Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Random thoughts

In reply to a couple of comments received recently, I understand that Jake Needham currently needs a little time to work on his technique after a winter in South Africa. It’s nothing serious and nothing new – plenty of young players, faced with modifications in their game, need time to assimilate the changes. There’s no point in Needham being exposed to doing that in the first team and it makes much more sense for him to try things out at a lower level. I’m sure he’ll come back the better for it, as Phil Russell, who worked with him in the winter, is an especially good coach of bowlers.

As for Azeem Rafiq replacing him, the lad was good enough to be England under-19 skipper, which suggests he has talent. We needed a spinner, Rafiq was the best available and we’ve got him. If it doesn’t come off, at least we’ve tried something, rather than sighing and bemoaning our fate. As I’ve written before, top class spinners aren’t exactly lying by roadsides awaiting pickup at the moment…

As for Tony Palladino’s absence, thanks for the tip that he now has a Twitter account and told the world it was a hamstring tweak. Nothing serious, but better to rest it now with all the cricket ahead. Shame about the timing though, the lad’s been on fire.

Changing tack, for the first time in a while I deleted a couple of comments this morning, which from the look of them were written by someone in the grip of alcohol around midnight last night and not by any standards a fan...

As you will realise from comments attached to previous articles, I have no problem with people whose opinion differs from mine. Nor do I have issues with anyone who wants to criticise events on or off the pitch, as long as they draw short of personal comment. Such nonsense has long been the preserve of 606 and is why there are few tears shed round these parts at its imminent passing.

As I’ve said before, I write this blog as a Derbyshire fan and as such take the rough with the smooth, albeit not so easily. However badly the team do, I try to remember that they are still OUR team, are trying their best and that whatever I write may be read by them or someone close to them. Reading that young player X and Y and committee member Z are ‘whatever’ is not nice, not constructive and not clever. If it was your son, husband or brother would you like it? What about if it was you?

I put my picture on the blog because I have no issue with people knowing who I am when I am making comments. If I make critical ones I feel they are justified and sometimes will subsequently qualify them if I feel I acted in haste, although I try not to do that. Anonymous bile serves no purpose and I won’t have my name or this blog associated with it.

Given that I can delete it far more quickly than it took to write, I wouldn’t waste your time in future. Thanks to all the rest of you though for your excellent, thought provoking and worthwhile comments. For last night’s correspondent, as we approach the Eurovision Song Contest, null points from the Peakfan jury.

Finally, closing on a positive note, I’d echo the comments regarding the club site’s match reports from the Second XI and Academy. I hope that they feature throughout the season as the signs are there is real talent emerging. Their development can only be accelerated by playing against experienced club (and former county) players and they will bond so much better as a unit.

Nice work guys!


Marc Hemmings said...

I have to say i am a little disappointed you saw fit to delete my comments. Whilst they were posted at the time you state,they were "alcohol free" and as for not being a fan,i seldom miss a Derbyshire home game and also travel to a number of away matches. Having watched Derbyshire for over 40 years there isn,t a shadow of doubt this is the worst squad of players the county has assembled in living memory. Facts speak for themselves. Last season we finished bottom of the championship and were dumped out of every one day competition at the earliest opportunity. Not only that,we supporters were treated to some of the poorest performances imaginable.Unacceptable is not too strong a word.Professional sportsmen have to take criticism aswell as praise and as i said in my deleted comment there are players within the squad who are simply not good enough. Age is no excuse.If you are good enough then you,re old enough and lets face it,some of these players have been around for a while now. Charting Derbyshire over several seasons has witnessed a constant decline in all forms of the game to the point where many would question this teams ability to compete satisfactorily at minor county level.I would like nothing better than to see the county on the path to success,but looking through rose tinted glasses is not the way forward. People,whether players or officials, have to be held accountable and the current regime has had long enough to at least show the county is heading in the right direction.Few would agree this is the case. Cricket is a performance related industry and when those performances are not good enough,supporters have every right to be critical. As someone once said,"Show me a good loser and i,ll show you a loser".I hope you see fit to leave these observations on your blog so others may agree or otherwise. If we agree about everything there would be little point in having a blog in the first place. Marc.

