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Derby County manager odds

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Derby County next manager after Phillip Cocu

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Derby County manager Phillip Cocu was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands in 1970. In terms of his playing career, Cocu is one of the more decorated coaches to take charge of a team in the Championship season. He made nearly 600 career appearances for some fine clubs in Europe, including a trophy laded period in which he captained Catalan giants Barcelona.

A gifted midfielder, Cocu began his glittering career in his native Holland with Eredivisie side Az Alkmaar. Here he would make a handful of appearances before making the switch to fellow Eredivisie club SBV Vitesse where his talents were allowed to shine. He impressed some of Europe's biggest names in his time with the club, eventually choosing to stay in Holland, but making the step up to PSV Eindhoven - they were Cocu's hometown club, a factor in his choosing them.

Cocu would get his first taste of silverware with PSV - he helped them to two Eredivisie titles and two Johan Cruyff Shields, the Dutch super cup.  After a disappointing final season with the club, Cocu decided to let his contract run down in order for him to be able to manufacture a free transfer to one of the many elite European clubs which were seeking his services.

Ultimately, Cocu would turn down the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and Lazio in order to move to Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona. Cocu was an immediate revelation at the Catalan club, In the league he would score 12 times in 36 appearances, giving him a healthy goals to games ratio. Barcelona would win La Liga that year with Cocu being a major factor in their triumph.

This first season would sadly prove to be Cocu's most successful with the club, however. The side would reach a number of European semi-finals but be thwarted equally as many times. They also finished runners up in La Liga on a few occasions, but had a disastrous campaign in 2002/03 in which Barca finished in sixth place - this was an appalling result for a club of their stature.

Cocu would be Barcelona's captain for much of his time at the club and is remembered fondly by the fans, albeit in a time when Barcelona were not at their scintillating best. He played dust shy of 300 La Liga matches for the club which, at the time, was an internal record. At the tail end of the 2003/04 season, although Barcelona were keen to secure Cocu's services for another year, Cocu and the club hierarchy were unable to reach a mutually satisfactory arrangement. Subsequently, Cocu would seek a new club.

During the summer transfer window of the same year, Cocu would complete a glorious return to his favoured club, PSV Eindhoven. His return was received rapturously by PSV's fan base and his second stint at the Dutch club would prove to be one of the most successful of Cocu's career. Under the stewardship of manager Guus Hiddink, Cocu's PSV would lift both the Eredivisie and the Dutch Cup in Cocu's first season back at the club. In addition to this, they would reach the penultimate round of Europe's premier club competition, a stage which has proved notoriously difficult for Cocu's sides to progress past over the course of his career.

The following year, Cocu was handed the captain's armband after the departure of club legend Mark Van Bommel. Again, PSV would be victorious domestically in the Netherlands - they won the Eredivisie once more and Cocu was named the second-best player throughout the season for his contribution to the victorious campaign.

In the third and final season of his second stint with PSV, the Eindhoven side were once again victorious, although this time the margins were considerably finer. The title was decided by a single goal as PSV squeeze past Ajax to the trophy - the season is remembered as one of the finest title races in Dutch history.

Before hanging up his boots, Cocu would head to the Middle East with Al Jazira. A one year stint with the club was relatively uneventful and Cocu decide to call it a day when it had finished.

The club close to his heart, PSV, was Cocu's destination once more, this time in management. He was named coach after spells as assistant with both the Eindhoven club and the Dutch national side - in the latter, The Netherlands were runners up in the World Cup.

Derby County secured his services at the start of the 19/20 season, following the departure of Frank Lampard to Chelsea. After-trophy laden spells with PSV as both player and, latterly, as manager, the Rams will be hopeful Cocu can inspire them to automatic promotion this season.


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