Yesterday morning it was announced that Gary Rowett would replace Steve McClaren as Derby County manager. Though I disagree with McClaren’s sacking I’m very happy that Rowett’s been appointed, there are three key reasons for this:
HE SPENDS WISELY
So far in his managerial career Gary Rowett has been in charge of and worked wonders at two clubs with small budgets – Burton Albion, from 2012 to 2014 before he left to manage Birmingham City until December 2016 when he was sacked. Throughout his time at these two clubs he signed more than twenty players on whom he spent less than £5 million, with his most expensive being Sheffield United youngster Che Adams for around £2 million. A prime example of Rowett’s wise spending is the signing of midfielder Maikael Kieftenbeld, he cost Birmingham just over £200,000 and since joining the Blues in July 2015, he’s gone on to make 79 appearances.
Rowett will bring a different type of recruitment to Derby, he’s said he doesn’t buy Premier League players in their late 20s like the Rams have done in recent years. Instead of this, Rowett delves into the lower leagues and looks abroad for younger players who are hungry to taste success. This then leads to a group of players who will give their all, no matter whether they want promotion or to move on to a bigger club; something this club lacks at the present moment. He has been given two months to look at his squad, decide which players to let go and the positions he needs to improve in the summer. It’s probable that there will be lots of unusual or unknown summer signings but I trust the boss to judge the situation correctly.
HE HAS THE ELUSIVE ‘PLAN B’
In yesterday’s interviews Gary Rowett said that unlike recent Derby managers such as Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren he isn’t ‘set in his ways’ in terms of formation. At previous clubs his teams have played 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and five at the back, he’s likely to switch systems based on the team he’s playing against and won’t be afraid to change if things aren’t going to plan. Furthermore, unlike Nigel Pearson in particular, he will play the formation he believes will suit his players best, this makes 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 the most likely options to go with.
HIS PASSION FOR DERBY COUNTY
In 1995, as a 21 year old right back, Rowett signed for Derby before going on to make over 100 appearances at the club, after retiring in 2005 he spent 18 months with the club as a coach within the academy. In the 23 years following his move to the club as a player, Rowett and his family continued to live in Derby, ‘I always hoped I would get this opportunity’ he said yesterday. At the previous clubs he managed, Rowett was known, especially at Birmingham for his regular interaction with fans and friendly persona. He is a manager who with every decision thinks about the fans and I expect him to be a manager liked very much by all Derby County supporters.
Overall, it’s clear that at his last two clubs Rowett was very successful, though he now manages a club in a situation very much different to his previous, I believe he can again taste success. This, in my opinion would be a top ten finish this campaign, a good transfer window and a play off finish next season.