Derby County

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Derby County captain lost for season, 2 players charged with drunk driving

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Derby County has lost its captain to a knee injury and two players to arrest after drunk driving led to a car accident on Tuesday.

Richard Keogh is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett have been charged by police after a two-car accident ended with one vehicle smashing into a pole.

[ MORE: Can Chelsea take advantage of soft schedule? ]

Keogh, Lawrence, and Bennett were among a small group of players to continue drinking after a team-building exercise that evening.

Given the dangers of drunk driving, Derby County is thankful that the damage isn’t much worse. From an official club statement:

We have been very clear about our attitude towards alcohol and the players know that at certain and specific times of the season they are permitted a drink together as a group in a controlled environment.

Those involved in Tuesday’s incident know they will pay a heavy price for their actions, but also that we will support them with their rehabilitation back into the squad and team.

Neither Bennett nor Lawrence were injured, and both will face a court date on Oct. 15.

Derby County sits 18th in the 24-team Championship, seven points off a playoff place after eight of 46 match days.

League Cup preview: Newcastle v. Leicester; Forest v. Derby in 2nd round

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The second round of the 2019-20 League Cup kicks off on Tuesday, featuring the 13 Premier League sides not participating in European competition this season.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 3 ]

Last season’s top-seven finishers, including defending League Cup holders Manchester City (winners of three of the last four years), will join in the third round, scheduled for the week of Sept. 23. The draw for the third round will take place following the conclusion of Wednesday’s second-round fixtures.

Newcastle United and Leicester City is the only all-PL tie of the second round, as Brendan Rodgers‘ Foxes are due to visit Steve Bruce‘s Magpies at St. James’ Park on Wednesday. Newcastle picked up their first points of the season in a shocking upset of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, a day after Leicester picked up their first victory to keep their unbeaten start to the season intact.

[ MORE: Now is not time for panic at Man United… not yet ]

This week’s most heated fixture will undoubtedly be the East Midlands derby between Nottingham Forest and Derby County on Tuesday. The sides have met more than 100 times in the rivalry’s history, with quickly rising following Brian Clough’s appointment as Forest manager in 1975. Clough was Derby boss from 1967 to 1973, and it’s been nothing but deep, shared animosity ever since.

West Ham United will make the trip to south Wales to face League Two side Newport County, who in last season’s FA Cup knocked off Leicester and EFL Championship side Middlesbrough before they were beaten by Man City inside the final 15 minutes of the fifth round.

Tuesday’s notable League Cup fixtures (all games at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Newport County v. West Ham United
Crewe v. Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v. Colchester United
Watford v. Coventry City
Sheffield United v. Blackburn Rovers
Fulham v. Southampton
Bristol Rovers v. Brighton & Hove Albion
Crawley Town v. Norwich City
Nottingham Forest v. Derby County
Leeds United v. Stoke City

Wednesday’s notable League Cup fixtures (all games at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Newcastle United v. Leicester City
Lincoln City v. Everton
Bournemouth
 v. Forest Green Rovers
Burnley v. Sunderland
Queens Park Rangers v. Portsmouth
Swansea City v. Cambridge United

Wayne Rooney signs for Derby County

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Wayne Rooney has signed with Derby County. Yes. You read that correctly.

Rooney, 33, has signed an initial 18-month contract with the English second-tier team in a player-coach role, as he will play out the rest of the Major League Soccer season and arrive at Derby on January 1. There is an option to extend the contract by a further year.

England’s all-time leading goalscorer flew to the UK overnight and was spotted at London’s Heathrow airport before heading to Derby. Rooney was then seen at Derby’s training ground in the UK ahead of finalizing his shock move from D.C. United.

Speaking about his return to England, Rooney thanked D.C. United’s owners for allowing the move to happen.

“I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with,” Rooney said. “I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January. I am sure I can make a big contribution and can’t wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters. I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and Academy. I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with. I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs.”

D.C. United’s chairmen revealed that Rooney requested the move back to England duo to his family not settling in the USA following his move last summer.

“After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties,” Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, D.C. United Co-Chairmen said.

Ola Kamara is set to replace Rooney, with the Norwegian international and former LA Galaxy star to head back to MLS from China for a transfer fee in the region of $2.5 million.

