Chelsea starlet struggles, wonderkid labelled an illusion by supporters.

Derby County Huddle

Derby County's surprise home defeat to Millwall on Saturday left supporters pointing blame towards a number of players in the starting 11, including Chelsea's young talent Patrick Bamford.

Millwall pulled off one of the shock results at the weekened, beating a high-flying Derby County 1-0 on their own ground. It all but ended the Derby's hope at automatic promotion, as second placed Burnley notched a vital win against rivals Blackburn Rovers.

It was a match that was treated like an exhibition by a young Rams side that, despite losing one-nil, notched up an incredible 613 passes. This ridiculous stat was not lost on Derby County's manager Steve McClaren who blasted ''if we had been playing for two more days we wouldn't have scored. We had no quality in the final third.''

And the supporters had their own ideas of where to lay blame, with Chelsea starlet Patrick Bamford amongst those critiqued by supporters.

The reaction from the match on the radio, the internet and around the ground was not kind to the former Nottingham Forest trainee, who didn't paint himself in glory by putting in a very lethargic display. And the statistics don't help his case much either.

The 20-year-old was dispossessed twice as much as any other Derby player, hit three wildly inaccurate snapshots off-target, had the third worse pass accuracy in the team and bar Lee Grant, he touched the ball less than anyone else in the Rams team too.

There can be little doubt the Chelsea starlet has set the bar high at the East Midlands club after his early impact with some stunning goals. However, despite his excellent finishing ability, he has arguably shown very little else that could be classed as Premier League quality, which has left him with the label of an illusion. From the outside looking in, he seems to have been outstanding, but for most supporters he still needs to offer more.

He will continue to be a huge part of the Derby County side looking to win promotion, although it's looking more-and-more likely it will have to be through the play-offs. That gives him, potentially, fifteen games left this season to prove why he could save Chelsea millions of pounds in the summer and look to lead their line for the next generation.

For now, he will have to work hard to keep his place in the Derby side and if selected Tuesday night, put in a performance to keep them from making it three games without a win.

image: © eamoncurry

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