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Could be an interesting story...

Hopefully Tam, however I think its far more likely that I could spend the next decade floating about the Championship like a headless Chicken. Either way something might happen...maybe

_______________________


Firsts things first, Its time to organise the squad.


Twenty One players currently fill the ranks of the first team, with seven more floating on the fringes in reserves. With only £250,000 in the transfer budget and enough wages remaining to sign one semi-decent player, its pretty obvious I'm going to be doing some juggling in order to make any moves in the transfer window, however thats not to say the current Derby Team is in dire need of improving...





There is absolute bags of potential in this young side and some of the more experienced players are hardly taking up valuable room, with the likes of Northern Irelands, tiny striker Jamie Ward and Kilmarnocks answer to Xavi, Craig Bryson giving the squad some crucial experience in key areas, however its fair to say the young players here really catch the eye...



Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea even rumours of Barcelona, all the big boys are keeping close tabs on the hottest thing to come out of Derby since the mighty Tommy Huddlestone. Already blessed with enough ability to carve open teams at this level, young Will Hughes is almost destined to be a leading midfielder at the top flight in the near future, it just remains to be seen if he will do it in a Derby County shirt.




The youngest ever player to pull on a Ram's shirt. So young he still requires a parents permission to even go to away games and he cant even travel with the first team players on the coach but what he lacks in years he more then makes up for in potential. Head and shoulders above the rest of the under-eighteens, I would be foolish not to use Bennet's nose for a goal at some point this season.


Alongside our two stand-out youngsters are the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Michael Jacobs, Valentin Gjokaj, Mark O'Brien and Josh Lelan who alone is rumoured to be the next Sol Campbell.

Its a squad that quite frankly in a few years should walk the division with ease, however for now they remain a tenderly young squad craving experience.




With my plans for the coming transfer window taking shape I quickly turned my attentions to the all important tactics for the season and with the Boards only demand being attacking football I opted to throw caution into the wind with a risky formation.





With just three defenders, I'm going all out in attack. It might not prove to be the most sensible of tactics but I truly think or rather I really hope that this formation could get the most out of the players, already here.

It could prove to be a stroke of genius as we romp to victory or an absolute disaster as our defence is repeatedly caught out down the flanks. Time will tell.
 
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What happened to Giles Barnes?
A serious case of over hype. He was semi decent but I think following a weak loan spell at Fulham, he ended up at West Brom, then slipped down to Doncaster and is currently trying to salvage his career at Houston Dynamo. Don't get me wrong he was occasionally brilliant but too much too soon in my opinion.

_______________________

With the squad fully evaluated and not wanting to waste any more precious time I set straight to work on making the most of the pre-season transfer window.





Eight players are shown the door from pride park but only three happen to be on a permanent basis.


Walsall seem intent on snapping up just about every player that becomes available in the East Midlands, signing three players for the start of the season but its Ipswich Town who have the biggest affect on our transfer window, with the singing of pacey forward Theo Robinson for a hefty six hundred and fifty thousand pounds.


With the budgets now nicely boosted its time to reveal what I actually managed to do with my funds...




Even with a healthy transfer budget, I still opted to play itself raiding the free transfer market three times to add some more experience to our youthful squad.





First arrival at Pride Park is Honduran Hitman, Suazo.

The former Inter Milan striker is well into the twilight of his career but the thirty two year old could well make himself a fan favourite with his flair and strong eye for a goal.

Partnering Jamie Ward upfront I'm hopefully the two will form a lethal partnership in the Championship.







Having started his career on the books at Real Madrid, Tote still has traces of the ability that attracted one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Available to create an attacking move out of nothing the Spaniard will play in the crucial attacking midfield role, feeding our strikers with some deadly through balls.

Whilst his physical ability might be dwindling fast the raw technical ability of the veteran will make him a key player this season.





A lack of any real talent on the right side means a return to the Spanish market and this time its Fernando Varela who hopes to make the switch to English football.

