It’s easy to forget that the Rams had a brilliant season the last time they were in the Championship. Under Billy Davies, they made numerous comebacks to win games by a slender margin, eventually culminating in promotion through the play-offs. One of the key players in Derby’s successful campaign was their goalkeeper, and it looks like he’s staying put at Pride Park after Spurs pulled out of a deal to sign him.
The Daily Mail reports that Stephen Bywater is remaining in the East Midlands after Tottenham decided not to press ahead and buy the former West Ham stopper. It’s not clear from the comments of Paul Jewell why the north London club decided not to acquire the 27-year-old as back-up to Heurelho Gomes, but the deal is dead in the water.
‘I got a phone call to say for whatever reason the deal had fallen through but it was nothing to do with Stephen,’ Jewell said.
Bywater was on his way to London to complete the deal when Spurs boss Juande Ramos called off the transfer.
‘I think Stephen is a bit disappointed but, from our point of view, he will certainly push Roy Carroll,’ the Derby boss said.
‘Stephen has looked very sharp in pre-season and I am not disappointed, especially with Lewis Price being injured.’
So Derby continue to have two decent goalkeepers on their books, although Carroll looks like being the number one choice, despite a series of blunders for the Rams last term. Does Bywater have a future at County, or will he look for a move elsewhere following his Spurs heartache? And why did Tottenham decide they no longer wanted the shot-stopper?