Derby County may soon be in the market for a new manager.
Speculation about Phillip Cocu’s future at Pride Park has been rampant in recent weeks and one name has continuously cropped up when potential replacements have been discussed, and that man is Wayne Rooney.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Rooney has been linked with the job, after all, he’s spoken about his desire to get into management and he’s already a part of the coaching staff at Derby.
However, we can’t help but feel the Rams are barking up the wrong tree with this one.
You can understand why Mel Morris sees Rooney as a lucrative option, he’s previously had great success when appointing one of England’s famed ‘golden generation’ with Frank Lampard taking the East Midlands outfit to a playoff final, but Rooney isn’t cut from that same cloth.
Lampard has often made headlines for his incredible IQ and his intelligence, while Rooney has been slaughtered in the press for years for his perceived poor education, and his ramblings on social media back in the day make him look like a man who has very little grasp of the English language.
Of course, he’s an incredibly accomplished player, he’s England’s all-time record scorer and will command respect from everyone at Derby, but couldn’t you have said the same about Cocu before he was appointed?
This was a man with over 290 games for Barcelona to his name with over 100 Netherlands caps to boot, and despite having a lot more managerial experience than Rooney he has still not been able to get the best out of this Derby team.
There is also an argument to make that Rooney is a part of the current problem – he’s on the coaching staff already and it seems as though whatever he is doing behind the scenes isn’t working.
Rooney has no actual coaching acumen and unlike Lampard, he isn’t a respected intellectual considered a student of the game. He was always described as an instinctive striker rather than a studious or clever footballer and that doesn’t seem to be the formula for becoming a good manager.
Of course, Rooney had years of learning under Sir Alex Ferguson, so he may have picked up some tactical nous from arguably the greatest gaffer the game has ever seen.
However, when you look at other ex-Ferguson players who’ve gone onto become managers, they’re not exactly tactical geniuses.
The likes of Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are amongst the best names on the list, and it’s fair to say that they’ve not revolutionised the game, while others such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were absolutely terrible at managing Valencia and Oldham respectively.
Rooney quite simply isn’t the answer for Derby if they want to make a push for the top six this season, the only good quality he brings to the job is his history and the amount of respect he will command and that’s no different to what Cocu already has.