Saturday, July 2, 2022

Phillip Cocu is an interesting appointment by Derby

David Nugent in Editorial, English Championship 5 Jul 2019

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Derby County have announced that former Netherlands midfielder Phillip Cocu will be Frank Lampard’s replacement as the club’s new head coach. The former PSV boss has signed a four-year deal with the Rams.

The Dutchman will bring with him Chris van der Weerden as assistant manager and Twan Scheepers as first coach. It is certainly an interesting appointment and seems something of a coup by County.

Cocu has a massive football pedigree

The 48-year-old has an absolutely massive football pedigree, both from his playing career and during his managerial career. He enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career with the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, while also winning 100 caps for his national side.

Cocu enjoyed two very successful spells as PSV boss, winning the Eredivisie on three occasions and also winning the Dutch Cup too. However, his last spell in management at Fenerbahce did not work out as well, as he won just four of his 16 games in charge before the Turkish club sacked him.

His PSV teams always played attacking and attractive football, which no doubt will be the style of play he attempts to instil at Derby. Whether he can achieve that with the players available remains to be seen.

Not an easy job

Derby County have been flirting with promotion in virtually every season since their relegation from the top-flight in 2012. They have made the play-offs in four of the last six seasons in the Championship.

Last season Lampard guided the Rams to the final and Aston Villa beat them. No matter which boss takes over County seem to fail to secure promotion. The likes of Steve McLaren and Gary Rowett failed before Lampard, so Cocu has a job on his hands to secure promotion.

Derby’s success last season was based on the Rams loaning in a number of highly-rated youngsters from Lampard’s former and present club Chelsea. Those young players played a big part in the team getting to the play-offs.

Cocu must have similar contacts throughout the European game. He has to strengthen his squad this summer. The Dutchman has certainly not walked into an easy job that is for sure.

The expectation levels at Derby are quite high. However, the team doesn’t always meet the expectations of the fans, like so many clubs. I believe that only promotion will be considered a success by those at Derby County next season.

Derby not fancied for promotion

It seems that despite their numerous appearances in the Championship play-offs in recent years, they are not considered one of the favourites for promotion this season.

In fact, Derby are odds of 16/1 to win promotion to the Premier League next season. Those odds suggest that the bookmakers believe that six teams are more likely to achieve promotion.

That means that they may not even make the play-offs. I suspect those odds were before the appointment of Cocu, who certainly has the potential to guide the Rams back to the top-flight next season.

This seems like a fascinating appointment. A few years ago, Cocu had been linked with high-profile Premier League jobs. Yet, here the Dutchman is managing in the Championship next season at the relatively small club compared to their top-flight counterparts.

Cocu must see something in Derby as a club to take the job. I doubt he was desperate for work considering his profile. This appointment does seem a very good one by the Rams. Only time will tell us if Phillip Cocu is the man to finally guide the Rams back to the promised land of the Premier League.

Is Phillip Cocu the right man to help Derby to promotion?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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