Able to hammer in shots from out wide, the thirty two year old will be expected to provide support from deep rather then trying to run the game down the flanks but with a strong passing ability and a mean cross on him, Varela could well pick up many assists throughout the season.



So with all my dealings seemingly wrapped up, I failed to make any massive moves in the window and in fact went mostly below the radar bringing in three veteran players to add some wisdom to the club, whilst keeping just about all the budgets relatively untouched.

It might not have been exciting but at least it was economical...
 
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I like the start here! I'll be keeping an eye on this, good luck! :)
 
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I like the start here! I'll be keeping an eye on this, good luck! :)

Thanks very much Calum, hopefully I can keep it up but I think I will need the luck!

_______________________

My first set of games are quickly upon me and assistant manager, Gary Crosby has set out a solid set of six games over the next month to hopefully bring the team up to speed for what is certain to be a long and challenging season, as we go into the all important Pre-season.
.
_______________________
21st July 2012
First game of the preseason and my career at the helm of Derby County went almost completely according to plan. Despite Dorchester scoring both the opening goals, we did eventually contribute to the game as strikers Connor Sammon and the soon to be departing Theo Robinson added to the scoreline allowing us to cruise to a predictable victory.



28th July 2012
Even better. Our Blue Square Premier feeder club, Mansfield were undone by two goals from our young centrebacks, O'Brien and Gjokaj, with Robinson determined to show his worth as he once again scored a late goal to seal the win.



31st July 2012
Slightly disappointing. Despite being down to ten men, league one's Bournemouth struck first with a scrappy effort after the break, with Robinson ending his career at Derby County with his third goal in three games to stop an embaressing loss.




4th August 2012
Our second feeder club, Burton Albion showed no signs of gratitude, rattling in a goal within seconds of kick-off before cancelling out Sixteen year old, Mason Bennet's leveller to ****** a deserved victory at the Pirelli Stadium. Worrying.




7th August 2012
I'm not going to lie, my introduction to the Ram fans at Pride Park could have been better. Argentinian heavyweights River Plate destroyed us with ease, with only new signing Suazos early goal proving to be the only highlight of an eye opening evening.




11th August 2012
Thats more like it. Portuguese side Benfica were our final opponents for the pre-season and a thrilling game, in which we speant much of the time on the back foot ended all square, with the ever impressive youngster Gjokaj again showing an eye for goal, Whilst former Inter striker, Suazo made it two goals in his first two games on English soil to grab a morale boosting draw.


_______________________


An average pre-season. I'm not one who reads much into the results, I very much consider it just an opportunity to get us back up to match fitness but non the less, a flawless start to Suazos career at Derby and Swiss nineteen year old, Valentin Gjokak finding the back of the net twice as a centre back is encouraging but its the departed Theo Robinson who impressed the most showing what he could have been capable of had the money not been too good to refuse.


I hope I don't live to regret it.
 
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So just like that the 2012/13 season is upon us and for all the clubs outside of the Premier League that means only one thing. The first round of the Capital One Cup. Having never won the competition in any of its guises, it still holds quite a lure for Ram's fans and despite its dwindling status, I'm determined to try and get far into the competition

_______________________

Carling Cup First Round

14th August 2012
Well were through. Despite not being an entirely convincing against League Two's Fleetwood, we did the job and there are some encouraging signs. Suazo continued were his pre-season left off with a debut goal to open the scoring whilst tiny front man,Jamie Ward somehow won a header from Varela's cross to steal a late victory following Fleetwoods suprising equaliser.

_______________________

So the Second round awaits and our fate lies in the draw. With the big boys in the Premier League now in the competition, fingers were crossed for an exciting tie back at Pride Park...


 
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Looking forward to more of this story hope to see you get promoted!!! Keeping Hughes and Bennett will be key try getting some of your players to tutor them to help boost mental stats.
 
