What happened last season?
You could write several books on Derby County's 2002/2003 season. However I
do not think I am exaggerating if I say that last season was arguably the
most miserable, depressing season in the history of Derby County. We were
not alone in fighting constant rumours of administration and trying to get
highly paid players off our wage bill. But for a squad who should have, as a
minimum, been pushing for a play off spot our performance was both an
embarrassment and a disgrace.
Skillwise we were a match for anyone, however we were simply not organised,
motivated or generally 'up for it' and were regularly rolled over by the
likes of Gillingham, Preston, Rotherham etc. Gregory's abrasive man-management and tedious style of play seemed to depress the players and fans
alike culminateing in an horrific run of defeats after christams. Gregory
constantly insisted on picking youngsters ahead of experienced players, such
as Burley and Ravanelli, even though we were getting hammered week after
week. The a 0-3 drubbing at Forest (which could have been a lot worse) was
the final straw and luckily George Burley came in to save the day. Make no
mistake if Gregory had stayed we would have been relegated.
What's going to happen next season?
A club of our size and stature should be aiming for a minimum of the play-offs. However we have sunk so low under Gregory and lost so many players.
We are almost starting from scratch. Burley's signings so far (Walton from
Crewe, Taylor from Villa and Costa from Porto) seem good and if we can get
the target man we desperately need we should do OK. I think it is too soon
for us to make a full on promotion push but I think we should finish top
half of the table and maybe get somewhere near the play-off area. After the
depression Rams fans have suffered over the last 3-4 years this coupled with
George Burley's passing style would constitute a succesful campaign for us.
Next season we'll piss it!
Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
What's the nearest railway station?
Where is the best place to park?
As Pride Park is effectively on an Industrial estate, Pubs in the immediate proximity of the ground are few and far between. However there's still plenty of scope for pre match Beer action. If coming by Rail, you're laughing as Derby Station is only around a mile from Pride Park and there are 4 or 5 boozers across the road. If you like your Real Ale or European Beers, don't miss the Brunswick, which has its own brewery downstairs and has Budvar on tap! If coming by Car you could do worse than simply hit the city centre and work from there. Having said that if you head down the old Nottingham road into Chaddesden, The Park pub (its massive you won't miss it) is always packed on match days, has loads of parking and always a good splattering of away fans. It's probably around 20-25 minutes walk to the ground but well worth it.
Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"This questionnaire seems to degenerate somewhat !"
"Wimbledon FC get an unfairly bad press!" (This is true. But the Milton Keynes bound Franchise f***ers don't get half of what they deserve - ed)
"great survey, but where were the questions about the Brotherhood of Man" (We need you setting the questions next year mate, you've got the right idea - ed)
"Board Member on Ramstrust (DCFC) SUPPORTERS TRUST hate forest leeds love football beer woman and my missus tracy claim to fame: i used to work for derby county and 3 years ago england played mexico there we won 4-0 but after the game i was the superviser who looked after all the england squad and wives. got all the autographs met posh spice sven goran and his bird nancy stunning she was not bad at all for 58 LOL. Made 150 quid on tips with good old dave seaman giving me 30 quid. also sold the most booze that night . i got a couple of crates of bud a couple of smirnoff ice and a couple of bacardi breezers and went round giving them away most of them ended up in kit bags plus all the champas and wine and beer at the bar along with the food made a tidy sum of about 12,000 grand which the FA payed for. No bloody wonder english football has no money"