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Darren Moore's guide to promotion

Paul Fletcher | 17:24 UK time, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Barnsley defender Darren Moore has been promoted to the Premier League four times in his career - twice with West Brom and once with both Bradford and Derby.

I can't think of anybody who has gone up more often to the top flight - certainly not in recent times - so when he starts talking about what it takes for a team to reach the supposed Promised Land it probably makes sense to listen.

And with this in mind, there is one undoubted buzz word that crops up time and again during a conversation with the giant defender - consistency. For example, Moore is adamant that the current Barnsley squad is as good as most of the teams he has been promoted with - but talk is cheap.

"It is about showing that consistently and doing the right things at the right time," Moore told me.

And if you think that Big Dave, as he was known at West Brom, has lost it by suggesting the Tykes, currently 14th in the Championship, are in with a shout then perhaps you should think again.

moorebarnspa438.jpg "Anything is possible in the Championship," argues Moore. "I say that because this time last year Hull were in a similar position to where Barnsley are at the moment and look where they are now."

Moore believes that his point applies to most clubs in the Championship - a third of the season might have come and gone but very few sides are totally out of the running. Barnsley, for example, might be nestled in mid-table but prior to Tuesday evening's round of fixtures they were only four points off the play-off zone. Teams that guard against thinking too far ahead, put a run of form together and feed off the self-belief that good results generate are in with a chance.

Barnsley lost five of their opening six Championship fixtures and twice propped up the table. Rumours started to circulate about the future of manager Simon Davey.

But Moore, who joined Barnsley from Derby in the summer, has seen it all before and impressed on his team-mates that there was no need to panic. He told them that it often takes 10 games or so for the new signings to slot in to the team and adjust to the style of play that the manager wants both home and away.

That period has passed now and Barnsley are on a run of form that has seen them win three and draw one of their last five games. Moore is now looking for the team to see how many points they can pick up before the busy Christmas period.

If Barnsley are still in good shape he will then impress upon his team-mates how important it is for them to hold their form - that word consistency might crop up again - until Easter. By that stage the season has reached the run-in and it is all about holding your nerve until the finish line.

But in a division where fortunes rise and fall so spectacularly how does a manager ensure his team are playing to their potential?

"All of the managers I have been promoted with have been different and there is no single right way," Moore told me. "But one thing that was evident was the discipline side of things in terms of every player knowing their jobs within the team."

Paul Jewell (Bradford 1999), Gary Megson (West Brom 2002 and 2004) and Billy Davies (Derby County 2007) are the men that have managed Moore to promotion. And the Birmingham-born defender reckons that only second time around at the Baggies was he a part of a team that had actually been expected to go up.

Moore thinks his current manager is every bit as good as those he has worked with in the past. Davey, in charge at Oakwell since November 2006, has impressed Moore with his enthusiasm, focus and methods.

The defender points to a training session they use at Barnsley as a good example of Davey's methods. It starts as a keep-ball routine with two-to-three players on each team. This then builds to five or six per side and ends in an eight versus eight game, often followed by Davey working through a phase of play. Moore likes the progression, the way a simple idea is expanded until it involves working on something that will be taken into a real game.moore_promotion438.jpg

Moore comes across in conversation as someone who loves being a professional footballer, maintaining that he is living a dream that he has had ever since watching Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson play for West Brom in the late 1970s.

Yet there is no ego involved in what Moore has achieved as a footballer. Moore, a devout Christian, spends a large amount of his spare time working with those less fortunate than himself. His charity Faith and Football runs mini-leagues in inner cities and poor suburbs. When I spoke to Moore he was driving down to Birmingham so he could attend a night of matches. "It uses football as a vehicle to get kids from different schools and areas together and build relationships," he said.

Every year he undertakes a major fund-raising event to raise money for his charity. In 2005 he walked along the Great Wall of China along with Linvoy Primus, another player heavily involved in Faith and Football. Moore has also been to India, Egypt and Mexico and undertaken a charity bike ride. In February he will sit down and work out what he will do next summer.

In addition to playing for Barnsley and his charity work, Moore is also on the Board of Professional Footballers' Association Members and a committed family man. It makes me wonder how he manages to squeeze so much into one day and Moore himself admits it is "pretty full on".

Yet Davey recently described him as the most focused player he has worked with. And when it comes to working your way up the Championship table there can be few better players to have on your side than a man looking for his fifth promotion.