Anonymous said...

I missed the first comments made, but think you have made to some valid points this time around Marc, although it may be perceived in some quarters as putting the boot in when he chips are down.

From a personal point of view, I might not be as critical of the side as you have indicated, but I do feel there is only mediocre potential at present and results have, without question, been very poor. Under the current regime, we average 3 championship wins a season, which is simply not good enough. Whether that will improve is what many of us continue to debate.

What is clear is there in not a winning mentality at present and in many ways we need that spark to get the team believing in themselves. Success certainly breeds success, which has sadly been too infrequent at Derbyshire and has not helped the cause, where self doubt have manifested itself.

I have followed the side for around 38 years. During that time we have had a few real highs and some genuinely good players have passed through our ranks. However, during that time, I can never really remember a sustained period of success that ran over a number of years. I can also recall some pretty modest squads during that time too, so whether the current crop of players reflects our lowest point is questionable.

My description of the current outfit would be a mixture of journeymen and young aspirants with few real stars. Maybe, with too few possessing that genuine self belief. That said, look at how things can change and what Worcestershire managed achieved last year with a relatively modest group of players. They may have had a little more experience in certain key areas, but also gathered self belief across the squad as the campaign progressed and gained real positive momentum. Glamorgan nearly did something similar.

What I am suggesting is it may not take radical change of personnel to deliver a marked improvement in results, if that confidence can be found. Where are the leaders? To me they one guy who does seem to have it is Steffan Jones, but he is sadly in the twilight of his playing career.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for my typos at the end - my young daughter continually interupted me during editing!


marc Hemmings said...

I agree with most of the things you say regarding leadership,self belief and the fact the side has too few players of quality. The fact is we we were saying all this when Houghton was in charge,albeit the side was arguably in better shape then than it is now. My gripe is nothing has changed for the better.Quite the reverse is true,things have got progressively worse.In football,any management with this kind of record would have been ousted long ago.I admit cricket is slightly different,but nevertheless,results are still the bottom line and the only criteria any team can be judged on. We have become a laughing stock and i take no pleasure in saying it,but you can,t hide from the truth. Reading between the lines of Mr Arnotts interview,it seems there are at least some Derbyshire officials who are also unhappy with the situation. It defies belief the club could even be considering a contract extension for John Morris as things are at present. He might be a decent enough guy,but in the end his record speaks for itself. Ive lost count how many times over the last few seasons we have had our backs to the wall after the first innings of championship games. Whether batting or bowling first it makes no difference. we are constantly having to play catch up. This current game against Leicestershire is yet another example in a very long list. Im not asking for miracles,but is it too much to expect to have a team that is at least competetive and looks like it can win a few games. In the one day format our record in recent seasons has been shocking and its high time it improved. I,like most,will take the rough with the smooth.The question is,how much longer will we be forced to wait for the smooth?. Marc.

mastervillain said...

I have a lot of sympathy with your views and I have personally referred to the need for improved results, both here and on IMWT. We are now into Morris's fourth full season at the helm and there has not really been a discernible improvement in this respect. Yes, there has been a few good player acquisitions (in my view) during his tenure, but I have seen little to suggest that real overall team improvement has been achieved.

There are those who have argued Morris should have this season to prove whether he has now really turned the corner with the team, which I do not have a major argument with, as it forms part of his existing contract and we opted to retain him at the end of last season. However, that does not mean I support a contract extension at this stage, which I feel Morris must earn. One recent comment made on this blog that suggested that we need to move fast before another side snap him up did leave me coughing up my tea in amusement, I must admit.

We clearly have to strive for an improvement in results and if Morris cannot provide that influence and leadership, we will have to consider other options.

Marc H said...

I guess all will revealed as the season progresses. Its rather ironic is,nt it,all this talk about young players and probably one of the best we had is now at Leicester (no prizes for guessing who). I wonder who made that wonderful decision to release him!.