It has been a season of landmarks for Derby County.
The likes of Matej Vydra, Curtis Davies and Scott Carson have lit up Pride Park Stadium during 2017/18, but it was a superb team effort that saw the side reach the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.
The campaign didn’t end how everybody wanted it to, but it’s now time to reflect on the positives of the months gone by…
It was a record-breaking season for Matej Vydra. He exceeded all expectations during a glorious campaign, and the numbers speak for themselves…
134 - On average, Vydra scored a goal every 134 minutes in the Championship this season; the best record of any player to play 2,000+ minutes in the division
26 - Vydra was directly involved in more goals than any other Derby player in all competitions this season; with 22 goals and four assists
24 - Vydra’s goal after 24 seconds against Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium in October was the fastest scored by Derby in any competition this season
22 - 2017/18 was the joint-best goalscoring campaign of Vydra’s career in all competitions. He also scored 22 goals for Watford during the 2012/13 campaign
21 - In the league, this was the best goalscoring season of Vydra’s career. His previous best was 20 with Watford during the 2012/13 campaign
9 - Vydra has scored more goals against Nottingham Forest than any other club that he has faced during his career. His nine goals have come in just eight appearances, whilst he has also recorded three assists
6 - Vydra scored more penalties than any other player in the Championship this season
3 - Vydra scored his first ever league hat-trick with three goals against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in November
1 - Vydra is the first Derby player to win the Golden Boot since the Football League Division One became the Championship prior to the 2004/05 season
These numbers demonstrate the remarkable improvement that Vydra has made this term.
After arriving at Pride Park from Watford in the summer of 2016, the forward endured a difficult debut campaign in the East Midlands.
Five goals in 38 games was a disappointment for Vydra, especially after the previous season where he fell just shy of double figures with Reading, with just three strikes in the league.
Vydra went on to equal his combined league tally for the previous two campaigns after just 18 games of the 2017/18 season, before he surpassed it with the stunning treble against Middlesbrough.
Attacking Top-Fives (Championship only)
Total: Vydra (21), Nugent (9), Jerome, Lawrence, Winnall (6), Weimann (5), Johnson, Russell (4)
Minutes-per-goal: Winnall (106), Vydra (134), Jerome (158), Palmer (226), Nugent (263)
Total: Vydra (25), Lawrence, Nugent (13), Weimann (11), Johnson (9), Jerome, Winnall (7)
Minutes-per-involvement: Winnall (90), Vydra (112), Jerome (135), Palmer (150), Nugent (182)
Total: Lawrence (79), Vydra (75), Nugent (64), Johnson (55), Weimann (54)
Per-90: Winnall (3.1), Nugent, Russell, Vydra (2.4), Lawrence (2.2), Jerome, Johnson (2), Martin (1.9)
Shots On Target
Total: Lawrence, Vydra (32), Nugent (26), Weimann, Russell (14), Johnson (11), Jerome (10)
Per-90: Winnall (1.3), Jerome, Nugent, Russell, Vydra (1), Lawrence (0.9), Martin, Palmer (0.6), Johnson, Weimann (0.4)
Curtis Davies was outstanding throughout his first campaign in a Derby shirt.
The centre-back ended the 2016/17 Premier League season having completed 90 interceptions; more than any other player, including the likes of Laurent Koscielny and N’Golo Kante, and he continued that defensive form with the Rams.
He made more interceptions than any other player in the Championship (135), whilst he also made the most clearances in the league (404).
Along with Scott Carson, Davies was the only Derby player to start all 48 games of the league campaign, and he only missed eight minutes in the Championship all season.
Having previously captained Birmingham City and Hull City, Davies also took the armband for the final 10 games of the season, starting with the battling 1-0 victory against Preston North End that got Derby back on track at the start of April.
Richard Keogh also deserves a mention. The Republic of Ireland international finished the season with five assists in the Championship; more than any other centre-back in the division.
As mentioned, Scott Carson started every single league game for the Rams this season, and he was the only man to play every single minute of all 48 matches.
For over a month, the Derby No.1 was on the brink of an impressive personal milestone as he searched for the clean sheet that would make it 20 in a single season for the first time in his career.
After keeping Bolton Wanderers at bay at the start of April, he had to wait until the play-off semi-final first leg at home to Fulham to reach the landmark, and he got there by produced a series of trademark stops.
