season, representing Poland impressively along with playing consistently well in Derby whites. His tallness is a strength, and increasing assets like his vision, his reading of the game, show that he is growing as a player. A sentence I will repeat often is that Premier League football might be coming before he’s ready for it, but my feeling is that he will become so before too long.

6. Alexander Milosevic
Age – Nationality: 28 –
Current Value: £6.25 million
Position: Ball Playing Centre Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 23 (2) – 2 – 0
Average Rating: 7.05
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Lack of work ethic can place an extra burden on his team-mates
A free signing in the summer, Alex is a former Forest defender with eight clubs in his history before coming here. Essentially a journeyman player, the Swede has an aggressive streak that led to him collecting eight yellow cards (a concerning one-in-three record), but he was also a consummate professional. He was happy to help the cause and became something of a crowd favourite due to his industrial, hard man brand of football. The prospect of him bringing this to the top table terrifies me. Opposition forwards looking to take advantage of defenders who get a lot of bookings will have a field day with him. My strong overriding suspicion is that our association with him is going to have a single season’s shelf life.

7. Bakery Jatta
Age – Nationality: 21 –
Current Value: £7 million
Position: Right Winger
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 38 (9) – 13 – 7
Average Rating: 7.06
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Spirited individual
Another crowd pleaser who could be incredibly flashy and produced some impressive feats of skill, Bakery frustrated me as often as he was pleasing. The side’s top goalscorer despite not being rated as one of our better finishers, he also had the potential to simply vanish from matches. The squad’s quickest player, he also has a mean streak that saw him sent off twice. For someone who cost £3 million he probably justified the outlay, though I’m concerned that we pay him £33,000 per week and sense we should have expected a more consistent performer for the amount he’s earning. All the same Bakery has conjured magic for us at times; a tricky winger who’s built to torture defences, and I’m intrigued to see how he handles the game’s higher levels.

8. Matt Phillips
Age – Nationality: 29 –
Current Value: £2.6 million
Position: Right Winger
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 7 (10) – 1 – 2
Average Rating: 6.75
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Has declined slightly as a footballer over the last three months
I brought Scottish international Matt in on loan, seeing him as an improvement on Duane Holmes and someone who could challenge Bakery Jatta on the right wing. His contract contains a £3.8 million release clause that we can activate if it all works out. On balance I don’t think it has. We experienced a fair return on the £10k we were paying him weekly, but at no point did I think of him as a star player on whom I could rely, and in terms of upsetting Jatta he failed. The fortunate element is that we don’t need to keep him. The final, damning note is that he’s beginning to wane, which is the opposite of what we are looking for.

9. Martyn Waghorn
Age – Nationality: 30 –
Current Value: £2.1 million
Position: Left Winger/Pressing Forward
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 33 (11) – 9 – 3
Average Rating: 6.75
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Inability to make the right decision at the right time underlines this player’s lack of intelligence on the pitch
For a brief golden moment I thought I’d unearthed a proper diamond in the rough in Martyn. Cast into the first eleven regularly as a consequence of Tom Lawrence’s broken foot, he owned the left wing for a time, scoring a lot of goals and being very impressive. But it was fleeting. The English winger with a string of teams in his history soon settled back into middling performances, whether used up front or on the left, producing little and turning out to be very one-footed. At some point I made a promise to him that he’ll be getting a new contract, which will be a lie as he is almost certainly going to make the transfer list. In the end he isn’t even quite up to the standards of the Championship and is rated as only the side’s fourth best player in his natural position.

10. Tom Lawrence
Age – Nationality: 26 –
Current Value: £11.25 million
Position: Inverted Left Winger
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 22 (12) – 11 – 3
Average Rating: 7.08
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Enjoys big matches
Tom has become our starting left winger by default, by the simple virtue of being the de facto best choice. He’s vexing. ‘Tries tricks’ is listed as a typical trait, which is byword for ‘Showboats often’. Basically Tom is a Welsh international and likes to see himself on a par with that other great dragon, Gareth Bale, but one of these players is a global superstar with a repertoire of dazzling skills, and the other is Tom Lawrence. All the same, his low rent Bale-isms have produced results at this level. He has no fear of opposing defences and is perfectly willing to try spectacular shots that, when they go in, are highlight reel magic. I quite like his impudence, despite the likelihood that things will go wrong for him as often as they pay off. His self-belief is an asset.

