Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Responses to a few questions

The last few weeks have been manically busy, so a few minutes this evening gives me a chance to respond to a few of the more common questions directed at me recently.

Would I offer Billy Godleman another deal? 

In the light of recent form, yes. I think Billy looks a good batsman and whatever he has done with the batting coach, John Sadler, seems to have worked. Much will depend on who Graeme Welch has in his sights as new players and, as in all professional sport, you're only a regular until someone better comes along. 

For all his improved form, however, he really needs a big innings or two to cement the position and convince the doubters. For me, Ben Slater should be a championship opener and potentially more, but Billy has four matches to convince the people that matter that perhaps a one-year extension might be in order.

What about Jonathan Clare?

Well, he's contracted for another year but has been seen slightly more often than Lord Lucan on Derbyshire cricket fields in the past two years. I like the lad and I have enjoyed watching him play cricket, but if his perenially fragile body isn't allowing him to play, we have a major problem.

I know no more than the rest of you what his injury issues have been, but the reality is that a club with less resources than almost every other is paying what I assume to be a good salary for a player who simply isn't playing.

Will the winter see a parting of the ways and a deal over the remainder of his contract? I don't know, but there has to come a point where both parties accept the inevitable. Whether that is this winter or at the end of his contract is down to those involved.

If he is fit, Jon would be a first pick in a Derbyshire side, but he isn't, so anything is possible.

Is Wayne White likely to replace Clare?

Again I don't know, but it is a like for like replacement. Clare gave Derbyshire balance when he played. White, if we get him on a permanent deal, will do likewise.

What about Chesney Hughes?

He is another who is contracted. Chesney has lots of talent but it isn't translating to runs. I know he got 178 last week against a poor Nottinghamshire second team attack, but that doesn't really prove anything.

I would dearly love to see Chesney in prime form in the Derbyshire side, because at his best he is good to watch. With every month that passes, however, I feel it less likely to happen.

And what about Gareth Cross?

He's a good player. You don't hold down a role in Lancashire's side for several years without being one, but he did little pre-season work and has played catch up ever since. His glove work has been tidy on the whole, with a few days, like yesterday, where the standard has slipped. His batting is better than statistics perhaps suggest, as he's given it away in the selfless pursuit of runs a few times.

It will depend on who else is available and the respective financial demands. I see Tom Poynton as number one next year, assuming full recovery from his injury, and whether we can justify the cost of another senior keeper is a moot point.

I have seen several references to our moving for Steven Davies of Surrey, but these have been from supporters and the reality is that he's another player contracted to the end of 2015.

Still, contracts seem only to protect the player and rarely the club.Wayne White is contracted at Lancashire and it looks like he could move here. So were Ross Whiteley and Dan Redfern. If we're not going to go with Cross, it has to be someone substantially better, or cheaper. Time will tell.

And finally - are we on the right path?

Undoubtedly. Off the field we have the structure and outstanding people. On it, we just need to get the right personnel. I doubt that Graeme Welch will sort his entire staff this winter, but I suspect that we will start next summer in a much stronger position than this one.

There have been plenty of encouraging signs from young players this year. A winter of hard work on their techniques and overall fitness can only see them improve.

Throw in new, key personnel and the future is bright.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

I wouldn't be offering Godleman a contract extension personally. He's been very poor when we've needed him to perform and it's only now, late in the day, when he's shown anything. It's too little, too late for me.

Marc said...

A few interesting points,Peakfan. At the moment i,m 50/50 on offering Godleman a new contract. He has shown some signs of improvement,thought it could be argued it was hard not to. He has the possibility of eight innings,of which at least three need to be the top side of fifty. At the moment he has the habit of doing the hard work and then getting out. He has to make this remaining time count if he is to avoid the axe. Slater is a far better bet if it came to a choice between the two,though there is obviously room for both.

Clare is the unsolved mystery. For me his time is up,but contractually he still has another year. It,s a great shame but we cannot afford to keep someone who isn,t going to play. It really is time for the club to make some sort of announcement,one way or the other.

Chesney Hughes is another enigma. In fairness,I don,t believe he has really had a fair chance this season. I would like to see him given at least a couple of the remaining matches. We have nothing to lose and I think he deserves another opportunity. Longer term,there has to be doubts and next season will be make or break. He is paid to score runs and that,s what he has to do.

I,m not at all convinced by Cross. His glovework has been reasonable on the whole but his batting has been poor. The odd innings here and there is not enough these days. He,s had the best part of a season to improve and I really can,t see where a winter of training etc is going to make any difference. He has four games to convince me he is worth keeping.At the moment it,s thanks but no thanks.

Are we on the right lines?. I would say yes,but by no means is it a landslide result. Welch still has much to do on the playing side and we need to examine our tactical approach,which at times has been poor.I will give Welch the benefit of some doubts,but we will need to see something much better next season,in all formats.

Dave C said...

Can't argue with most of that. I think Godleman was all set to be shown the door but perhaps his recent 'rejuvenation' (although admittedly he could hardly have got worse) might be enough for a new one-year deal, depending on how much he's earning.

Surely we have nothing to lose in giving the promising young lad Hosein the gloves for the rest of the season and see how he gets on?

This is the team I'd go with for the next game:


Peakfan said...

That's a fair side Dave, but Pujara isn't likely to be available until the following game.
Meanwhile, Hosein may well be back at school, given his age - other than that I can't argue mate!

Peakfan said...

That's a fair side Dave, but Pujara isn't likely to be available until the following game.
Meanwhile, Hosein may well be back at school, given his age - other than that I can't argue mate!

Dave C said...

Hmm, guess North (presuming he's still around for CC games?) and Cross would come in then. Wouldn't mind Cork getting a run out before the end of the season either.

I have to say I still have my doubts about A.Hughes. He's definitely got 'something' and is worth persevering with. However to me, his bowling seems to lack any cutting edge and is more suited to a few overs here and there in the one-day game. His batting on what I've seen is no.7 in first class cricket at the absolute most. He still has time on his side and hopefully can develop into a useful all-rounder though.