The Monday Profile: James Bailey

Posted by on May 24, 2010 in The Monday Profile | 3 Comments

Derby County’s double swoop for James Bailey and John Brayford from Crewe last week smacked ever so slightly of “buy one, get one free”. Brayford teams up with his fellow Burton Albion alumnus Nigel Clough at Pride Park and looks to be a solid procurement: a place in the League Two team of the season, a near ever present tally of appearances and two player of the year awards in succession at Gresty Road would mark him out as ripe for plucking from the lower divisions. A return to the Midlands has duly been arranged.

But what of Bailey? Is he, as it first appears, the Mauricio Solis to Brayford’s Paulo Wanchope or will he prove to be of equal worth in a deal that brings to mind the capture of Stefano Eranio and Francesco Baiano, albeit a markedly less glamorous one?

Bailey has developed through the ranks in Cheshire, a passage that is not be sniffed at given the emergence from those climes of David Platt, Danny Murphy, Nicky Maynard and Geoff Thomas down the decades, not to mention the man he is rumoured to be earmarked to succeed, one Robert William Savage. A midfielder of some energy, Bailey’s past two seasons have been impacted by injury and he made only 23 appearances in 2009-10. Derby’s appalling away record this past year has indicated a need for new steel in the centre of the park and Bailey will certainly hope to challenge for a place, with Gilles Sunu having returned to Arsenal and Savage on his last legs. It is, on the face of it, a low key signing, but who would openly dare to question a graduate of the Temple of Dario – certainly not Alex fans – they are convinced that the lion’s share of the £1.3 million fee has been spent on Bailey: with Brayford merely a smokescreen.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Matt R
    May 24, 2010

    Mauricio Solis. Brilliant. He's not trespassed onto my consciousness for years…

  2. Matt
    May 24, 2010 Reply
  3. Chris
    May 25, 2010

    A wonderful trip through the cosmopolitan Derby squad of old. Just a small thought on John Brayford. I am willing to believe that he was the main component of the double deal, having seen him for Burton and for the Alex. He impressed me as just the kind of solid defender that Derby have been crying out for and is probably ready for the step up.

    On a tangential note, the Rams' progress next season will be one of the most interesting plot-lines of the 2010/11 Championship season. The pressure will be on Nigel Clough, from the media and some sections of the support, to push for the play-offs, particularly if the club makes further acquisitions. I, for one, hope that he is allowed to continue with the slow-burning development that worked so well for Burton. Success for Clough at Pride Park would be a great response to the current throw-away culture of English league football.


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