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Your tactics are a bit off- you have nobody defending your mf esp the centre. Coupled with their general attacking nature that is suicidal.
 
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Looking forward to more of this story hope to see you get promoted!!! Keeping Hughes and Bennett will be key try getting some of your players to tutor them to help boost mental stats.
Cheers brooksey. I hope I can hold off the premier league interest in them but the only way were going to keep them for any length of time is if we can get promoted ourselves. I think I'm actually going to use Tote and Suazo to tutor them, their both the most experienced players at the club and their not half bad either. thanks!

Will definitely be following this. :)
Cheers EndlessTimeZone, hopefully I can keep it interesting.

Your tactics are a bit off- you have nobody defending your mf esp the centre. Coupled with their general attacking nature that is suicidal.
Yeah, its not a great tactic, to be honest I'm not a very good tactician and ideally I would like a DM but there's no one capable of filling that role as of yet and the only player I could find on the market was Papa Boba Diop and he was demanding some stupidly high wage so I ended up with this. Its simply going to be a case of praying we score one more then everyone else until I can find a decent DM... or 2


_______________________


So the Championship season is upon us. Throughout the country ,from Brighton to Middlesbrough clubs and there supporters are all dreaming of making it that one step closer to the Premier League but its a tough old league and only the best will make it out. Its time to see what kind of season were going to be enduring...


Championship
18th August 2012

Three goals in two games, the Honduran hitman has started his career at Derby County in fine form, taking apart Millwall in ruthless fashion in front of an increasingly frustrated Den. Despite being under increasing pressure from former Ram, Rob Hulse and Andy Keogh our three main defence held strong giving us the perfect start to our season.



Championship
21st August 2012
This time it was the Jamie Ward show. An eighteenth minute goal gave us the perfect start against one of the toughest teams in the league and midfielder Craig Bryson added a second with a minute of normal time to go, with Jamie Ward scoring in injury time to put a gloss on the finish.



Championship
25th August 2012

It turns out were not the only team with strikers in form.
Jamie ward opened the scoring in just four minutes but it only served to anger a determined Burnley side who took us apart in impressive fashion thanks to lethal forward Charlie Austins two second half goals. Our winning start comes to an abrupt end but non the less we've made a steady start to the season.



Championship Table
August 2012


Operation "cling on to a playoffspot for dear life", is a go!


Were already right in the mixer for the scrappy playoff fight but with just three games played its hard to really say anything concrete about the table, however one thing is for certain those three points against Blackburn look to be rare. The Rovers have been in ruthless form so far scoring eight past Barnsely in their last game. We made Rhodes angry!
 
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The Second Round of the Capital One Cup is already upon us and were off to face another league two side in the shape of Gillingham.

Having narrowly squeezed past Fleetwood, Rams fans were hoping for a more dominant display this time around...

_______________________

Carling Cup Second Round
28th August 2012


Hardly convincing. Connor Sammon opens his account for the season with a well taken goal in the twelfth minute but from then on the game dropped into a lifeless spectactle, with the second string of Derby County players seemingly not interested in impressing me for a regular starting spot.

_______________________

Atleast were through to the third round but our good fortune against lower league sides is sure to run out and the next round is certain to be a more testing one for the Rams. If were serious about this competition its time to show it.
 
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Yeah, its not a great tactic, to be honest I'm not a very good tactician and ideally I would like a DM but there's no one capable of filling that role as of yet and the only player I could find on the market was Papa Boba Diop and he was demanding some stupidly high wage so I ended up with this. Its simply going to be a case of praying we score one more then everyone else until I can find a decent DM... or 2!
1) Tactics - not as difficult as you think. If you just adhere to a few rules you ll do ok.
2) One of these rules is to have a player on defense at mf. I lie actually. Ive seen good tactics with players on support/attack in mf but not with a 3 man defense and with everything else spot on.
3) Never mind not having any good dms. Stick a cb/fb with decent tackling attributes there eventhough he'll be "red". Much better than not having anybody there ...
 
