Spyin' Kop: Derby County (Home) - 1st September 2007

Posted by gramck24 on August 31, 2007, 12:04:05 PM

Next up at Anfield is the newly promoted Derby County. It's not since the 2001/02 season have we seen Derby back on Premier League soil. Unfortunately for Derby, it was a certain Liverpool side that condemned them to Championship playing football after winning 2-0 at Anfield back on Saturday 20th April, 2002. A since departed Michael Owen scored both goals that day. No doubt that Derby will be looking to try and go away from Anfield tomorrow with any kind of result, but after a disappointing last two games, more so to a sound thrashing at Spurs last weekend, things could prove to be a little difficult for Billy Davies' side.

Liverpool v Derby County
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 1st September 2007 - Anfield
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Referee: Alan Wiley (Burntwood, Staffordshire)

"When you look at the team they've got, the money spent on players, they must be up there looking to challenge for the championship," Davies said in an interview soon to be screened on RamsWorld.   
"But we have got to go there and give a good account of ourselves, and try to cause them some problems.   
"We do believe that we can do that this weekend and come out at full-time with a very good performance, and hopefully a very good result."   
A trip to Anfield, one of the most unique and atmospheric grounds in world football, is one of the highlights of any Premier League calendar.   
It's a challenge that the Rams are relishing.   
"Without being disrespectful it could have been Blackpool away, Colchester away or Scunthorpe away this weekend.   
"That's meant without any disrespect at all and now we're travelling to Anfield, we were away at Spurs last week, playing against players that cost £20m and against squads at £60m.   
"It's a fantastic challenge for a club like Derby County that just over 12 months ago avoided relegation and at this moment in time has spent only £8m.

"We will continue to do the best we can, we will take on the challenge and come out of it hopefully with progression being made."


CLUB INFO:      

Derby County Football Club      
Pride Park Stadium      
DE24 8XL          
President:   John Kirkland OBE
Chairman:   Chairman: Peter Gadsby
Vice-Chairman:   Mike Horton
Directors:   Don Amott, Mel Morris
CEO:   Trevor Birch
Operations Director:   John Vicars
Finance Director and Company Secretary:   Martin Ridgeway
Commercial Director:   Perry Deakin
Club Secretary:   Marian McMinn
Management Accountant:   Heather Gorham
Manager:   Billy Davies
Assistant Manager:   David Kelly
Football Consultant:   Craig Brown
First-Team Coach:   Julian Darby
Assistant First-Team Coach:   Colin Miller
Goalkeeping Coach:   Pete Williams
Assistant Goalkeeping Coach:   Alan Fettis
Reserve Team Coach:   John Davies
Sports Scientist:   John Ireland
Chief Scout:   Clive Middlemass
Head Physiotherapist:   Andy Balderston
Assistant Physiotherapist:   Carl Butler
Kit Managers:   Gordon Guthrie, Jonathan Davidson
Academy Manager:   Kevin Thelwell
Assistant Academy Manager:   Jimmy Hunter
Assistant Academy Manager (U9-U16):   Gareth Prosser
Academy Recruitment Officer:   Alan Travis
Education and Welfare Officer:   Bill Morley
Academy Goalkeeping Coach:   Chris Phillips
Head Academy Physio:   Paul Smith
Physio:   Mike Jacques


The club was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Derby initially played at the Racecourse Ground. As well as competing in a number of friendly matches and informal competitions, Derby County also entered the FA Cup.

Derby County were founder members of The Football League when it was launched in 1888. In 1891 they absorbed Derby Midland F.C.. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby County's best-ever player, joined the club in 1892. In 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, The Baseball Ground, which became their home for the next 102 years, and adopted their traditional colours of black and white.

On 16 April 1898, Derby appeared in their first FA Cup final at Crystal Palace, but lost 3-1. They were losing finalists again in 1899 and 1903. Derby were relegated to the Football League's Second Division for the first time in 1907, but under Jimmy Methven's management they re-signed Steve Bloomer and regained their First Division place in 1911.

