Derby County are on the lookout for a new manager after Dutchman Phillip Cocu left by mutual consent on Saturday following a poor start to the season.
Cocu has been a class act during his time at Derby. The former Barcelona man is calm, assuring and respectful while adhering to the vision set out by the club.
Results, however, haven’t been good enough this season.
Derby are bottom of the Championship table, having scored just five goals in 11 league games. Their last win at Pride Park came against Reading during the summer.
Cocu’s exit is a major disappointment. However, a new manager brings different challenges and here we look at three Derby players who may benefit from a fresh change.
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Some may think the inclusion of Louie Sibley or any of the other academy players in this list is a bit bizarre. Yet, the attacking midfielder’s rise has been halted of late.
Sibley burst onto the scene last season. He scored a 25-yard stunner in the 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers pre lockdown and followed that up with a hattrick at Millwall.
The young talent posted five goals and two assists in nine starts last term.
This season, however, Sibley has started just two league games. It seems his progress has been halted at the expense of a more defensive-minded system.
Cocu opted to change to a back three, removing the number 10 role altogether. Sibley will surely come back into the fold in a side looking to take the game to the opposition.
Max Bird was arguably the standout youngster from last season. The holding midfielder became a regular in the side, playing alongside Wayne Rooney in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
But in similar circumstances to Sibley, he became a victim of a more defensive system.
Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight have become the new regular midfield duo.
You can’t blame Cocu for adapting after shipping eight goals in the first three games. But in doing so, both Sibley and Bird have been left out of the starting XI.
Wayne Rooney, however, is a huge fan of the Derby youngster and Bird may benefit most from the former Manchester United man taking on a more predominant coaching role.
Kamil Jozwiak joined Derby from Lech Poznan for around £3.5 million.
The Poland international, however, has openly admitted to reporters back in Poland that he wasn’t particularly enjoying the defensive system deployed by Cocu.
Jozwiak ultimately started the last game against Barnsley on the bench.
The wide player has speed, a low sense of gravity and excellent dribbling ability. He would seemingly thrive in a team pressing from the front and going full throttle.
Nobody can argue against Cocu’s success in Holland. However, it seems his ideal style of play was perhaps too technical for a Derby side itching to release the shackles.