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Rampaging Rams - A Derby County Story

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Derby County



Derby County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Derby, Derbyshire, England. The club competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football, and has played its home matches at Pride Park Stadium since 1997. Notable for being one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, Derby County is one of only 10 clubs to have competed in every season of the English football league system, with all but four of those being in the top two divisions. The club was founded in 1884 by William Morley as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Its competitive peak came in the 1970s when it twice won the First Division and competed in major European competitions on four occasions, reaching the European Cup semi-finals as well as winning several minor trophies. Additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years - finishing league runner-up on three occasions between 1926 and 1936 - and won the first post-war FA Cup in 1946.

If we rewind a few years, Derby County were consistently the nearly team, making the play-offs year upon year but ultimately missing out. The squad has since been depleted and built with players who have come in on free transfers to try and build out the squad so they could compete this season. However, the squad has a young core which presents promise for the future. The first season will be a struggle and the focus will be avoiding the drop as thanks to being in administration we start off with a 21 point deduction in the league and as mentioned we don't have the best squad available to us either bar a couple of stand out young players and its made even more difficult by some long term injuries as well.



The one shining light at the club is young Louie Sibley but it does give a dilemma of do we sell to build a team that can compete higher up the league or do we just build our team around him as he continues to develop.

With starting in administration it means that we have no control of which players will be allowed to leave the club as they try and raise funds to keep it afloat and that is shown in the 5 year vision in the fact that bar this year everything is looking to sell the club



We are also in a massive amount of debt thanks to the previous ownership of the club which is going to make it a bit more difficult to find a buyer for the club



Time to get to work now and see if we can save the Rams from relegation
 
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Preseason

Transfers


There was only one piece of business done by the administrators and that them selling Bobby Duncan to Norwich for £375,000. I feel they could of got more but I'm happy that was the only player sold as he wouldn't of been in my first team plans at all.

Formation

I spent a bit of time on this one and decided I didn't want to do anything fancy and just needed to get the team playing decent football to grind out results this season and then look to build on it so I've gone with a 4-2-3-1 and looking to control the possession as if we control the game they will have less chances to score hopefully.



Friendlies



A nice couple of results against the youth players of both the big Manchester teams to build confidence

August



A tough start to the league and we even have a east midlands derby as well. More importantly though there are definitely winnable games there this month as well​
 
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August

Derby v Huddersfield




What a start to our season as Tom Lawrence shows why he's the highest paid player at the club and is going to be key to our chances of staying up.

Carabao Cup 1st Round
Derby v Crewe




There were no worries here at all as we punished Crewe and march onto the 2nd round.

Peterborough v Derby



What a comeback in the final 15 minutes of the game as we took full advantage of the extra man and scored within 3 minutes of the sending off to keep our winning start to the league.

Hull City v Derby



We get off to a great start here through a 25 yarder from Max Bird. I did think we were on to a draw here but Plange scored an excellent header to make it 3 wins on the bounce.

Derby v Middlesbrough



We seem to be really good at pulling it back from a losing position already and that seems like it could be key to us this season as we do like conceding the odd goal so far.

Carabao Cup 2nd Round
Derby v Leeds United




What a scalp to take in the 2nd round. The joy of park the bus and then sneaking it on penalties to make the 3rd round.

Derby v Nottingham Forest



Well our first loss was always going to come but I am disappointed it was to our arch rivals but I'm confident we can bounce back.

League



We did really well to get 10 points from our opening games and only 13 points away from 21st spot now

Takeover

With just a couple of days of the month left we got the news that all fans wanted to hear we have been taken over and can now plan for the future



Transfers

With being able to make transfers then we rushed into the market to try and bring some players in on loan but sadly there was no great quality left but we did manage to bring in 3 players



September



Got to say I'm not looking forward to this month as we have some tricky games against teams that will be fighting at the opposite end of the table.​
 
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September

Birmingham v Derby




A disappointing result here as I feel we should of done a bit better but sadly Birmingham were just far too good.

West Brom v Derby



We knew going into this game it would be tough and it was made even more difficult with the sending off but we did better in the 2nd half to limit the loss.

Derby v Stoke



Only our 2nd clean sheet of the season so far which just shows that defensively we've not been great but hopefully this is the first of many.

Carabao Cup 3rd Round
Chelsea v Derby




We went into this knowing anything other than a loss would be a huge upset and we got punished by a strong Chelsea team.

Sheffield United v Derby



Another really hard fought draw but at least we're able to score here for the first time in 6 games.

Derby v Reading



We finally record a win. I was starting to get a bit worried but nothing like a penalty at the death to give you a big boost for the month ahead.