12. Scott Carson
Age – Nationality: 34 –
Current Value: £350,000
Position: Goalkeeper
Appearances – Clean sheets: 1 – 1
Average Rating: 6.95
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Fringe player but may be past his best
It’s good to have an experienced England international in the ranks. Scott was our starting goalkeeper before this season, when he went on loan with Manchester City reserves until January, and I feel safe having him here if anything happens to Montipo. That said, we’re nearing the end. Scott’s earning a large wage for providing back-up services and overseeing his decline with the U23s. Though goalkeeper isn’t necessarily a priority position for us, if someone becomes available then he’s likely to be the fall guy.

13. Lee Buchanan
Age – Nationality: 19 –
Current Value: £2.9 million
Position: Left Wing-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 9 – 0 – 0
Average Rating: 6.96
Key Coaching Comment: ‘No intention of joining our club on a regular basis
What plans I had for Lee, a golden future where he grows up alongside Max Lowe as a first team player, the pair sharing time in the left-back role and improving all the while. That ended when he was sold to Leicester in January, though he agreed to return for the rest of the season on loan and we’ve had a glimpse of his flowering potential. For such a young player Lee never let us down, and his determination levels are so high that I wish they could inspire certain others in the line-up. He leaves with our thanks and best wishes.

14. Jack Marriott
Age – Nationality: 25 –
Current Value: £4.2 million
Position: Advanced Forward
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 19 (18) – 8 – 5
Average Rating: 6.92
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Seems to fit in fairly well with most of the squad
I found Jack’s fragility in front of goal to be frustrating. Eight goals in 37 appearances isn’t the standard we’d hope for from a striker, however he emerged as a better bet than Troy Parrott and was instrumental in helping us during the crucial run-in. There might not have been enough additions to his goals account, but he held up the ball well and unselfishly worked as a team player, seeking out his fellows when he could. His injury record is a concern, and I’m very uncertain of his capacity to cut it in the Premier League, but I will say that the jury’s out on him.

15. Troy Parrott
Age – Nationality: 18 –
Current Value: £13.5 million
Position: Complete Forward
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 33 – 3 – 4
Average Rating: 6.80
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Tendency not to get stuck into rough challenges can put his team-mates under some pressure
Included here because he played a lot of football for us before the foot injury he incurred ended his loan period. Troy was an important acquisition for us, brought in for the season from Spurs and never quite cutting it. In essence he didn’t score goals, nor did he look like getting himself into shooting positions enough. Even before his injury he was being dropped for Marriott, signalling a disappointing end to his time with us. Against that is the nebulous factor of his youth. Troy recently celebrated his 18th birthday. His year with us was really his first taste of senior football, so what did I honestly expect…? He certainly improved as a player while he was here, and he played a role in helping us get to where we finished, and for that I am grateful.

16. Matt Clarke
Age – Nationality: 23 –
Current Value: £9 million
Position: Ball Playing Centre Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 30 (2) – 2 – 0
Average Rating: 7.01
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Extremely interested in joining our club
Matt’s been part of the furniture all season, to such an extent that it’s easy to forget he’s ours for a limited time only. At some point he will need to return to Brighton, and there could be a jagged element to this in the sense that – at the time of writing – they may yet be relegated. Considered the side’s fourth best centre back, Matt has been Mr Reliable during his time here, rarely causing me any concerns and being the consummate professional throughout. If we wanted to sign him permanently then Brighton would expect something in the region of £8 million, which is a prohibitive fee for a defender who is still realistically playing at Championship standard. Still, it’s been fun.

17. George Evans
Age – Nationality: 25 –
Current Value: £650,000
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 10 (5) – 0 – 0
Average Rating: 6.98
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Fairly inconsistent performer
Quietly, George racked up fifteen appearances this season and rarely let me down. A squad player who isn’t earning a massive salary, can pass and tackle relatively well, possesses little in terms of vision and drive, he was someone I could slot into the line-up as an alternative to Lord Rooney. His occasional spells in the first team were blown once we’d brought in Chirivella. He’s unlikely to play for us again.