In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted (though World War I meant that they had to wait until 1919 to play First Division football again). After just two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. However, more successful times lay ahead, instigated by Derby's promotion in 1926. The club became a formidable force, with high finishes from the late 1920s and all through the 1930s.

In the 1945-1946 season Derby got to the final of the FA Cup and won by beating Charlton Athletic 4-1 after extra time. The League restarted the following season after a break due to World War II, but Derby could not reproduce their pre-War form and were relegated in 1953. In 1955 they were relegated to the Third Division North for the first time in their history. The third tier proved easy for Derby, though: they were promoted after just two seasons.

In 1967 the now-legendary Brian Clough took over and led them to their greatest glory. Having clinched the influential signing of Dave Mackay, Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969, finished fourth in 1970, got banned from competing in Europe due to financial irregularities in 1971, and won their first ever Football League Championship in 1972.

Though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup. They lost to Juventus in a controversial match which was subject to subsequent allegations that the Italian club had bribed the match officials, leading Clough to call the Italians "cheating bastards".

Clough's frequent outspoken comments against football's establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough left in 1973. Despite the departure Derby's League success was repeated in 1974-1975 season when they won the title again under Dave Mackay. However, Derby's form declined towards the end of the 1970s and they went down to the Second Division in 1980. Though they challenged well in their first season, Derby's stay in the Second Division was not a happy one and they were relegated to the now-national Third Division in 1984.

After the relegation, the club appointed Arthur Cox to stop the rot — and stop it he did. After a two year stint in the Third Division, Cox's emerging side were promoted to the Second Division and won it at the first attempt, returning to the old First Division in 1987.

The club finished fifth in the 1988-1989 season, with the team now containing stars like Peter Shilton, Mark Wright, Dean Saunders and Ted McMinn. However, English clubs were banned from European competition at the time, so the Rams missed out on their place in the UEFA Cup.

A lack of further investment from controversial chairman Robert Maxwell lead to a decline shortly after. With Maxwell soon dead from suspected suicide, the club was relegated back to the Second Division in 1991. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club. In 1992 Derby paid £2.5 million for Notts County's central defender Craig Short. At the time — and for five years afterwards — he was the most expensive player to be signed by a club outside the top flight.

Cox resigned in late 1993 citing health problems, and Roy McFarland returned as manager. McFarland failed to get the side anywhere near the top of the division apart from a defeat at the hands of Leicester City in the 1993-1994 play-off final and was sacked in 1995. Jim Smith was then appointed as the club's new manager. Although the season started slowly, the signing of sweeper Igor Stimac proved pivotal. Throwing his brief of 'a top-half finish' out the window, Smith guided the Rams to a second-place finish and the Premier League, now the top flight of English football.

Derby County made an excellent Premiership début in the 1996-1997 season, finishing 12th in the final table. The club moved into the new 30,000-seat Pride Park Stadium for the 1997-1998 season.

Progress continued in the next two seasons, before a sudden decline in form. In 2000-2001 Derby narrowly avoided the drop, finishing 17th — one place clear of relegation.

Jim Smith resigned as manager in October 2001. He was replaced by assistant manager Colin Todd, who remained in charge for just three months before he was sacked in the aftermath of a humiliating FA Cup Third Round home defeat against Third Division strugglers Bristol Rovers. At the end of January 2002, John Gregory was appointed Derby manager. Despite a promising start seven defeats from their final eight fixtures condemned Derby to relegation.

Derby County's relegation saw the club enter a serious financial crisis, which forced them to sell many key players. Gregory was later suspended from his managerial duties over alleged misconduct and former Ipswich Town boss George Burley was bought in temporarily. He later recieved the job on a permenant basis.

The club's parent company went into liquidation in October 2003 and Lionel Pickering gave way to a new board led by John Sleightholme, who bought the club for £3. Derby finished 20th in the 2003-2004 season, but improved dramatically in the 2004-2005 season and finished 4th in the Football League Championship (the new name for the Football League First Division) and qualified for a promotion play-off spot, though lost in the semi-finals to Preston North End.

