As managers from throughout the years will tell you, three months is a long time in football – but sometimes, it’s nowhere near enough.
Now eleven competitive games into Nigel Pearson’s tenure at the iPro Stadium, should we really be starting to look at the possibility of our still ‘new’ manager being under pressure?
Here are three reasons why I think he might be:
Recent history is not on his side
This time last season, our then new head coach Paul Clement was on his way to a run of one defeat in nineteen games and the top of the table.
Seven winless games later, and the ex-Real Madrid assistant had been shown the door. Prior to that, the days of Steve McClaren & Co. also had a pretty decent start during their first few games, so why is it that our manager hasn’t had that ‘new manager effect’?
Pearson must be perfectly well aware of this and has been in the game long enough to know the score. At a time when old heads need to keep the young ones calm – surely he should have enough experience to deal with unwanted pressure.
Whether Mel Morris sees it that way is another thing; but on this occasion I believe that recent history is not a reason for Pearson to be shown the door, and at the moment at least – patience is needed.
Style of play
As I’ve written about previously, Pearson came in during the summer and has changed the way the Rams play with a 4-4-2 formation.
With all the frailties that the 4-3-3 system ultimately brought, nobody complained about the football that was served up for the fan’s enjoyment. In contrast, this season so far, has been at times, hard to watch with little to get excited about.
A time of transition is always going to be a difficult period and what is being witnessed at the moment is not good on all levels.
It is results that matter now and whether it’s pretty or not, a few wins and a few goals would change the mood around the iPro and give Pearson the breathing space to get things right.
Social media bias
For many reasons, this issue should not even be a talking point – but in the modern football era, opinions seem to carry more weight than they really should.
Although not necessarily proven (because how could it be?), it seems that the media have gone out of their way to get managers fired from their job in the past. Once they get the ball rolling, it seems to gain momentum to the point where those in power may notice.
I don’t wish to include local media in this particular instance, as both the local radio and newspaper on the whole are still positive about Derby’s current situation. The word media also includes social media these days as well, which is where fans tend to voice their anguish and disgust.
Currently, negative opinions are only being expressed by a small proportion of Derby – but unrest can quickly spread in the heat of the moment, and before you know it, the minority quickly becomes the majority.
So with that, there are still some questions that remain unanswered. Is it a time to be patient and get behind what is happening? Or is this new plan just not working out?
Personally I believe it’s time for patience. Pearson has clearly got his way of doing things and is trying to build a legacy for the future, and as such must be given time. I do think it may get even worse before it can get better and it will certainly divide opinion along the way.
One thing’s for sure is that fan’s opinions will always remain. Lets hope we get some reasons to squash this pressure Pearson is under in the next couple of weeks, and I have a reason to write my next blog post in a more positive tone!