Here I take a look at the top moments in 2011 involving the Rams and some of the big talking points.
10. Not being relegated to League 1 in the 2010/2011 season
Maybe this should be nearer the top few moments because of the importance of staying in this League but I have chosen to put it here as it was a poor season in terms of the league table finish and some of the performances. Derby enjoyed a great start to the season but finished 19th, 7 points clear of relegation. That good start to the season probably kept us up after towards the winter part of the season results weren’t coming. It wasn’t until the 25th of April relegation was ruled out as Derby lost at Norwich but results elsewhere confirmed the Rams would be playing Championship football the next season.
9- Blackpool 0-1 Derby 17/08/2011
In this game Derby continued their winning start to the season with a fantastic win at Blackpool. The Rams were flying and a Craig Bryson second half goal gave Derby victory.
8. Derby County 2-1 Birmingham City 06/08/2011
Derby got their season of to a great start beating Europa League side Birmingham City. The Rams came from behind to win with goals from Jason Shackell and Steve Davies.
7. Young Talent at Pride Park
This season has saw Derby field 5 teenagers. Mark O’Brien and Jeff Hendrick have been regulars in the squad and even in the starting line-up and Hendrick did score the winner in the famous win with Ten Men at the City Ground.Callum Ball scored against Bristol City and has made a handful of appearances as a Substitute. 15 year old Mason Bennett has been involved in the first team and broke Lee Holmes’ record for being the youngest ever Derby County player.Will Hughes made a Sub appearance at Petorborough. It’s fantastic to see young talent coming through the academy and playing in the first team.
6. The return from injury of Skipper Shaun Barker and Paul Green
Derby had been missing two key players for 7 months until both Paul green and Shaun Barker made their returns from long-term injury. Paul green has done really well since coming back in to the side and he has filled in well for the injured John Brayford. The 2009/2010 player of the year Shaun Barker has been tipped by many fans to form a great on field defensive partnership with fellow centre half Jason Shackell.
5. John Brayford, Mark O’Brien and Jeff Hendrick signing contract extensions
It is important to hold on to players such as Brayford, O’Brien and Hendrick. John Brayford ,last seasons play of the season, has been a fantastic player since signing in the summer of 2010. O’Brien and Hendrick have stepped up to the first team well this season.
4. The signing of Jason Shackell
Derby signed Jason Shackell in the summer from Barnsley for a fee believed to be in excess of £1 million. Since joining he has been a reliable figure in the heart of the defence. He captained Derby this season until Captain Shaun Barker returned from injury. He is a good leader and has proved his price tag.
3. Derby 2-1 Swansea 12/03/2011
Derby County beat high flying Swansea City, who eventually were promoted. At this time the Rams were out of form and not playing well. The first Rams goal was disastrous from Swansea’s point of view, Ashley Williams over hit a backpass which goalkeeper De Vires couldn’t get to. The ball then trickled over the line giving Derby an early lead. Steve Davies scored the other goal in the Championship encounter at Pride Park.
2. Derby 2-1 Leeds 12/04/2011
This was a memorable night at Pride Park as the Rams did the double over Leeds in a excellent game of football. Leeds took the lead but a Jamie Ward goal and a Ben Davies screamer gave Derby all three points. All of the games goals were in the space of around 5 minutes and the last was the best as Pearson crossed the ball from a corner to the edge of the box where Ben Davies hit the ball home to score his first Derby goal.
1. Forest 1-2 Derby 17/09/2011
Of course this is the best moment there is nothing better than better your local rivals especially with TEN MEN ! It looked to be a disastrous start for Derby as goalkeeper Frank Fielding was sent off after one minute and Forest were awarded a penalty. Forest scored the penalty and as the Rams were reduced to ten men. Derby drew level on 29 minutes through a great Jamie Ward run and he finished he finished it off with a neat finish but Forest fans claimed the goal shouldn’t of stood as there was a Forest player down injured. Forest’s claims it shouldn’t of stood were pathetic really as the Referee would of blown the whistle if he thought it was necessary that play should stop and would Forest of kicked it out if a Derby player was down injured ? No. On 72 minutes 19 year old Jeff Hendrick fired the ball into the goal from around 25 yards out, take a bow. Derby had taken the lead in front of the packed away end. What a game this was it had everything – controversy, great goals, red card and most importantly a Rams win. This was a great game and moment which will certainly be remembered and don’t forget WE ONLY HAD 10 MEN.
Talking Points in 2011-
BOARD OUT ?
In 2011 many fans were shouting ‘BOARD OUT’ or ‘YANKS OUT’ after a frustrating run of results, not much money to spend on players and that they are ‘clueless’ were among cries from the frustrated Rams fans who even staged protests after games.
In May we said goodbye to Robbie Savage as he retired from playing football to pursue a career in media. Firstly I think Savage has been a great ambassador for Derby and even though he wasn’t the best player you always knew he would put 100% effort in on a Saturday afternoon. When he signed most fans booed him but he managed to turn 99% of those fans which is a credit to him. In his book he say’s that Nigel Clough saved his career after Sav had a difficult time at Derby under the management of Paul Jewell. When he bowed out to the game at Reading in May he was applauded by both sets of supporters unlike most of his career where he has been booed by almost every team he plays.
Former Nottingham Forest striker Nathan Tyson signed in the summer but has had a tough time at Derby so far with injuries, being plagued by a groin injury. After getting injured in the final game of Pre-Season he has worked on returning from injury and did even come on as a sub against Forest (to make his debut) and made his first start against Leeds. He says ‘he is desperate to win over the fans’, I really hope he get’s fully fit from injury and back playing week in week out then we can judge him as a Derby County player.
Nigel Clough signing a contract extension
In October Nigel Clough and his backroom staff signed new contracts until the summer of 2015. I think the board should of waited until at least January before offering him a new deal so we could see more of where we may finish in the table. I believe the board rushed into offering them new contracts without waiting to see how the season may pan out. At the time they signed the deals Derby were flying high in the play-offs. When Steve McLaren left Forest Clough was rumoured to be taking over but it turned out he didn’t have some coaching qualifications to manage a new team. Nigel Clough denied the rumour that he would join Forest and said that he hadn’t got the qualification but will.
After I finished writing this article the Rams beat Leeds United on Boxing day, which certainly would of made the top 10 moments in 2011. A Jamie Ward goal was the difference between the two sides as Derby kept up their record of beating Leeds to 6 games in a row (league and cup).
Images – dcfc.co.uk