League



A pretty horrible month for us as we still sit in negative points and rooted to the bottom of the table as we're 12 behind the team above us in 23rd.

October



Just the 5 league games for us this month and we need to start picking up some more points.​
 
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October

Derby v Swansea




Swansea made this really difficult for us when they had 10 men and went really defensive so we weren't able to take advantage of them byt it was still a huge result for us.

Preston v Derby



Jebbison finally seems to be getting the goals after us signing him on deadline day and Lawrence secures the win from the penalty spot

Derby v Luton Town



We are on a roll here again as we grab another 3 points against a team sitting just outside the play off spots

Coventry v Derby



Another rare clean sheet here. Its vital we win these games against the teams around us to help us climb out of the red.

Derby v Blackburn



Disappointing to throw the lead away twice here both thanks to poor defending but its a strong point and thats all we want this season is points.

League



We're finally into positive points and only 7 off 21st spot now. Hopefully we'll be off bottom next month.

November



A decent mix of games with a couple of winnable ones before facing two of the title challengers.​
 
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November

Barnsley v Derby




This was a really poor result as we just couldn't get into this game at all.

Millwall v Derby



Another poor result. Millwall the team we need to leapfrog at the moment in 21st and they were just the better team here.

Derby v Bournemouth



We knew this was going to be a tough game and I'm actually really happy with how we played her compared to our last two games.

Fulham v Derby



This really was a tale of two halves here as I tore through them at half time and it seemed to spark something in them as we kept fighting right to the end to get a point against the team sitting top.

Derby v QPR



It looks like the Fulham result gave us a confidence boost as we run riot here all thanks to Jason Knight who scored twice and assisted another twice as well

League



We're still rooted to the bottom of the table but all we can do is just keep going and hope for the best.

December



A bit of an easier month with us facing just the one promotion contender this month.​
 
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December

Bristol City v Derby




An early goal from from our Irish winger is enough to get us the 3 points as he does excellently to cut in from the wing and fire past the keeper.

Derby v Blackpool



What a 2nd half as Ebosele gets his 2nd in 2 games before Jason Knight rounds off the game with the 2nd goal.

Cardiff v Derby



A bit of a boring game here where neither team could take their chances as it finishes 0-0

Derby v West Brom



This is unheard of as we get out 4th clean sheet in a row which shows how important they are as we take a big scalp thanks to Lawrence scoring another penalty.

Stoke v Derby



We need to sort our defence out at corners as Souttar punishes us and thats what cost us here.

League



For the first time this season we are out of the relegation zone and now we just need to make sure we start there.

January



Another decent month as we have our first game in the FA Cup which hopefully we can get a decent run in​
 
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January

Reading v Derby




We needed to win this game as we were facing a team below us in the league and thanks to a great first half performance then the 3 points were never in doubt.

FA Cup 3rd Round
Doncaster v Derby




We needed to be at our best here to make sure we progressed and Jebbison's goal on the strike of half time was enough to turn the game in our favour before Knight rounded the game off.

Derby v Sheffield United



We did so well here to stay in the game as long as we did but sadly it just wasn't to be.

Nottingham Forest v Derby



Sadly a 2nd derby loss for us this season but we'll bounce back and beat them eventually.

Huddersfield v Derby



We bounce back with a win thanks to Allsop being a wall between the sticks as he pulled of some great saves and got MOTM.

Derby v Birmingham



Tom Lawrence is at it again from the penalty spot before adding a 2nd just before half time. He then set up Jebbison as well for his goal to round off a good win.

League



We're up to 20th now and 6 points clear of the relegation zone so fingers crossed thats us on the up now.

Transfers

Sadly we weren't able to bring in any new players as the ones I went after on loan all picked other clubs or just rejected us outright and we didn't have the funds to bring in anybody in permanently.

We did have 3 players leave the club though with none of them being key players



February



A big game in the FA Cup for us which I feel may just be out of our reach before throwing ourselves back into the league fixtures?​
 
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February

FA Cup 4th Round
Everton v Derby




We went into this knowing it was going to be tough and Calvert-Lewin was just fart too strong for our defenders.

Derby v Hull City



Our confidence was knocked after the fa cup defeat and it showed here as we just couldn't get going at all here and Hull punished us for it.

Middlesbrough v Derby



This was a disappointing result as I felt we were good enough for a point but sadly another set piece cost us here.

Derby v Peterborough



I feared that after their equalizer that we had thrown away 3 points but thankfully it was us who scored late on from a set piece to get the 3 points.

Derby v Millwall



Millwall are bottom of the league and we really went for it here and managed a good win.

Luton Town v Derby



Another routine win here with goals coming right before full and half time.