18. Perr Schuurs
Age – Nationality: 20 –
Current Value: £4.3 million
Position: Ball Playing Centre Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 22 (2) – 0 – 0
Average Rating: 6.98
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Potential to be a Premier Division centre back in the future
Perr broke into the first team slowly, tested initially against softer opposition before being used more often and ending the year as the best centre back within the unit. I would love to sign him permanently and his loan agreement includes a £6 million optional fee. But will I need to earmark this money elsewhere? What counts in the Dutchman’s favour is his youth. Perr is 20. He’s improving, especially in technical areas, and he works hard in training, earning constant glowing reports. He also really wants to remain as part of the project – yes, somehow Derby County is more appealing to him than Ajax; go figure… We’ll see. Perr is on the books until the end of June, so there’s time before I need to make a decision on him.

19. Pedro Chirivella
Age – Nationality: 22 –
Current Value: £1.7 million
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 17 (3) – 0 – 1
Average Rating: 7.28
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Has put in some really good performances lately
Pedro arrived on loan from Liverpool in January and never looked back, becoming an essential player for us and impressing everyone with his natural control and great passing. What made him especially valuable was how he dictated the tempo of games in which he featured – always available, constantly finding space, an intelligent footballer. At the time of writing 18 clubs have him on their shopping list. He really wants to stay, and we could get him at a knockdown price if we put some money on the table for him before his Liverpool contract expires on 30 June, which coincidentally is also when his time at Pride Park finishes. It’s highly tempting. Pedro strikes me as a young, hard working pro with a great future.

23. Duane Holmes
Age – Nationality: 25 –
Current Value: £3.5 million
Position: Right Winger
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 22 – 1 – 1
Average Rating: 6.68
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Tends to be a peripheral figure within the squad
Duane spent the second half of the season out on loan after a disappointing first. I wanted a good alternative to Jatta who I could bring on when required, and via injuries and moribund form he turned out not to provide the answers… That said, Matt Phillips didn’t make the grade either, so I’m left with a gap in the squad. The American is transfer listed and I see no reason to change that, despite a decent showing at Wigan Athletic that will hopefully serve as a shop window for his talents.

25. Max Lowe
Age – Nationality: 22 –
Current Value: £6.5 million
Position: Left Wing-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 44 – 4 – 6
Average Rating: 7.09
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Fairly consistent performer
My number two choice for our player of the season, Max was selected as the best pick for the left-back slot and never really looked back. A fast and fit player, he has the ability to stamp his authority on the flank and developed into a key figure, along with Montipo and Baker someone I was highly reticent about leaving out of my first eleven even when he was being run into the ground. He improved a lot through the campaign, honing his key attributes as he develops into someone we can enjoy in the Premier League. Max has a growing list of admirers. Six top flight clubs are monitoring him, and he is rumoured to be interested in moving to a ‘bigger club’, so the summer could involve a battle to retain his services. Anyone who wants Max will need to be prepared to pay a lot more than his market value.

32. Lord Wayne Rooney
Age – Nationality: 34 –
Current Value: £1.4 million
Position: Defensive Midfielder/Deep Lying Playmaker
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 41 (7) – 2 – 2
Average Rating: 7.02
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Regular player but may be past his best
Honoured for leading Derby back into the Promised Land, living legend Lord Wayne was for much of the season a critical player, a vastly experienced superstar with dwindling physical levels (on the wa(y)ne, if you will – who writes this stuff?), yet more than capable of handling himself within the Championship. It’s a good thing that with the arrival in January of Pedro Chirivella Lord Wayne’s importance to the cause lessened. We already need to anticipate a future without him, even if his technical and mental assets are still considerable and will continue to make him useful as we attempt to establish a Premier League foothold. His ability to play two full games per week is no longer present, and more and more he will be valuable to us for his coaching, in particular his status as someone who’s won just about every club honour available and can pass on the knowledge of what made him great to the next generation. It seems incredible that Lord Wayne has just completed his nineteenth season as a first team player. That’s impressive, but equally so is his high Derby salary (£50,000 per week), which sits in the accounts like a headache-inducing drain…