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1) Tactics - not as difficult as you think. If you just adhere to a few rules you ll do ok.
2) One of these rules is to have a player on defense at mf. I lie actually. Ive seen good tactics with players on support/attack in mf but not with a 3 man defense and with everything else spot on.
3) Never mind not having any good dms. Stick a cb/fb with decent tackling attributes there eventhough he'll be "red". Much better than not having anybody there ...

I know, I do try and I enjoy seeing what I can do but I never really had the knack for it, I don't use other peoples tactics, I just know I'm not the best at it.

I'm trying to mould Hendrick into a more defensive midfielder as we speak but its going to take time. I might push him into DM next month and see how it goes. If we win them all then, I'll be coming to you with a big box of chocolates!

_______________________

The second month of the season is already here and its fair to say our start to the season thus far has been a mixed bag. A perfect start to the Championship was upset by a convincing defeat to Burnley, whilst our Capital One Cup progress has been steady if slightly lacklustre. Hopefully September will provide some more insight into how we shape up.


Championship
1st September 2012

On the surface a second disappointing defeat in a row. Former Forest striker, Marlon Harewood did himself no favours towards the Pride Park faithful scoring the only goal to give Barnsley all three points, however it was an injury to Jamie Ward that proved the biggest downside of the game. The nippy striker will be out for the next three to four weeks with a broken shoulder.



Championship
15th Septmeber 2012





Back to winning ways, however once again an injury hampered our celebrations. Within five minutes Suazo was helped off the field with fractured ribs ruling out our second striker for five weeks, however young Micheal Jacobs was willing to show that without our two front-men we were still a force to be reckoned with picking up both goals on the way to victory.



Championship
18th September 2012


City opened the scoring but we certainly finished the job. The ever impressive O'Brien rose highest at a corner to give the centreback his first goal of the season, with right mid Varela joining him to put us into the lead.
Our two replacement strikers then both showed they were more then capable of filling as they both scored either side of Davies consolation, with sixteen year old Bennett getting the first of his proffesional career.

Encouraging signs...



Championship
22nd September 2012



....Or Maybe not.

It doesn't rain it just pours!

A second half master class from Bolton tore us to shreds as without our finishing edge, we struggled to match up to the Trotters pace. Will Hughes further added to our woes by picking up a reckless red card that will rule the midfielder out for the next three games.



Capital One Cup Third Round
26th September 2012



We finally ran up against Premier League opposition and with a half strength team we were easily dispatched by the ruthless Black Cats. Danny Graham ran riot in the second half and with O'Brien off injured he had it all too easy in front of Fieldings under siege goalmouth, picking up a clinical hat-trick.

Time to concentrate on the league I suppose.



Championship
29th September 2012




Eugh.

Always on the back foot we were never in the game. Bennett continues to defy his age with another goal and Ward marked his return from injury with a goal from the bench but we were always one step behind the Tractor Boys who motored to a comfortable five goal victory, sending us back to Derby with our tails between our legs.



Championship Table
September


Slap bang in the middle of the table.

Its where I expected us to be but if we cant stop this recent run of poor results were only going to be heading in one direction.

We need to turn this around and fast.
 
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Will be following this, love the layout!
Thanks scotty, I will try to keep it like this then!

i agree, the layout is class
Cheers Greg, I'm glad you both approve.


_______________________


Following a lacklustre September we really needed a strong October to give our season another kick start in the right direction. Its early doors yet but if were to make something of this season its important to keep ourselves in the running.



Championship
2nd October 2012



Back to winning ways, against a Peterborough side that appear to be performing above expectations. A strong attacking display saw us hit Seventeen shots on target but only the resurgent Jamie Ward could break the deadlock with a well placed shot.