League



Its been a good month which has seen us jump all the way up to 16th spot but we're still only 8 points off the relegation zone.

March



A nice short month thanks to the internationals with a nice mix of games.​
 
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March

Derby v Barnsley




We continue our good run here. Stearman is showing at 34 that age is no barrier as he scores his 3rd goal in 4 games.

Bournemouth v Derby



Really not much to say about this result apart from it was really poor.

Blackburn v Derby



Another hammering here so we're going to have to do something to get this sorted out.

Derby v Coventry



Well at least we stem the rot here with getting a point and only conceding the one goal as well.

League



We're back down to 19th and only 6 points in it now as we're still heavily involved in a relegation battle.

Youth Intake

We have a decent intake on our hands with two promising players coming through



Graeme Kemp



Kemp looks like a promising AMC and could turn out to be one of Gibraltar's best ever players

Josh Hunt



He doesn't look to far off first team football so he will be integrated into the first team squad going forward

The Run In



We really need to up our game this month or we're going to find ourselves relegated.
 
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April

Derby v Preston




I feel we should of won this one but a point is a point at this point of the season.

Swansea v Derby



We came undone by an early goal here and the sending off didn't help either

Derby v Fulham



Another sending off here and its just making things harder for us for the run in. The goals either side of the sending off didn't help too much either.

QPR v Derby



A hard fought win here which was badly needed it as we get our first win in 7 games to stop the rot and get us back in the hunt.

Derby v Bristol City



A great 5 minutes to the game as both teams take their chances as a draw was probably a fair result here.

Blackpool v Derby



Curtis Davies leading the scoring at 37 before Tom Lawrence to gets an excellent brace.

Derby v Cardiff



Not the way we wanted to end the season as we would of like to go out on a win but sadly undone by another late goal.

League



We manage to finish 5 places above where the media expected us to and whole 10 points above the relegation zone as well.

Budgets



Well this was a nice surprise as we have a decent amount of money for transfers which we will no doubt move towards the wage budget as thats stayed the same from last season

Plans for Next Season

We have a number of players leaving at the end of their contracts this season so we're going to have a lot of work to do over the summer to build a new team that will be capable of fighting for a mid-top table finish.​
 
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Wow. Considering what happened IRL, 10 points clear is spectacular. Here on out will be easy, right?
 
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Wow. Considering what happened IRL, 10 points clear is spectacular. Here on out will be easy, right?
yeah was a great way to end the season as was above my expectations. I was worried though with only getting 11 points from the final 10 games though. Will see what sort of players I can attract through the summer
 
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Season 2

Transfers Out




We let a number of players go on free transfers when their deals came to an end but we've managed to keep hold of our key players so far.

Transfers In



We've gone a bit mental and signed 10 players so far. We have gone for some fairly low transfer fees as I don't want to go mental until we've established ourselves. It also helps when you can't attract big players to the club.

One player I'm excited about in Brandon Hunter who we signed from Hamilton for £475,000 as we hope he will develop into a top class midfielder for us and will get first team football this season



Friendlies



A bit of a mixed bag here but we were trying to build a team while going through preseason so it wasn't too unexpected.

Expectations



I'm not too worried about our expectations here as we should be well out of the relegation dog fight this season and then in the cups its just the luck of the draw as usual.

July



We're starting earlier than usual this season thanks to the World Cup and we have a horrible start against newly relegated Southampton​
 
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July

Derby v Southampton




A nice start to the season as Southampton still have a really strong team and its our club captain that gets the goal to make sure we start off with a point.

Carabao Cup 1st Round
Charlton v Derby




A nice routine win in the cup to see us progress as Troy Parrott scores his first goal for the club.

Derby v Preston



Its looking like this season will be much easier than last as Parrott looks like he'll be a great bit of business for us.

League



Its only 2 games but I'm happy with the 4 points from them

Transfers


We bring in 3 more players this month to add a bit of depth to the club with Scarlett and Adaramola whereas McArthur will go out on loan to get some first team football.



August



An ok month this month as we have some games that we'll be looking to do a lot better in compared to last season​
 
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August

Derby v West Brom




Our first loss already but at least it gets it out the way and at least it was a team that deserved to win the game as well

Carabao Cup 2nd Round
Sheffield United v Derby




We scrape through here thanks to the club captain again doing enough while cutting in off the wing to get us into the next round.

Swansea v Derby



We got very lucky here through substitute Stretton as he came on with 15 minutes to go down the right wing and he made an impact hitting home the equaliser from a long cross at the back post.

Derby v Blackpool



A much better performance here as we brought Dane Scarlett in to change our attack and it pays off as he gets an excellent poachers brace to round off a great team performance.