34. Lewis Baker
Age – Nationality: 25 –
Current Value: £7.75 million
Position: Deep Lying Playmaker
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 44 (5) – 5 – 16
Average Rating: 7.35
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Important player and could still improve
It was a case of throwing the dice when I lashed out £3.2 million to make Lewis mine. What was I going to get? An improving midfielder who just needed a permanent home at which to perfect his talents, or the perennial Chelsea cast-off journeyman who had completed seven loan spells elsewhere before signing for us? Fortunately it was the former, Lewis leading the charge from the middle of the park, becoming our highest rated player and impressing especially with his set-piece work. Lewis finished third in Championship assists, a lot of them coming from the corner flag, and he has a mean free kick in him also. Ideally I would have had two seasons to turn him into a top flight performer, but it seems clear the bloke is close to being Premier-ready and hopefully we will be able to rely on his consistent work for years to come. My choice for Player of the Year.

37. Jayden Bogle
Age – Nationality: 19 –
Current Value: £6.75 million
Position: Right Wing-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 25 – 1 – 1
Average Rating: 6.96
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Improved considerably on his decisions and has also slightly improved his crossing
Of Derby’s two right full-backs, it was a toss-up between Jayden and Andre Wisdom over who would eventually become the main man. The Jamaican proved adept in a defensive role, whereas teenage Jayden is rapidly emerging as a more complete and modern wing-back, razor sharp in terms of his pace and showing some real flair. The prospect of him and Max Lowe on opposite flanks developing together is a mouthwatering one – ideally both players will torment opposition defenders for years to come. Jayden wants a new contract to reflect his enhanced status and improved assets, which I’m inclined to give him.

38. Jason Knight
Age – Nationality: 19 –
Current Value: £7.75 million
Position: Box to Box Midfielder
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 13 (9) – 4 – 1
Average Rating: 6.97
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Strength and stamina make him a decent athlete
An enigma. I didn’t see Jason as having a natural place in the line-up. He’s the closest thing we have to an attacking midfielder and we just don’t use such an individual. Clearly the youngster didn’t read this part of script though, forcing his way into the reckoning and scoring some crucial goals to help the cause. There’s an argument for suggesting he should have been swamped amidst more fully developed Rams, but Jason doesn’t agree, aggressively developing his technical abilities to go with some already impressive physical numbers.

41. Max Bird
Age – Nationality: 19 –
Current Value: £650,000
Position: Defensive Midfielder/Deep Lying Playmaker
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 1 – 0 – 0
Average Rating: 6.90
Key Coaching Comment: ‘A committed player who gives his all to the cause
Poor Max. Considered to be the sixth best DM in the squad, behind a couple of convertible centre-backs, this was intended to be his opportunity to develop within the Under-23s and go out on loan. The latter simply didn’t happen and it was Max’s lot to play endless non-competitive fixtures in which he was admittedly impressive. He could perhaps have played more, but the level of competition for places was fierce, and this plucky youngsters always missed out. A long lay-off with torn abdominal muscles that he suffered while lifting weights didn’t help, and he could do with the development. Physically Max is far from the complete package. A project therefore for the right team, but is that going to be us?

44. Tom Huddlestone
Age – Nationality: 33 –
Current Value: £195,000
Position: Deep Lying Playmaker
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 9 (15) – 2 – 2
Average Rating: 7.01
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Has got slightly weaker at his balance over the past two months
Tom’s contract ends in the summer. We’re paying him £25,000 per week, reflective of his status as an England international with vast experience in the top flight for Spurs and Hull, and that’s a lot of money to be siphoning off to a player who’s declining. He’s been a first team player since 2003, back when he was emerging with Derby and was part of a cracking young side featuring Lee Holmes and Lionel Morgan, all with seemingly limitless potential. But that was long, long ago. Tom no longer has the stamina to play the grind of matches that make up a Championship schedule, neither does he possess any of the physical attributes to succeed in the top flight. It’s the right time to part ways with him. That said, he and I found an understanding after he criticised me in the early weeks of the campaign. The truth was that he was right to do so and I learned my lesson, developing a close relationship with him as I often came to rely on his calm authority in critical instances when we were defending a lead. Who better to bring on than a veteran who’s seen just about every situation there is to see, and watch him control the action from then on? A team leader who loves the club, Tom has qualities that will be missed. We’re funding a coaching course that will ease him into a natural future within the game.