Soon afterwards, Burley resigned citing differences between himself and the board. He was replaced by Phil Brown. Brown failed to find much success in the job, however, and was sacked in January 2006, after a bad run of results. Terry Westley, the academy coach at the time, took over first team duties until the end of the season and saved Derby from relegation.

Football League Division One (pre-Premiership):
Champions 1971-72, 1974-75      
Runners-up 1895-96, 1929-30, 1935-36      
Football League Division One (post-Premiership):
Runners-up 1995-96      
Football League Division Two:
Champions 1911-12, 1914-15, 1968-69, 1986-87      
Runners-up 1925-26      
Football League Division Three North:   
Champions 1956-57      
Runners-up 1955-56      
FA Cup:
Winners 1946      
Runners-up 1898, 1899, 1903      
Football League Cup:
Semi-finalists 1968      
Texaco Cup:
Winners 1972      
European Cup:
Competed 1972-73, 1975-76      
Competed 1974-75, 1976-77      
Anglo-Italian Cup:
Runners-up 1993       

  • Record victory: 12-0 (at home to Finn Harps F.C. UEFA Cup First Round, First Leg, September 15th 1976)   
  • Record defeat: 2-11 (away to Everton, FA Cup, First Round, January 18th 1890)   
  • Record home attendance: 41,826 against Tottenham Hotspur, Football League First Division, September 20th 1969 at the Baseball Ground   
  • Record appearances: Kevin Hector (486 league matches, 589 total matches)   
  • Record goal-scorer: Steve Bloomer (293 league goals, 332 total goals)   
  • Youngest player: Lee Holmes (15 years, 268 days, v Grimsby Town, 26 December 2002)   
  • Most-capped player: Peter Shilton (england, 125 caps)   
  • Record Transfer Fee: £3.5 Million to Norwich City F.C. for Robert Earnshaw   
  • Record Fee Received: £7m from Leeds United F.C. for Seth Johnson   
  • Most goals in one match: Steve Bloomer 6   

And so to the questions, a huge thanks to Pickers, JkAteAllthePies, Daz, Ramplestiltskin and Daz_the_Ram over at The Rams website for giving some good honest answers....


1. Glad to back in the Prem?   
Pickers:   Yes, but proving hard after only picking 1 point up from the first few games.
JkAteAll thePies:   Yes, back where we belong but shame about the lack of transfer activity and apparent lack of cohesion on the pitch.
Daz:   Despite our early bad start to the season yes.
Ramplestiltskin:   Of course - except now I'm starting to think we are well above our level
Daz_the_ram:   Delighted obviously but it goes without saying we are in for a long, hard winter

