Just as I feared, every positive aspect from Wednesday night's game against Chelsea was completely absent on Saturday. The fight, passion, organisation and determination which earned every player rapturous applause and praise from every traveling fan, despite the defeat, were all no where to be seen.
I just want to know why. Could Freedman not motivate his players for a league game? Are the midfielders who played against Chelsea better than the ones who played against Derby? Did the players only step it up for a big game to try and get noticed? Did Freedman even have a game plan against Derby? Because it certainly doesn't seem like it.
I've thought quite hard for sometime now of all the possible reasons of why we played so badly, but it just hurts my head. So I'll just rate all the players instead.
Andy Lonergan - 6
Lonergan is one of two players who can walk away from the game with any dignity in tact. He made a brilliant save from the Derby penalty and kept a sure hold of a few dangerous crosses, alas, he could do nothing to prevent either goal. I just feel sorry that he felt he had to deal with a dick head fan who got onto the pitch.
Kevin McNaughton - 5
Being his first game back from injury and illness, McNaughton seemed somewhat off the pace. He was often easily shrugged off the ball and his positional sense was occasionally wrong, however, he continued to hold his own against a fast and tricky opponent in Jordan Ibe.
Matt Mills - 5
After his heroics on Wednesday, Mills was very poor against Derby. But I feel confident in saying it was just a "bad day at the office" more than not being arsed for the league games, an accusation I would throw at some. Nearly every aspect of his game was off, he especially seemed to struggle with Derby striker Chris Martin who bagged a brace. I can let one bad performance go though, everybody had off days from time to time, but what did disappoint me is how he bollocked Garvan after the second goal, when there's not an awful lot he could have done. There was obviously a lot of frustration and anger with in the ground, as the boos roared down, but having a real go at your team mate in that way is not going to help anyone.
Dorian Dervite - 6
The other player who can come away with any sort of pride left, Dervite is quickly becoming a very good defender for us and I'd argue he's Freedman's best permanent signing. Against Derby he was yet again dominant in the air and cut out a lot of threatening crosses. He reads the game well and he seems to be somewhat of a calming influence at the back, possibly due to his on the ball abilities. Even though Saturday was a bit of a speed bump, I still believe Mills and Dervite could be a very good partnership, especially under a better manager.
Dean Moxey - 3
I'm starting to run out of words to explain just how bad Moxey is. He has no confidence on the ball, he backs out of headers, he's constantly out of position, he gives away needless fouls and goals, just like Derby's first, tend to come from his side. How he started over Ream is beyond me.
Owen Garvan - 5
You all know I'm by no means a fan of Garvan, but he did alright against Derby. He played the 'metronome' role quite well, keeping the ball moving and such, but in a midfield which already contains a player who can only pass it sideways, another really is not needed. With regards to the second Derby goal, I do not blame Garvan. He was caught completely unaware by a stupid, unnecessarily over powered pass, there was not much he could do, but he'lll undoubtedly get the blunt of the blame.
Jay Spearing - 5
Spearing's performance against Derby was improved on pretty much every other showing so far this season, especially the defensive side of his game. He won a few very important tackles and got himself about the pitch, despite the improvement, he continued to diplayed yet even more finger pointing and blaming, when he failed to pass the ball in a forward direction.
Liam Feeney - 5
Feeney continues to prove himself as our only real attacking outlet. In the opening stages of the game, when Bolton weren't playing that badly, he was a real threat on the right hand side, teeing up Mason with a wonderful cross early on and winning several corners. Despite his efforts however, as Derby took control of the game, Feeney quickly faded out.
Mark Davies - 4
Davies was playing far too deep for most of the game, either due to wrongly given instructions or dropping back in order to pick up the ball. Either way, Davies dropping so far back lead to there being absolutely no creativity or direction in attacking areas, no forward passing and Mason being all alone upfront. Davies has influence in games in the oppositions' half, driving forward with the ball and slotting through attackers, he was relegated to sideways passes against Derby.
Chung-Yong Lee - 4
Pretty anonymous again from the South Korean, in fact, I honestly couldn't even remember if he played or not, I had to check. He was excellent when he came on against Chelsea and outsmarted one of the best fullbacks in the country on several occasions, but absolutely nothing when he came up against Championship opposition. The mind boggles.
Joe Mason - 3
Apart from an early chance that was brilliantly blocked by a Derby defender, Mason did absolutely nothing all game. I can't really blame him for that though, every single one of us knows that Mason does not have the attributes to play upfront on his own, he isn't that type of striker. He hasn't got the strength to contest for headers against towering centre halves or hold the ball up under a challenge. He needs a strong partner who takes the attention of the defenders, so he can exploit the space which is left and feed off knock downs and passes, that's why he was brilliant with Jutkiewicz. He, sooner rather than later, gets isolated upfront which results in us being unable to keep the ball in attacking areas, which does nothing but invite attack after attack. Every single one of us knows this. Everyone, it seems, apart from the man who matters.
Craig Davies - 3
I think Davies committed more fouls than the number of touches of the ball he had.
Neil Danns - 3
Danns did nothing either, but it was far too late for either substitute to have an impact on the game.