  • Comment number 1.

    Moore is model professional and a credit to Barnsley FC. He took a lot of stick at the start of the season but has won the fans over with his strong, no-nonsense displays. Though talk of the play-offs is a little optomistic, its clear the club are moving forwards, Moores played a big part in that.

  • Comment number 2.

    Very interesting article. As I Barnsley fan I'll admit that myself and numerous others were unimpressed with Davey signing Moore, we believed him to be too old and an unsuitable replacement for a different Derby player, Lewin Nyatanga who we'd had on loan. He did start off fairly poorly, but over the past few games he has be phenomenal, and has really helped the team. Hopefully what he said about us making the playoffs may not be too far in the realms of fantasy.

  • Comment number 3.

    apologies, but in spite of his good form for barnsley and positive attitude towards gaining promotion, I feel sure that darren moore is one of the worst defenders I've seen in the premiership.

  • Comment number 4.

    so when he starts talking about what it takes for a team to reach the supposed Promised Land it probably makes sense to listen.

    Eh I think I could of told you that you need consitency to win promotion.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a Pompey fan I'm glad to see Bruno continue to do the business - you always knew what you were getting from him, such a strong player, and one that reminds me of someone else who played for both clubs - Arjan De Zeeuw.

  • Comment number 6.

    As a derby fan, i was gutted when he left in the summer. Yeah he wasnt the most talented, but he more than than made up for it with his work ethic, his positive attitude. I truley believe that last year if derby had whole team with that work ethic and attitude, we would have done alot better.

    Wishing Big Dave the best of luck at barnsley

  • Comment number 7.

    Interesting article - but remarkably stupid and inappropriate headline. Did you pick it out yourself, Paul, or was it foisted upon you by an editor?

    This isn't tabloid journalism, is it? We really don't need that kind of stuff...

    ....and did you know you're now considered a bit of an albatross - your suggestion that Lee Carsley was the most valuable player in the Championship coincided with Brum's worst run of the season! I hope for Barnsley's sake this doesn't have a similar effect.

  • Comment number 8.

    As a Bradford City fan, I do remember Daz Moore with great affection, he was - IIRC - a Chris Kamara signing, but under Jewell he carved out a successful season in our promotion of '99, notching a few goals into the bargain. I wish him well at Barnsley, and they started off poorly just as we did in '99, but we found form mid way through the season.

    I'm not suggesting The Tykes are promotion material, but for him to be promoted again would be a fanstastic achievement. It did go a bit sour when we were in the Prem, Daz wanted to move away cos he wasn't getting paid what he wanted, and he ended up at West Brom. But its all water under the bridge, good luck to the lad.

  • Comment number 9.

    I met Darren Moore when Chris Kamara had just signed him for Bradford.
    I was working in a pub and he came in for his lunch. He came across as a gentle giant.
    I wished him well at Bradford City FC and as he left, I wondered where this young footballer's career would end up - if we'd ever hear of him again. I'd say he did ok!

  • Comment number 10.

    Has anybody forgotten that Darren Moore is probably the worst defender to have every played in the premiership. He has been relegated with all of these sides as well, and therefore can only be seen as good champioship player, i.e. James Beatie

  • Comment number 11.

    As an admirer of the Championship I can understand that someone like Darren Moore can do a good job - he's similar to defenders like Bobo Balde, Bramble and to an extent Michael Dawson. The common point is they are are no nonsense defenders that when they stick to what they do best they can do a decent job. They need to forget the passing game and just do the basics well. Darren is of the same ilk as these guys but has struggled when he has been in the premiership just like Balde struggled when he made the step to European football (hence why Strachan has seemingly forgot about him) and we are all aware of Brambles shortcomings. But when they have a good manager and they stick to the gameplan (row z most of the time) then they can do a job.

    Darren Moore has shown this over the years but the culture change in the Premiership has not suited someone with an old style of play like Darren and that's why he has been relegated so many times... that and having been promoted with teams that have always been favourites to come straight back down!!

    Basically, Big Daz is a player stuck in the wrong generation but with his leadership qualities he will fill his team mates full of confidence. Lets just hope thay don't get promoted though or it could be a 5th, demoralising, return to the Championship for him!

  • Comment number 12.

    To all those talking about how good Darren Moore is or isn't please re-read the article, its about his opinions on what is required to get to the premiership.

