For a year or so I’ve been telling people that Derby County are a great club, and provide a model that many Championship clubs should follow.
After last night I’d say forget that. In sacking Nigel Clough, Derby County have undone 4 years of excellent work, and made the sort of decision more in keeping with their hated rivals Nottingham Forest.
It’s too easy to say that Derby weren’t making progress, and in terms of league placings they possibly weren’t, but this was never a short term project, never about fluking a promotion, like the one that got them into so much mess in the first place.
Derby County’s disastrous season in the Premier League should act as a warning sign for all clubs. Short term gain for long term pain.
Clough took over a shambles of a club, with terrible players on huge wages, and slowly he dismantled Paul Jewell’s poorly assembled squad, and carved a club in his own image.
Progress wasn’t always considerable, but the team was full of youth team graduates and free signings, played football in the right way, and were always moving in the right direction.
If Nigel Clough had been given this season, and hadn’t pushed the club on, then the time might have been right to go in another direction, as it is they’ve pulled the trigger too soon.
I might be wrong, but I suspect that Derby might start longing for the steady progression made under Nigel Clough, as they inevitably undo his work by taking a punt on an expensive big name manager.