Derby v Sunderland



A pretty much identical performance to the game against Blackpool as Scarlett gets another brace to really make me think about putting Parrott back into the starting XI.

Oxford United v Derby



Trust us to lose to one of the newly promoted teams but to give them their due they defended really well and kept our chances very limited.

League



We're in 9th spot and thats exactly around where I'm happy with and we're nice and close to the play off spots as well.

September



A nice mix of games this month with another cup game as well.​
 
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September

Carabao Cup 3rd Round
Derby v Cardiff




A quick couple of goals in this game to show how exciting the game was as a whole but we creep through to the next round on penalties.

Barnsley v Derby



A really boring draw as neither team could take their chances here.

Derby v Bristol City



A much better game here as Parrott finally decides to show himself in a game and get two goals.

Carabao Cup 4th Round
Derby v Peterborough




Sibley and Parrott are at it again here with 3 goals between them. hopefully they form a decent partnership this season.

Derby v Norwich



Troy Parrott with the only goal of the game here which I knew was going to be tough after Norwich came down but we do enough to get the points.

Huddersfield v Derby



Scarlett comes in to give Parrott a rest and he picks up where Parrott left off. We also see a first goal for 16 year old Brandon Hunter.

League



We're into the playoff spots and now only 6 points off the top.

October



A derby game this month and its the first one I think we have a decent chance of winning this one for a change.​
 
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October

Cardiff v Derby




Troy Parrott has been worth every penny we've paid for him as he has provided so many goals for us so far so long may it continue.

Luton Town v Derby



Sibley got us off to a great start with a screamer in just the 5th minute but we had to wait until right at the death to get the 3 points thanks to our main man.

Derby v Coventry



There is certainly a pattern here with the goals. Its a great win to keep our good form going.

Derby v Nottingham Forest



The first East Midlands derby of the season and we finally win after 2 defeats last season. It was Mor cutting in from the right wing just after half time that gets us the 3 points.

Blackburn v Derby



Well this was just embarrassing!!

Ipswich Town v Derby



Our confidence really got knocked in the last game and it shone through in this game.

League



We hold on to 5th spot. It could go either way for us as we're only 5 points off top spot but then only 4 points ahead of 7th as well.

December



We've only got the 1 game in November thanks to the World Cup so we'll just roll that into December when we have an interesting run of games.
 
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November

Derby v QPR




QPR have playing really well this season and a draw was a fair result for how the game played out even if we were very close to a win.

Derby v Stoke



We come back very fresh from the break and it pays dividends as we run out winners. It was great to see a former stoke players getting the 2nd goal as well.

Watford v Derby



Watford have been poor since they came down but they really made us work for it here and its Emre Mor who is given a rare start that gets the only goal of the game.

Derby v Middlesbrough



We are on a roll again here as we make light work of Middlesbrough and I'm disappointed not to keep the clean sheet since we were so close to it.

Hull City v Derby



Was always going to be a tough game as Hull are knocking on the play off spots so a loss here isn't too big a deal.

Birmingham v Derby



We bounce straight back and its the usual suspects that get on the score sheet as well.

Derby v Watford



A much easier game against Watford this time as Tom Lawrence gets a brace.

League



We're up to 3rd and knocking right on the door. Its looking like the playoffs are going to be a minimum now.

January



2 cup games this month as that will be our focus before 3 tough league games​
 
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January

Transfers In


So there was only 1 piece of business this month and it was a deal we actually completed in December as we signed Ronnie Edwards from Peterborough for £3.2million



He is a young CB and will come straight into the first team so we can continue his development.

Derby v Barnsley



Not the start we wanted to the month but ah well.

FA Cup 3rd Round
Derby v Sutton United




We went into this game expecting an easy game but it was a lot harder than we wanted but we make it through to the 4th round.

Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Derby v Leicester




Our cup run comes to an end thanks to a goal 2 minutes from time but I'm quite happy not to have to fit the semi final in on top of all our other games.

Bristol City v Derby



This was disappointing as for a 2nd game in a row we concede right at then end but at least this time we walk away with a draw.

Derby v Cardiff



Cardiff put us on the back foot straight away with their early goal but thankfully Lawrence is able to keep up his 100% record from the penalty spot before the rest of the game gets pretty boring.

Derby v Luton



A really boring game where the fans didn't have any reason to get up out their seats.

Norwich v Derby



Away to Norwich was always going to be tough and Lawrence is usually good at popping up in tough games and he comes to the rescue again.

League



We had a pretty bad month but we still hold onto 5th and its all pretty close at the moment.

February



We need to turn things round and get back to winning but sadly I don't see that happening against West Ham​
 
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