Derby owner Mel Morris spoke about another huge coup for the Rams, which follows the hiring of Frank Lampard last season before he moved on to coach Chelsea, then getting in Dutch legend Phillip Cocu to replace him.

“This is clearly an exciting signing for us, and Wayne’s presence will further enhance the club’s standing and its ability to perform both on and off the pitch. To have Wayne Rooney as a player, and equally as an aspiring coach, is incredible and I can only imagine the buzz this will generate amongst our supporters at home and internationally. First and foremost, Wayne is joining us as a player but he will also have coaching responsibilities too, particularly around the development of our younger players progressing towards the first-team from our Academy, as he looks to gain his relevant qualifications for a future coaching and management career. I would like to express a sincere thanks to DC United for their professionalism throughout this process. We wish them every success for the remainder of their season.”

This is  a huge blow for DCU’s hopes of winning the Eastern Conference this season and making a splash in the playoffs.

Rooney’s move to MLS was scrutinized by many after his minutes dwindled at both Man United and Everton over the past few seasons, but he’s been a star.

From goals inside his own half to stunning individual displays, Rooney has scored 25 goals in 45 appearances for D.C. United and dragged them from last in the East last season to the playoffs.

But the lure of returning to England to start his coaching career was too strong, as he’s spoken about a desire to coach on many occasions and he’ll be following in the footsteps of Lampard, John Terry, Steven Gerrard and others from England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of players.

Report: Wayne Rooney holding talks to join Derby County as player-coach

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According to a report by James Ducker of The Telegraph, D.C. United striker Wayne Rooney is in talks with Derby County about a return to English football as a player-coach for the Championship club.

Derby County signed former Barcelona player Phillip Cocu as manager on a four-year contract in the wake of Frank Lampard‘s departure, and the club may look to capitalize on Rooney’s solid Major League Soccer form by bringing him on as a player while also getting his feet wet in the coaching ranks.

According to the report, Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford has already met with the club and plans to continue talks in the coming days. Yesterday the Sun had reported that Rooney was thinking about a possible return to Manchester United in a coaching role alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but this would see him able to continue his playing while also learning the coaching ropes. He has two years remaining on his D.C. United contract that runs through December of 2021.

Rooney looked behind the pace during his final Premier League season with Everton in 2017/18, but he joined D.C. United that summer and has seen somewhat of a revival. During his time in MLS, Rooney has scored 23 goals in 44 matches while dotting the highlight reel with spectacular strikes including one from the midway line.

It’s possible that Derby believes Rooney has something to offer on the pitch while also beginning his coaching career, serving as an asset on the field while also potentially learning to follow-up Cocu should he not impress or be lured away after a period of success. For time on the field, Rooney would compete with 29-year-old opening day starter Martyn Waghorn, 30-year-old Championship veteran Chris Martin, and 24-year-old Jack Marriott for time at the striker position.

Derby signed Lampard to his first managerial job back in May of last year, and it was a smashing success, with Derby reaching the Championship playoff final before losing to Aston Villa to agonizingly miss out on Premier League promotion. Lampard left after just the one year to serve as manager of Chelsea, and now Derby owner Mel Morris could be looking to add yet another high profile former England star.

Reports: Frank Lampard sealed as next Chelsea manager

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According to the English tabloids, including the Daily Mail and The Mirror, Frank Lampard has sealed his contract to become the next manager of Chelsea.

Lampard was officially excused from Derby County preseason which began Monday, the club confirmed, and Derby even went so far as to affirm they are acting under the assumption that the 41-year-old will indeed move to Stamford Bridge.

According to the tabloid reports, Lampard’s Chelsea contract will earn him a base salary in the $5-6 million per year range plus a host of incentives, including a $1.3 million bonus for Champions League qualification. The only question at this point is whether Lampard will convince Shay Given, an assistant with him at Derby, to join him at Chelsea. It’s possible Given may stay at Derby as goalkeeping coach.

Derby will be owed $5 million in compensation for Lampard’s signature as well, the Mirror reports.

Lampard’s only coaching experience is his one year at Derby County, where he led the team to the playoff final, where the Rams fell to Aston Villa. The former Chelsea midfielder is the Blues’ all-time leading scorer with 211 goals during his 11-year career with the club.

Darren Moore and Aitor Karanka are in the running to replace Lampard at Derby, the Daily Mail reports.