    It is not about whats required to stay there or the strengths or weaknesses of the player. the whole world does not revolve around the Prem you know. Nor in fact does the whole of UK football, biggest best league in the world or not.

    As a follower of another championship side it makes quite an interesting read but as pointed already out, it doesn't reveal anything ground breaking.

    A reasonable amount of consistency and still being in touch come Easter... this we knew. Still, all the best to Simon Davey. He and Ryan Kidd were always popular around Deepdale. good to see him doing ok. Would happily see him taking you up in second, behind us of course ;)

  • Comment number 13.

    spiritualwolf - don't worry. I'll be writing a piece about Wolves soon.

  • Comment number 14.

    Interestingly, all sides that Darren Moore have been promoted with have gone straight back down again. And all the managers referenced haven't exactly set the world on fire to date.

    I think it probably takes a little more managerial nous than ensuring "everyone knows their jobs" and "performing consistently" to go up and stay up. In the long run, if you perform consistently well and are an average championship team, chances are you will go up at random eventually (eg, Derby, West Brom, Bradford!?).

    The trick is having the flexibility to adapt your approach to the Premiership. Most teams that go up either do not have the ability or the tactical flexibility to survive in the premiership. Some do survive briefly as a result of having had a group of players together for a number of years that know their game inside out (e.g. Reading, possibly Hull - we'll see!) but struggle once other prem teams learn it.

    The championship is a virtual lottery and keeping a team together for a few years stands you in good stead (see Wolves at the moment), as does having more money to edge it with better quality players(see Birmingham and Reading's parachute payments, QPR).

    The true test though is how long you can stay up. Very few sides are establishing themselves as what could be considered top-flight stalwarts, and the gap is widening.

    Any side with Darren Moore in it is not likely to be good enough. Assume that each of the 20 prem teams has two centre backs. Is he one of the top 40 centre-backs in England at the moment? I doubt it.

  • Comment number 15.

    Is he going to tell us what it takes to get relegated? He's an expert at that as well!

  • Comment number 16.

    derby_23 - It wouldn't matter how much of an attitude Darren Moore had he was one of the worst centre backs in the Prem of all time and was at fault for so many Derby goals so maybe if Derbyput a footballer in there instead of Moore they might of done a little bit better. He was that bad i'd possibly say Titus Bramble is better.

    But what i can say, a "footballer" who can't play football will have himself a nice little lifestyle going on so fair play to the guy, but God knows why anyone would want him their team as he is big and clumsy and this is coming from a guy that supports a team that are masters of not being able to defend.

  • Comment number 17.

    Darren Moore at his best was a fantastic Championship player, and the kind of person that football needs to keep in the ranks of the club past his retirement from the game.

    He's a legend of the second tier. He was never good enough for the top flight, but obviously, 4 promotions show you he was more than capable at Championship level of getting you to the Prem.

  • Comment number 18.

    Paul, please don't write about us! We're quite happy to be strolling along at the top of the league without any bad karma to pull us down....

  • Comment number 19.

    Darren moore is a quality defender.
    committed, strong and brave all come to mind when you think of him, add to this brilliant leadership and these qualities all overshadow his lack of pace.
    he can win a header against anyone due to the shear size of him. anyone that thinks different obviously doesnt know a great deal about football!

  • Comment number 20.

    Peanut, I respect your opinion, Darren, or anyone in derby didnt expect him to play the amount of games he did, but due injuries in the squad and poor signings (i.e.todd) he did. And he was commited and gave 100% every game he played, and was positive even when confidence was at a all time low. Thats all you can ask of any player.

  • Comment number 21.

    Watching Barnsley's progress... or lack of it, from the other side of the planet is painful at the best of times... waiting to see if the lads are in the Championship game screened each week... or not. (I got sick of watching the likes of the Tractor Boys week in week out.) But it can be costly too. Last season I had my flight booked and paid for and final tickets lined up ready...
    So, when one of the squad says with conviction that they have the players and to do it... I'll listen... even if it is scented with more than a pinch of manure!

  • Comment number 22.

    Watching Barnsley's progress... or lack of it, from the other side of the planet is painful at the best of times... waiting to see if the lads are in the Championship game screened each week... or not. (I got sick of watching the likes of the Tractor Boys week in week out.) But it can be costly too. Last season I had my flight booked and paid for and final tickets lined up ready...
    So, when one of the squad says with conviction that they have the players and management to do it... I'll listen... even if it is scented with more than a pinch of manure!

