There seems to be a trail of thought amongst many Derby County fans that “effort” isn’t a necessary requirement of the modern-day professional footballer. If I had a pound for every time I heard the phrase “effort isn’t enough, I could put in a lot of effort on the football pitch” I could probably pay off my student overdraft (if this blog doesn’t do it first).
That phrase has been used in association with many Derby County players over the last decade or so but has become more pronounced during Nigel Clough’s tenure at Pride Park, primarily due to the type of squad Clough has built on a significantly reduced budget. To overly simplify, Clough has built a squad of “grafters”; a side who will run for 90 minutes and carry a determined attitude with them. Continue reading