Championship
6th October 2012

We were well of the pace in the first half and were lucky to go in just two goals down as Stephen Hunt proved a constant threat down the flanks but a strong second half display was more encouraging but a Sammon goal in the final minute was too little too late.



Championship
20th October 2012

All the attention was on the City ground as our evening clash against arch rivals Nottingham Forest took centre stage, however the game failed to live up to the hype. A glaring error from Fielding allowed Clint Hill to tuck home a spill, with Jamie Ward once again coming to the rescue with an almost immediate reply.
A drab second half ended my first East Midlands derby but as long as we didn't lose, I can sleep well at night.



Championship
23rd October 2012

Just three days later and we get our teeth into another arch rival, as that man, Jamie ward tucks home a penalty to continue Derbys recent domination of Leeds and send us back into the realms of the playoff spots. Were not scoring many at the minute but as long as the points keep rolling in, I'm happy.



Championship
26th October 2012


An awful game was summed up with the only goal coming courtesy of an absolute howler from goalkeeper Frank Fielding, making a hash of a goal kick to gift Polish midfielder Juktiewicz with a simple tap in. Simple mistakes seem to be costing us alot of points already.



Championship Table
October



Were still well positioned to keep in contact with the Playoff spots, the only trouble is so are the rest of the teams in this division. It looks set to be a close one this year.

The addition of a Defensive Midfielder to the formation has stopped us shipping in so many goals but it also seems to have brought an end to our free scoring. I'm not sure what to rely on more but at least were making some kind of progress.

 
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Inconsistent at best so far this season and despite not being close to the half way mark its pretty clear were already destined for mid table obscurity, however I'm not giving up quite yet. I've altered the formation, gone for the all important defensive midfielder and am ready to make November go off with a bang!



Championship
3rd November 2012

Less of a bang more of a whimper.

In front of a increasingly frustrated Pride Park we slumped to a convincing defeat. Giant striker Zigic opened the scoring with Burke putting us two down within twenty minutes. We rallied in the second half and perhaps should have scored but a late penalty denied us any hope of salvaging anything from the match.



Championship
6th November 2012

Having rashly sacked Chris Powell, I presumed it would be a simple game against the Addicks but within just six minutes, we were proven to be sadly wrong. Bradley Wright Phillips, doubled there lead with Suazo returning from injury with a late goal to take some of the sting out of yet another defeat. Worrying times.



Championship
10th November 2012

Okay now its getting worrying.

Despite opening the scoring we failed to match up to a rapid Huddersfield side as James Vaughan made a mockery of our defence scoring two goals to send Huddersfield back to Yorkshire with a comfortable victory.

Four defeats on the bounce.

Only One option left. Panic.



Championship
17th November 2012


Ditched the defensive mid, started Suazo and Ward for the first time since injury and reaped the rewards. A sensational victory, saw us run out comfortable winners and against East Midlands rivals Leicester, all the previous defeats would be quickly forgotten. Or at least, so I hoped.



Championship
24th November 2012


Not a bad result by any means. Promotion chasing Cardiff are a tough side to beat and when Campbell broke the deadlock I feared the worst, however a spirited display eventually turned things around as the Honduran Hitman once again found the net to save a valuable point.

Worried? Me? Never.



Championship
27th November 2012


Well that didnt last long.

Everything happened in the second half with the game literally exploding into life in a frantic final ten minutes. Never once in front to have taken anything from this game would have been lucky but when the on loan McManaman combined with Derbyshire to fire three goals in before the death, it was clear luck isn't really on our side at the minute.



Championship Table
November


We need to stop the rot and fast.

I've already had two players questioning my ability and with us spiralling down the league its hard to argue, however I'm determined not to give up. Throw everything into going forward and pray for the best.

Its a solid plan if ever there was one.
 
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Just read through the story and I like it. First season blue's going on but once you have got a few good players in the club maybe the tactic will work. Picking up some good results but then getting hammered by team's like Ipshit. Will follow though, good luck.
 
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