  • Comment number 23.

    Darren Moore is a real gentleman and a fantastic credit to modern day football on the pitch and more notably off the pitch for all the charity work he does....

    well done mate and this will come as a shock ....wolves fan

  • Comment number 24.

    I hope Darren Moore and Barnsley do do well this season. Clubs run like Barnsley deserve to compete in the champ. There are too many run not on sound financial footing, whilst playing and paying average players phenomenal wages. See that at Charlton every day. Davey appears to get the most out of his players and get good results.

    It's very difficult to get a competitive team when you can't spend big on a striker that can sneak you goals like the Brum attack. Brum seem to be rubbish most weeks but be strong enough to defend whilst have enough class in attack to poach that elusive goal. Fair enough it might get you promoted. But Davey's acheivement at Barnsley and Brian Laws at Sheff Wed are much better and harder acheivements than Bruce or Mcleish at Brum.

  • Comment number 25.

    Darren moore is a world superstar. He is an influence to me with his amazing body and talent. He inspires me to achieve what he has.
    I love you Darren

  • Comment number 26.

    As a sports psychologist, I identified Darren Moore as THE player in 2007-08 with the most to give. A player who is nowhere near meeting his true potential.

    I think Darren has a huge amount more to give, even more (sic) than he might realise himself. If only he, and those who manage him, could learn to control his obvious tension and get him to relax a little.

  • Comment number 27.

    I am a sport's armchair fanatic and think ramtec that you spout a load of guff. Someone who's played in the top div and for countless teams that have been promoted from the second tier. His imposing size being one of his greatest assets. Get him to relax, not that I've ever seen him over tense, and is he the same player?

    Sports psychologists. Pah! At least a psychiatrist could give him some valium to relax with. So what are your metrics? What is your research. God I hate people who write guff. It'd be alright if you justified your research. Actually it's be alright if you didn't highlight your god awful more pun with (sic). In actual fact who uses (sic) in their own prose?

  • Comment number 28.

    Ah, Tatruth such wisdom from someone who assumes so much, knows so little, and researches even less. I will hazard a guess that you will take pride in your use of a 'shovel' when clearing the winter's excess from your pile.

    I could give you chapter and verse but my clients, that include sportsmen and women from multiple disciplines involved up to and including international level, expect and receive complete confidentiality. Suffice to say that I have and continue to deal at a level somewhat higher than the Chamionship.

    One of the reasons that clients require confidentiality is that English soccer is pretty much on its own in maintaining a view not dissimilar to your own. This is one of those uncomfortable moments when it's difficult to admit to being English without simulating the dragging of knuckles.

    A quick look at the record of achievement of the proponents of your opinion speaks for itself really, doesn't it?

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm a barnsley fan in Australia at the moment so haven't seen Moore play for us yet but to call him the worst player ever to play in the premiership is a complete joke and totally disrespectful.

    I don't know about the other people who have commented but I'm a centre back/sweeper and play football at a decent standard. Moore has some great qualities for a centre back and some bad ones, not going to name them because they're obvious. If you play him along side a centre back who can read the game well and a bit more pace then thats going to be a solid defence who could hold there own against most attacks.

    I remember seeing Moore play in a back 3 for west brom in premier I think before they went on the slide and he just played as a marker/heading machine with someone covering and they did fantastically well for a period. Even getting praise from a certain Alan Hansen.

    In this type of role Moore can be exceptional, with the safety of a sweeper behind him for his occasional old school big man mess up.

    When I get back I'd love to see barnsley play a back 3 with Moore and Foster as markers then De Souza sweeping. Suppose you've then got to find wing backs and I don't think Davey has the tactical skills to pull such a formation off. Shame!

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh ramtec your response is a cornucopia of witlessness. I ask you to justify yourself with some reason for your opinion and all you can do is justify yourself with your ego drum. The irony that a semi quack of a quasi-science, mocks my opinion! I had to chuckle there. Shoot my opinion down with something more than your semi-hidden achievements.

    Clearly sports psychologists do influence careers positively. Phil Gray of Luton and Sunderland's whole career was turned around by the confidence a sports psychologist gave him. Strange though he never maintained that early induced form? I am not against good sports psychologists; in fact I doubt if you are actually a psychologist of any sort. If you are... reading your prose I pity the poor footballers who deal with you, they must be confused by you meaning so very little.