2. It's early doors but how do you feel your opening games have gone?   
Pickers:   Portsmouth was a good match and man Manchester City was alright even though we lost but the last 2 have been awful
JkAteAll thePies:   Portsmouth was a good game, with lots of fighting spirit. At Man City we played well but lost by the single goal. We got thrashed at the Lane and we were absolutley awful last week at home to Brum.
Daz:   Initially, the first two games were quite encouraging, but now i'm quite worried.
Ramplestiltskin:   A good performance in the first few games but generally slightly outclassed, Spurs caught us early in our third game and its been all downhil since.
Daz_the_ram:   We made a terrific account of ourselves on the opening day against Pompey - ran the match against Man City until they scored a corker ... unfortunately ever since we took to the field against Spurs it has been diabolical
3. What are your expectations for the season?   
Pickers:   If i'm honest 19th or 20th but if am lie 10th or 11th
JkAteAll thePies:   Im praying for survival.
Daz:   Realistically, relegation
Ramplestiltskin:   Now, relegation and an all time record low points tally.
Daz_the_ram:   A struggle with a capital 'S'
4. Your gaffer Billy Davies, what's he like? Happy with him?   
Pickers:   He's a great manager turned us right round and put us in the premiership.
JkAteAll thePies:   Happy for what he did last year but tired of he same old excuses regarding transfers and the lack of transfer activity this summer. Many believe he is doing a 'jobs for the boys' kind of thing. Expect a fiery manager on your touchline.
Daz:   Yes, I think he's brilliant, even if we are relegated we should stick by him. Whether he'll stick by us is a different matter, I hope he does.
Ramplestiltskin:   Don't trust him, or a word he says. He's in it for himself and will jump ship when a beter offer comes along - that said he's a very capable manager, but he does make mistakes.
Daz_the_ram:   A terrific manager with great charisma - couldn't ask for better in my opinion. He rubs a few of our fans up the wrong way - however - if I were to ask a single one of them to suggest anyone better for the job - I doubt they could suggest anyone at all...that is just the nature of our support I'm afraid - fickle as hell.
5. Who do you think are your most important player(s)?   
Pickers:   Bywater in goal is a great keeper oakley mears barnes pearson and earnshaw will when he gets his act together
JkAteAll thePies:   Oakley leads by example in midfield and Bywater can be a quality keeper. We need Howard and Earnshaw to start scoring but hopefully we will have some new faces in by saturday.
Daz:   I think the most important players are the ones we haven't signed yet, we badly need a cutting edge.
Ramplestiltskin:   Hopefully haven't signed yet. Of what we have - Bywater if he can regain form, Davis will need to stay fit and hold our defence together, Oakley will be a driving force in midfield. Barnes looks to be our sole flair player at the moment and he hasn't even played yet.
Daz_the_ram:   One that has been overlooked this year is Dave Jones - a class ball-player in midfield. Of the crop to have started games so far? - I'd say Matt Oakley for his consistent form as skipper and two terrific finishes. We desperately need some flair and firepower

6. And your worst?   
Pickers:   Andy Griffin came in and as done awful IMO then the obvious choice is probably malcolm.
JkAteAll thePies:   Bob 'injury' Malcolm never plays but as Pickers said i dont rate Andy Griffin and Babel (or who plays LM) will have a field day against him.
Daz:   I think Darren Moore might get badly exposed in the Premiership, hes still a great character though.
Ramplestiltskin:   We've got quite a few not good enough for this level.
Daz_the_ram:   Sometimes I watch Gary Teale and wish the ground would swallow me up - if points were won for a winger running out of ideas whilst looking dazed and confused, or for tapping the ball lamely against a full-backs shins to win us a throw in ... Teale would often be our match-winner...

7. Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?   
Pickers:   Giles Barnes obviously he is injured for the game we also have Lewin Nyatanga out on loan who is a full international for wales and since his debut as started every game. Paris Simmons, Matt Richards and Jason Beardsley are 3 other players that haven't started a full game that sound promising
JkAteAll thePies:   Jason Beardsley impressed in pre-season and you all know about Barnes. Simmons, Richards and a few others from the academy have bright futures.
Daz:   Possibly Jason Beardsley, I think everyone knows about Giles Barnes now.
Ramplestiltskin:   Not really - Barnes isn't a well kept secret and the rest of the kids won't make massive impacts
Daz_the_ram:   Since Barnes came through there doesn't seem to have been much emphasis on youth.

8. Do you have a particular memory of any previous meetings between our clubs? Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?   
Pickers:   Er yes i seem to remember you relegated us
JkAteAll thePies:   Ive been to Anfield once, we won 2-1 with goals from Harper and Delap securing the win. Im going again this weekend and hoping my 100% record gets us a win. (the key word is hope)
Daz:   We haven't played Liverpool for so long, I can only remember a 1-0 loss at Anfield when John Barnes scored the only goal. I remember it because we got bricked on the coach coming back to Derby!
Ramplestiltskin:   As about a 10 year old (late 80's) you absolutely walloped us something like 7-1(?) at the Baseball Ground, as most kids of that age were also Liverpool fans we all gave up and started cheering your goals from about 4-1 up
Daz_the_ram:   I was there at the BBG when we were demolished 7-1 ... to be honest, the Liverpool side on show that day would have put 7 past anyone.

