Derby County have set two scoring records during Phillip Cocu’s tenure as manager and both are polar opposites which will leave the club’s supporters scratching their heads.
The Rams suffered a seventh league defeat in the 2-0 loss at home to Barnsley.
Derby sit bottom of the Championship table, with just one win and six points from 11 games. It’s an abysmal run which was never envisaged by anyone associated with the club.
Rewind one year and Derby were also in a rut in the Championship. Cocu’s side suffered several 3-0 defeats on the road and headed to Wigan Athletic on boxing day in desperation.
A last-gasp Martyn Waghorn equaliser, however, spurred on a dramatic turnaround.
That Waghorn goal sparked a run of 18 straight league games where Derby found the net. No other Championship team managed such a successful streak in-front of goal.
It was a record which eclipsed the teams under George Burley, Billy Davies, Steve McClaren, Paul Clement and Frank Lampard – all which finished higher than Cocu’s Derby.
So how could such a consistent team in-front of goal become so blunt?
This season, Derby have scored just five goals, and only once in open play. The Rams are the lowest scorers in the Championship, finding the net on fewer occasions than Wycombe Wanderers.
Martyn Waghorn, Tom Lawrence and Wayne Rooney are still around. Poland international Kamil Jozwiak offers fresh impetus out wide, while youngsters Louie Sibley and Jason Knight enjoyed decent success in-front of goal last term – scoring a combined 11 times.
Chris Martin scored 11 times for Derby last season. The 31-year-old since joined Bristol City on a free transfer in the summer, since netting once in nine Championship starts.
Martin is a miss, no doubt about it. But surely his absence alone can’t be the catalyst for such a swing in misfortunes for the Rams? It’s beyond comprehension.
Barnsley felt like the last roll of the dice for manager Phillip Cocu. The Dutchman has been bereft of luck during his time at Pride Park and something must now change.
Also see: Two league rivals Derby moved out lead Pride Park scoring charts ahead of £10m duo
Also see: Report suggests key factor preventing Derby sacking Cocu following Mel Morris talks