    Firstly I shall briefly describe what I think of Darren Moore (sic); yes my opinion thought I'd sic sorry say the obvious. Being first aware of Darren Moore from his Bradford days I was always well impressed with his excellent strength and strong clearing of his lines. Unlike a Linvoy Primus, Richard Rufus, Matt Elliot or Colin Calderwood I never expected his style of unsubtle defending to last in the prem. It was good enough for a while in the prem, but could not sustain there. I think of him as a very good player and find it disgusting that a so called professional can ask more of him with no reasoning behind that demand.

    Here in this argument I use a little power of comparison and personal experience. Football is opinion and that is my opinion. Your THE player comment is opinion even with THE supposed professional justification; though if your logic was sound it would be a little more justified. Clearly I think Darren Moore a much better football player than you are a sports psychologist.

    Football is not like baseball or basketball where stats can rule well or mislead.
    It has so much more guff about it without the analytical brilliance you find in some American sports writers and managers. I suppose you know nothing of the contrarian Billy Beane and just spout your truisms based on others folly? Probably you gave David James a copy of Sun Tzu's opus after watching The Sopranos. Ah bore.

    Now let's dissect your comments and opinion. I am no grammar fascist but I do like someone to write with a little logic and intelligence. If you are writing a metaphor you don't need to place shovel within quotation marks, as the metaphor itself is representative. Of course this is not a hard and fast rule, just to do the opposite in prose illuminates your lack of faith in the skill of your prose. Why do we need to be reminded it's not a literal shovel but a shiny stainless steel metaphorical one? Prose of the lowest Dr Duncedom.

    Oh so tantalising with your client list. Might I add that client confidentiality is of the singualr and highest importance in dealing with clients for a psychologist or psychiatrist? Opinions in the game should hold no influence as to whether you discuss individuals; because your patient client bond does not allow it at any level period. So is Darren Moore your client or not? If he is, how wonderful that you reveal a weakness of his, very professional of you to treat an ex or present client like that. If he is not, then your opinion needs some justification. Otherwise it's not very professional to detrimentally decry someone's career without justification, whilst claiming to be professional. Great advertisment for your proffession: I criticise without curing. Frankly as these are the only two possibilities your behaviour is despicable.

    I did not ask for client details, but the reasoning that allowed you to make your conclusions on Darren Moore. As you so happily commented on him, you can happily admit to whether you've seen him play and the broad conclusions from your research; not egotistically naming or non-naming individuals. If I ask a quantum physicist to explain parallel universes I don't want the mathematics and secrets in detail but something of the philosophy of physics and quantum paradoxes. When you can't do this the cockroaches of lies start multiplying.

    I must admit your final sentence had me laughing for hours at the brilliance of the stupidity displayed within it. Can you say what you mean? Oh don't bother I don't think you can think just drunk on propositions of the propensity of your phantom achievements of your prose.... I mean autistic word boose. Do proponents have opinions or achievements? Well of course they do as a proponent advocates an argument. Do you mean I have an army of proponents ready to read my record of achievements or opinions? My record of achievements can't be of a proponent, as each proponent is a different individual. Unless my record/opinion is printed on multiple shirts, and all my proponents read it off the back of another proponent for the record of my opinon/acheivements. The subject is the object? You're very tao, where's those poo sticks?

    Aha I have it. You mean that I have no acolytes who sing my dogma from the highest blog in the land. I may be arrogant but I don't believe my intelligence much more than average, and thus my opinions can be wrong and challenged not demanded to be believed. Whilst 7 to one god fearing scientists agree with your blindingly omnipotent spoken fact; without having to elucidate dear sir. That's a fact you know I heard the news the other day.

    Please whatever derogatory comment you make, write it sensically so I can laugh at you some more. I'm quite sure you're a charlatan whatever you do and even surer you're a parvenu with full arrogance and no humility.

  • Comment number 31.

    Easily dealt with:

    1. Whose ego? Have a fresh look at your embarrassing 1000 word response in the morning (including the proliferation of spillong errors within your grammatical liturgy). I promise, you'll blush.

    2. Client confidentiality - not an option.

    3. Self-appointed armchair critics are qualified to comment on the professional capabilities of those of whom they know nothing quite how, exactly?