His incredible save from Aleksandar Mitrovic in the second leg at Craven Cottage three days later was just another for Carson to add to his own personal highlight reel, after near-impossible stops from Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga and Barnsley’s Ike Ugbo earlier in the season.
During the campaign, he also passed 50 clean sheets for the club.
Defensive Top-Fives (Championship only)
Total: Davies (404), Keogh (282), Huddlestone (144), Forsyth (139), Wisdom (95)
Per-90: Davies (8.4), Pearce (7.4), Keogh (6.5), Forsyth (4.2), Baird (3.9)
Aerial Duels Won
Total: Davies (284), Keogh (154), Forsyth (105), Johnson (95), Nugent (85)
Per-90: Davies (5.9), Jerome, Martin (4.2), Pearce (4), Winnall (3.8), Keogh (3.6)
Total: Davies (135), Forsyth (54), Huddlestone (49), Johnson (44), Baird (43)
Per-90: Davies (2.8), Baird (2.1), Forsyth (1.6), Ledley (1.4), Pearce (1.3)
Total: Huddlestone (96), Davies (79), Lawrence (66), Baird (63), Johnson (62)
Per-90: Palmer (3.8), Baird (3), Olsson (2.4), Johnson, Russell (2.2), Huddlestone (2.1)
From an individual point of view, 2017/18 has been a resounding success, from Vydra securing the Golden Boot to Carson setting personal records, but as a team, there has been improvement across the board.
Compared with the 2016/17 league season, Derby won more games (20 to 18), lost less (11 to 15), scored more goals (70 to 54) and conceded less (48 to 50).
Overall, Derby won eight more points than they accumulated during the previous campaign, whilst finishing three places higher to achieve a third play-off campaign in the last five years.
Possession Top-Fives (Championship only)
Total: Lawrence (7), Weimann (6), Johnson, Keogh (5), Nugent, Vydra (4), Davies, Wisdom (3)
Total: Lawrence (62), Weimann (46), Huddlestone, Vydra (40), Nugent (27), Baird (24)
Per-90: Martin (2.4), Lawrence (1.7), Anya (1.6), Palmer, Russell, Winnall (1.4), Vydra, Weimann (1.3)
Total: Huddlestone (2,010), Davies (1,491), Keogh (1,458), Forsyth (830), Ledley (797)
Per-90: Thorne (56), Huddlestone (44), Ledley (38), Keogh (34), Pearce (34)
Pass Accuracy %
Thorne (82%), Keogh, Ledley (81%), Huddlestone, Pearce (79%), Anya, Davies, Palmer, Vydra (78%)
Successful Short Passes
Total: Huddlestone (1,730), Davies (1,389), Keogh (1,326), Ledley (755), Wisdom (744)
Per-90: Thorne (53), Huddlestone (38), Ledley (36), Keogh (31), Pearce (30)
Successful Long Passes
Total: Carson (345), Huddlestone (280), Keogh (132), Davies (102), Forsyth (89)
Per-90: Carson (7.2), Huddlestone (6.1), Pearce (3.8), Thorne (3.4), Baird, Keogh (3.1)
Total: Lawrence (40), Baird (28), Forsyth (14), Huddlestone (13), Wisdom (11)
Per-90: Baird (1.3), Lawrence (1.1), Olsson (0.7), Anya, Ledley (0.5), Forsyth, Wisdom (0.4)
Total: Lawrence (88), Weimann (44), Wisdom (38), Vydra (37), Huddlestone (33)
Per-90: Palmer (4.2), Lawrence (2.4), Russell (1.7), Anya (1.6), Weimann (1.3)
Total: Vydra (64), Lawrence (63), Davies (47), Keogh (46), Johnson (37)
Per-90: Palmer (2.4), Vydra, Winnall (2.1), Russell (1.9), Lawrence (1.7)
Building For The Future
Four Derby Academy starlets made their debut for the club this season.
Kellan Gordon came on during the EFL Cup First Round tie with Grimsby Town, whilst Max Bird started against Barnsley in the same competition.
Callum Guy made his bow as a late substitute in that game, with Luke Thomas coming on for his first appearance against Queens Park Rangers at Pride Park in November.
Now, the race is on to become the first player born in the 21st Century to make a league appearance for the club…
Can you name every single player to make an appearance for Derby County this season? Click here to try your luck with our quiz...