Derby County fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall on Wednesday, prompting rival fans to poke fun at the playoff chasers.
The Rams have become accustomed to being in the fight for promotion in recent years. In three of the past five seasons, Derby have finished in the playoffs, only to fall short. The other two seasons, they had spells in the top six up until spring.
In each of the five seasons, though, there has been a recurring theme. For some reason or another, the Rams have lost form around February-March time to give up a promising position.
Rival fans have become well aware of Derby’s ‘annual collapse’, and they feel another one could be brewing as they took to the East Midlands club’s official Twitter account to make fun of their defeat to Millwall.
A selction of the best Tweets from rival fans mocking Derby County:
It’s happened again!!! Hahahahahah
— Ben Palmer (@palmer600010) February 20, 2019
Bielsa said Frank Lampard’s Derby would lose 0-1 against Millwall,
6 weeks ago !! #lufc 🕵️♂️
— Martin Threadgold (@FredgoldMartin) February 20, 2019
No matter who the manager is the Derby collapse is starting again. Surprised the game was on bad snow up there wasn’t it
— Wyn (@Wyn18028668) February 20, 2019
It’s happened again! It’s happened again!
— Joe Creasey (@JoeCreasey9) February 20, 2019
Looks like you’ll be staying at Derby Frank, Chelsea will be looking elsewhere
— Llewellyn (@LewLUFCforlife) February 21, 2019
I swear Derby do this every year.
— Benham (@kie_benham) February 20, 2019
All too familiar for Derby County fans:
Some Derby fans believe there is a curse around the club. Others feel it’s down to bad luck with injuries. Either way, the defeat on Wednesday was all too familiar despite a different manager at the helm.
Under the guidance of Frank Lampard, Derby have displayed scintillating attacking football in patches. Victories over Manchester United and Southampton in cup competitions have been great highlights, while 4-1 and 4-3 away wins in the league at promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City show their potential.
But when it comes to games you would expect the Rams to win, such as against strugglers Bolton Wanderers, Rotherham United, Ipswich Town and Millwall, they’ve frustratingly come up short.
The Lions arrived at Pride Park having picked up just seven points on the road all season. A Derby win would have taken them back into the playoffs ahead of Bristol City. The stage was set for a comfortable home win, but Neil Harris’s side took full advantage of a limp home performance.
Derby’s defeat follows a poor performance against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup, and a run of just three Championship wins in 10 games. They’re approaching the dreaded spring out of form, chasing sixth spot and with the simple matter of dearest rivals Nottingham Forest awaiting them next Monday.
Lampard needs to do something several managers before him have failed to do. He needs to turn recent history on its head and lead Derby to their best form of the season at the most critical time.