Wayne Rooney’s first game as the permanent Derby County manager couldn’t have gone any worse, as his team were beaten 1-0 at Pride Park by fellow relegation battlers Rotherham United.
Despite his appointment, it has been a tough week for Rooney, who has been forced to respond to claims that some of his best players will be sold due to cashflow issues and also finding out that the team are unable to be paid their salaries in full right now.
The lack of confirmation of the proposed takeover by Derventio Holdings – led by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Khaled – is really putting a strain on things at the Rams, and that may have had an effect on the pitch against Rotherham.
The Rams had a huge advantage in terms of keeping the ball with 64% of the match possession, but ultimately football is about goals and with just five minutes to go, Jamie Lindsay fired home from close range after Derby failed to deal with a deep cross from the Millers.
It was a resilient performance from Paul Warne’s side and a result that lifted Rotherham above Derby into 22nd, and there were a number of Rams players who underperformed on the day.
Quiz: The top 16 Derby County record player departures – Which club did they join though?
Youngster Jason Knight though took a lot of criticism, especially after surprisingly being made captain by Rooney for the match.
The Ireland international has been linked with a big-money move from Pride Park this month and The Sun claim that he and Louie Sibley may be cashed-in on.
The pressure of being Derby skipper may have got to Knight a bit, as fans were critical of his performance and the decision to give him the armband.
Our captain (knight) has had a shocker here. So many stupid free kicks. They deserved to score. Pathetic #dcfc
— Rooney’s Rams (@bobbyxyz1234) January 16, 2021
Is it just me but I don't agree with giving Knight the captains armband. Let the lad play his game. This will affect him. Give it shinnie. #dcfc
— Karl shaw (@KMShaw75) January 16, 2021
So so sloppy. Knight being made captain having his worst game for a while :s #dcfc
— Chris (@buckers2011) January 16, 2021
Wrong decision by Rooney to make him captain. Shinnie was the one who should be wearing it. Much more senior and vocal. Knight is far from vocal.
— Dave Lister (@DiscoDave1980) January 16, 2021
No leadership no finesse no skill no momentum no quality might of changed at the helm but still rubbish on the pitch Knight should not be captain watched the match on Rams TV when do I get my season ticket refund
— Kam Sehemby (@warstonewarrior) January 16, 2021
Anyone else not understand the Jason knight hype?
— Max Queto (@QuetoMaximus) January 16, 2021
Knight shouldn’t be captain. No matter how a much of a part he’s playing in the squad. He’s not a captain, he’s not a leader. He works his socks off but he’s bang average. Let’s not lose our heads over a couple of good performances
— Curt_Higgo (@CurtHiggo) January 16, 2021