    4. I'll take a wild stab that this isn't a sportsmen I'm talking to. Good sportsmen experience, from time to time, the purple patch, the blinding flash of brilliance, and want to understand how to make that happen more often. The best sportsman learn how to control that to bring a high level of performance with almost boring monotony. I think you would probably struggle to remember the day of the week.

    Now, why don't we go ask Darren to settle this... and when you've finished talking to Darren, you might benefit from a discussion with a Portuguese gentleman who would laugh in your face... arrogantly, of course!

  • Comment number 32.

    Oh ramtec every time you tap your keyboard your buffoonary has me in stitches. Well done for using word count and spelling on Microsoft Word, it’s a shame you don’t use IQ test on Microsoft Pop Psychologist every time you tap away. Actually better not you’d rarely get above 75. Mind you I did love your four point plan answering no professional issue. Should have made it five points and you could have joined the Marxist Leninist group of Psycholgists.

    Grammatical liturgy eh? So you think by saying I’m not a grammar fascist that I’m making a religious type speech on the perfection of grammar. Let’s drink the ink of Christ! Whilst I didn’t mention or analyse any grammatical errors I’d hazard that none of my musings were intended on lecturing about grammar: I’d add grammatical homily may have been the better phrase whilst grammatical liturgy being so bad on both counts. Unless you meant grammatical litany of errors? It’s so amusing trying to understand your puerile prose.

    A sentence can be grammatically correct and mean absolute guff. Hence I’m not bothered by grammatical errors if you have logic there. Kind of missed the point and hammered it home with some more witlessness? I think you need a philology checker in your Microsoft Word.

    My critique of Darren Moore is that I think he’s a very good player. Whilst you claim to be a professional and make a critical assessment with no proof or logic to back it up. Now judging your puerile prose by saying ‘why don't we go ask Darren to settle this’, your calling him on first name terms because you know him. Thus you probably have interviewed him. How ever so professional of you to make a negative comment on him, which could be detrimental to his present career. What would an opposing pro do if they knew he didn’t relax well during a game? Wind him up? How very decent of you to tell everyone the result of your research and his weakness. It doesn’t bring up any kind of patient client issues does it? My main problem with you is the disgusting lack of professionalism in your original statement. I’m not the one with a major criticism of his whole professional character; and thus not the one who has to justify my armchair opinions to that of a professional standard.

    Oh a threat through you, of Portugal’s finest mocking me and belittling me. Chuckle… at the sheer ridiculousness of the man taking time out of his busy schedule to back up your poor little opinions; hypothetical or not. How very professional you are in the uses of your professional acquaintances or clients. Unless you pass comments on them from afar like an armchair fan? Intellectual threat or not it’s pretty hilarious your pantheon of imagined backers. Why the need to constantly name drop/hint in order to justify yourself?

    I really don’t think you’d last two seconds with any level of pro, on account of your lack of wit and huge arrogance. A pro footballer would have a field day running mental rings around you. Any pro that didn’t wouldn’t have the brains to sustain a long career in the game.

    Name drops keep tapping on my keyboard,
    Du Du Du Do Du Do Du Do
    And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his head
    Nothin' seems to fit
    This Charlatan’s a quack
    His heavies are across the Med!
    Du Du Du Do Du Do Du Do
    Name drops keep tapping on my keyboard,
    Because of frauds!

    PS answer 4 is a justification for your job, not a justification of your research paradigm. Which would allow for… oh sorry where am I…who are you?

  • Comment number 33.

    i personally think darren moore is one of the worst defenders i have ever seen.

    he's clumsy, has poor vision regarding the game, and repeatedly pulls down members of the opposing team, during a corner.

    as a derby county fan, i was pleased we let him go and kept hold of nyatanga.he isn't missed by derby county fans at all.

    goodbye moore, we are doing fine without you.

  • Comment number 34.

    Fair enough saw him last season for you and when he's exposed behind a very weak midfield and positionally poor teammates his strengths become weaknesses. Organisation and tactical nous was never his, whilst his stoic but slightly immobile qualities become useless when play is breaking down all around him.

    Having said that saw him for Barnsley this season in a team that worked hard and he was a very good champ defender again. Saw your team Derby at the Valley and Darren Powell's performance is the worst defender's performance I've seen at the Valley in ten years. You could have cut us apart with wingers like Kris Commons, if he was on for the whole match. Even so we'd have got chance after chance with terrible long ball and Powell being all at see. Of course that's all opinion.


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