A Few Thoughts: Wolves (h)

August 12, 2017 - Joel Clyne

Football was back last weekend but it feels like it’s properly back now that all hope and optimism that’s always there at the start of the season has been drained after a dreadful defeat to Wolves this afternoon.

Derby were ok for the opening half an hour. They were composed in possession albeit a bit meaningless with little created.

Nuno Espirito certainly spent pre-season well and his expensively assembled squad looked well drilled. Wolves were happy to sit in their half, remain compact and hold their shape to frustrate Derby and look to hit them on the counter.

Derby failed to adapt to Wolves’ 3-4-3 system. It was quite astounding that nobody in the team or worse yet, the manager, figured out who should pick up their wide midfielders. Was it a role for the full backs or was it a job to be done by our wide attackers? The failure to adapt killed them.

You need players who can think for themselves on the pitch and adapt to situations. It was quite concerning that the players didn’t manage to solve the problem themselves. If that fails then the coaching team needs to do something. They didn’t. Derby were out thought.

For all the plaudits that Wolves have been getting, they weren’t spectacular. They were organised, knew their roles and well balanced. It was an excellent away performance.

Derby on the other hand looked disjointed, lost and lacking creativity. Positionally they were awful. The system they faced completely flummoxed them and pulled players all over the place. They were terrible in transition and there were holes to exploit regularly.

This was a performance which exposed serious flaws. Going forward Derby looked like they’d never practiced an attacking move between them. They were so lost but they did improve somewhat when David Nugent came on to link with Chris Martin.

The fear after selling Tom Ince was that there’s little quality or magic in Derby’s front line. For all their effort, Johnny Russell, Andi Weimann and, when used late on, Ikechi Anya just don’t have game changing ability and it’s that that Derby are missing.

Derby are crying out for an athletic and mobile central midfielder to give them some energy in the middle. What does Jacob Butterfield offer? What does Gary Rowett see in him? Is there some hope that if he does alright then somebody may well come in for him?

Rowett has been frustrated in the transfer market and has struggled to get in the attacker that’s desperately needed if Derby are to mount a promotion push this year. The hope after that performance is that he’ll be a bit more willing to part with the cash.

Nothing is lost this early on in the season and Derby did come up against a very good Wolves side but they need a win on Tuesday night to start to build some momentum before the first international break.