By Chris Wright
“Referee! May I please draw your attention to an infringement against my team? Arbitrate as you see fit!”
It pains me to say this for obvious reasons but credit where credit is due: Derby County, as things stand, are doing…quite well.
Currently third in the Championship and level on points with second-placed Bournemouth, the Rams staff have put the club’s up-turn in fortunes this season down to a club-wide reduction in the amount of swear words being uttered.
Rams coach Paul Simpson explained that, since Steve McClaren’s arrival at the iPodprobrufen Stadium a couple of years ago, the players and staff have consciously curbed their zealous language and are consequently all the better for it.
“If you’re ranting and raving and swearing, you haven’t got control,” Simpson told BBC Radio Derby.
“We say you are losing it so you may as well come and sit in the dugout.
“It was a surprise to me when we all came in here. When we arrived I realised that Steve has turned over a new leaf and very rarely swears.
“We have realised that when you swear at people, it doesn’t get the reaction you want.”
Steve’s calm, unflappable Dutch aura has since spread across the club, with Simpson and the rest of the staff all bearing the fruits of their new polite regime.
“We try not to swear if we possibly can,” he continued.
“And we certainly don’t use foul and abusive language in the technical area when we are talking to officials – which seems to be the common trend.”
Simpson, himself a former Derby player, confirmed that while there’s no “zero-tolerance” policy on cursing, swearing is now definitely frowned-upon around the place.
Referencing “The Chimp Paradox”, a book by sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, Simpson claimed that Derby’s collective shackling of their inner ape has created a “refreshing” new atmosphere at the club.
“We are always talking to the players about keeping control of your chimp and not let it take over your head and rule your decision making during a game.
“The days of ranting and raving and swearing at each other are long gone and we need to be a bit calmer about the way we go about things, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
“It’s like when you bring your kids up. You have to just say something to them or sometimes just a look is enough and it tends to nip it in the bud.
“Whatever walk of life you are you in, if you are ranting and raving and swearing at people, you haven’t got control of yourself.”
It’s obviously working. Perhaps someone could pass the message along to every other soul currently living and working in professional football:
Hey. Don’t be dicks.