9. What sort of line-up and formation should we expect on Saturday?   
Pickers:   Bywater mears mceveley davis leacock todd oakley teale fagan pearson howard (4-5-1)
JkAteAll thePies:   I expect a 4-5-1 with Howard alone up front. However this does depend on if we get anybody in this week. I think feilhaber might cover the back four with Oakley and Pearson playing in the middle of the park.
Daz:   If I was manager, I'd line up 4-5-1 with Howard up front, maybe Earnshaw as a sub later on.
Ramplestiltskin:   Depends on signings but likely to be 4-5-1, Steve Howard up front on his own and everything played up to him.
Daz_the_ram:   Fairly defensive ... Andy Todd in the anchor maybe and our big, yet too nice for his own good centre-forward Steve Howard up there on his own.
10. Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) that perhaps any that require an explanation?   
Pickers:   Steve bloomers watching' he was an old player for us who scored a lot of goal and his got his own chant and the bloke out of my family sang it and made it a proper song didn't he?
JkAteAll thePies:   Super Derby Super Rams (obvious reasons)
Duh duh duh duh Stevie Howard (ditto)
Darren Moore to the tune of the A-Team (he looks like Mr T)
Get your rat out for stevie (in referance to goalkeeper Steven Bywater shouting 'Get Your Rat OUT!' live on Sky in Barnes and Bilys after match interviews on the Wembley pitch at the play off final)
Daz:   No, we aren't the most inventive when it comes to chanting.
Ramplestiltskin:   We hate Forest if that helps...
Daz_the_ram:   'Steve Bloomer's Watching' ... personally I hate it - but it's quite a popular one ... heroes of yesteryear looking down on us, Derby pride and all that tripe.
11. Where do you expect our respective teams will finish in the league this season?   
Pickers:   2nd for liverpool and 20th for derby
JkAteAll thePies:   Derby 20th, Liverpool-3rd (although i hope you beat the Mancs)
Daz:   I think Liverpool will be Second, Derby 20th.
Ramplestiltskin:   Can't see you getting better than 3rd - I think you'll lose out in the head to heads - we'll be in the bottom 3, probably propping the rest up.
Daz_the_ram:   Liverpool - 3rd ... Derby - on current form? - rock bottom
12. Which Liverpool player(s) do you fear the most?   
Pickers:   Toress and Gerrard
JkAteAll thePies:   Tores, Voronin, Babel, Gerrard, Alonso, Pennant, the tea lady, Rafa, Riise, Griffin (oh wait he plays form us but i fear him) anybody could threaten our defence after last week to be honest
Daz:   Stevie Gerrard if he's playing, if not Torres looks very sharp.
Ramplestiltskin:   Gerrard because he can really turn it on when he needs to - all your strikers have weaknesses
Daz_the_ram:   Torres seems to be genuine world-class ... and theres always the boy Gerrard. I've heard he's likely to make the grade?

13. Finally, the score... care to have a stab at what the outcome will be?   
Pickers:   Liverpool 4 Derby 1
JkAteAll thePies:   Erm...5-0 (to LIverpool obviously lol) .As you may be able to tell, im still depressed from last weeks result and dont think this weekend will cure my depression.
Daz:   3-0 to Liverpool
Ramplestiltskin:   3-0
Daz_the_ram:   A fairly comfortable win for the Reds it hurts me to say ... probably three clear goals.
Daz_the_ram:   Can I just say also what a great idea this is ... shows what a fantastically well supported club Liverpool are - far better than the usual whingeing and wars of words often seen between opposing fans.
Sticking to football ... that is what's important.
Well done redandwhitekop.com!!


Check out the Derby fans message boards here for some sets of answers i haven't included. I'm sure our fans would be made most welcomed across there.

A huge thank you to the Derby fans for spending time answering our questions. It would be nice if some of our fans could reciprocate. I have received an e-mail from on of the moderators at The Rams website with a request. This is what it reads:

"We do a thread after the game with peoples match views - some comments of which are published in the Derby Evening Telegraph".

"Would be great if you or some of your website members could give a liverpool fans view of the game in it afterwards".


© gramck24 2007

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