This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand…
Derby County Kelle Roos will hope to justify the faith shown in him by Liam Rosenior against Wigan Athletic on Wednesday night after the specialist first-team coach heaped praise on the keeper.
Philip Cocu’s sides fell to a frustrating 3-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic on Saturday, with the Rams second best throughout, as Derby’s five-match unbeaten league run was brought to a end at The Valley.
Roos has managed to establish himself as Derby’s first choice keeper over the last year, having forced his way into Frank Lampard’s side during the second half of last season – and the 27-year-old produced some key performances to help the Rams secure a play-off place.
He has retained his position as the club’s number one, despite Cocu coming into replace Lampard during the summer, but so far this campaign Roos has struggled at times to show his best form, with the Rams keeper only keeping two clean-sheets in the Championship in 12 matches so far.
The 27-year-old has been guilty of making a couple of individual errors which have cost Derby at crucial times in games since he became the club’s number one, with the standout being the vital mistake he made for Aston Villa’s second goal in the play-off final at Wembley which ultimately turned out to be the winner.
Do Derby need a new keeper in January?
Roos has perhaps suffered at the start of the season with a hangover to that mistake, and he has appeared unsure at times when coming for crosses and dealing with high balls into the penalty area from set pieces.
That is something which was evident in the defeat at Charlton on Saturday, with Roos failing to come for a corner which resulted in the hosts scoring a crucial second goal which gave Derby too much to do to turn around the contest.
The Rams’ defence at times has appeared a little unsure, due to the lack of belief that Roos will be able to command his area and clear the danger – and that is something that the keeper will have to improve if he is going to able to remain the club’s number one.
Roos has been subject to criticism by some Derby supporters over the last few weeks, with some questioning whether the Rams might need to look for a replacement in the New Year.
However, first-team coach Rosenior has offered a defence of the keeper, when speaking to the Derby Telegraph.
“Do I think it (the criticism of Roos) is fair? No. If I look at Kelle’s performance on Saturday, he made an outstanding save at 1-0.
“I think he had no chance on the set play (for the second goal), it was a clever block from their player on him.”
Rosenior’s comments highlight that crucially for Roos, he retains the backing of Derby’s coaching staff and Cocu, and it is now up to him to prove his critics wrong and start to producing more commanding performances in the Rams’ goal.
The next few months will be crucial for Roos’ Derby career, as he needs to demonstrate he is the right man to be the club’s number one because there will be a temptation to upgrade in January if things don’t change.