46. Scott Malone
Age – Nationality: 29 –
Current Value: £1.1 million
Position: Left Wing-Back
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 2 – 0 – 0
Average Rating: 6.90
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Inability to put himself into the right position at the right time
Progress means change, shedding ourselves of players who don’t have the talent to take us forward. Such is Scott, who not so long ago was playing Premier League football with Huddersfield but in terms of standards is suitable for League One. Transfer-listed and on loan with Oxford, he’s done well because his team are in the division below ours and it seems certain to me that his happy future is there. We’re paying him £20k per week, which is excessive.

49. Morgan Whittaker
Age – Nationality: 19 –
Current Value: £650,000
Position: Left Winger
Appearances – Goals – Assists: 2 (17) – 2 – 1
Average Rating: 6.77
Key Coaching Comment: ‘Acceleration underpins his overall speed
Morgan was plucked from the Stiffs when we lost Tom Lawrence to injury. A young winger considered to be close to ready for the first team, he worked hard to make himself useful, appearing mostly from the bench but towards the end of the season in a position to usurp Martyn Waghorn’s status within the squad. Physically he already has everything. He comes with endless reserves of stamina and is impressively agile, a perpetual difficulty for defenders to cope with. Much work is needed in technical areas and the future for Morgan could involve a loan move or two. That is if we get the chance, with several clubs watching him greedily. He isn’t one we want to lose.

7 Replies to “Derby FM20 – May 2020: End of Term Report”

  1. Congratulations again on winning the Championship and earning promotion to the Premier League.

    I loved this post. A brilliant pen pic assessment of each player in the squad, what they brought to the campaign, and where you see their futures either at or away from Pride Park. On balance, it read like you see more no longer part of your plans than being part of a Premier League Rams squad.

    Looks like you have a lot of decisions to make in the summer and a lot of work to do. At least you have a pretty decent budget to work with.

    Good luck.

    P.S. What about the players out on loan away from the club? Could any of them – Mason Bennett, maybe – have a part to play next season.

    Congratulations on an awesome first season… and Mel Morris staying on and not selling the club.

    1. Thanks Stuniverse. I’ve largely finished the summer in my game now, and as you might predict there are various players who’ve been moved on. The clue is the table at the top of the post. I know that I can’t change the whole squad, but I do need to address the number of players who are at League One standard. Some of them are young and can carry on developing, others however will never be able to cope in the top flight and it would be unfair to expect them to try.

      A shame though. What a reward for a player to have helped guide your team up only to find yourself transfer-listed, and I’m being careful not to rip the heart out of the team. I do want at the end of it all to be recognisably Derby County still, with a continuing commitment to bringing young players through, even if some of them will be off on loan to bring them up to speed. Hopefully we can survive and remain in the Premier League for them to come back and enjoy it with us… For now though, prospects like Bennett and Whittaker are more likely to be elsewhere for the season with a view to bringing them back into the line-up for 2021/22.

      I felt as though I’d got to know the players really well over the course of the season, and it seemed a good idea to produce pen portraits of each of them, offer my thoughts and justifications on what they’d contributed, how they’d improved and what their chances in the future are.

      I’ve loaded the usual leagues – England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain. I like to maintain a fast running game if I can. Any suggestions for additional leagues?

  2. ”I do want at the end of it all to be recognisably Derby County still, with a continuing commitment to bringing young players through, even if some of them will be off on loan to bring them up to speed” – I like the sound of that.

  3. Just read your first season loved it.
    As a Derby fan it makes me want to play the game again

    What tactics did you use as I’m rubbish at finding a good one

    1. Thanks Matt, glad you liked it and I hope you approve of what I did to your Rams 🙂

      My tactics are nothing special – just a 4-1-4-1 with a DM (Rooney worked best, Chirivella later), short passing into space, counter pressing, a high defensive line and ‘get stuck in’ tackling. The latter produces a lot of fouls, but as the players have become technically better our card count has lessened a lot. For me, it’s a case of using players properly (in their natural positions) to get the best out of them, and making sure I have a decent keeper, good centre-backs and a DM because everything depends on being defensively sound. We don’t score as many as I would like, but we don’t concede a lot either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *