As we approach the end of a decade, here at Derby County News we look back at the Rams’ most prominent players and who forms a potential best first team eleven.
The Rams have spent the entire decade in the Championship. It’s the first time Derby have gone ten straight years in the same division since in the 1970s.
During the past decade, Derby have gone through eight managers. One twice. Moreover, they have reached the playoffs four times, twice losing at Wembley.
Here is our Derby County team of the decade.
The goalkeeper position was a toss up between Lee Grant and Scott Carson. However, the latter gets the nod, making over 150 Championship appearances.
Derby have gone through several left-backs over the years. That said, Craig Forsyth has predominantly been seen as the club’s number one when fully fit.
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Forysth arrived from Watford in 2013. He has played over 150 league games for the Rams.
Richard Keogh, despite his disappointing end to his Pride Park career, is a nailed-on inclusion. The former Rams skipper played over 300 games for Derby.
Shaun Barker or Jake Buxton? It was tough deciding Keogh’s central defensive partner, but Buxton makes the team and is deservedly considered a cult hero at Pride Park.
Buxton arrived from Burton Albion in 2009. He proved himself to be Championship standard coming from non-league, and he had the heart of a lion.
Right-back has arguably been Derby’s least consistent position of the decade. John Brayford, Andre Wisdom, Cyrus Christie and now Jayden Bogle have held the role.
Bogle gets in on sheer talent alone. But, it’s a position the Rams have had to replace on several occasions and Bogle is another who will have strong suitors.
Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick are certainties. The duo came through the Derby academy, displayed enormous potential and now find themselves in the Premier League.
Derby had the base of a top-flight midfield. But, that cruel playoff final defeat to Queens Park Rangers followed by the 2015 collapse ultimately broke them up.
Craig Bryson is another Rams cult hero. The Scot made over 250 league appearances for Derby, scoring 40 goals including a hat-trick over Nottingham Forest.
In 2013-14, Bryson posted 16 goals and 13 assists from midfield. He arguably had the best individual campaign of any Derby player in the past decade.
Tom Ince will go down as Derby’s best attacking player of the past decade in terms of natural ability (loans excluded). He scored 37 goals in 105 games.
Other attacking players who deserve a mention are Kris Commons, Matej Vydra and Johnny Russell. But, Jamie Ward gets in for his longevity.
Ward spent five seasons at Pride Park, scoring 34 goals in 138 games. He was instrumental in helping Derby survive in the early Nigel Clough seasons.
Chris Martin grabs the centre-forward slot. He topped Derby’s scoring charts (52 in 121 games) for three straight seasons between 2013-16, while also assisting plenty.
Martin was a bargain purchase from Norwich City. Clough made some excellent signings at Pride Park, but the 31-year-old was arguably the best of the lot.