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Tough job ahead for Rooney

This week he became manager of Birmingham City and I must admit, I was a little surprised at the appointment.

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Wayne Rooney has been appointed as manager of Birmingham City FC. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

Wayne Rooney really was a one-of-a-kind footballer. I’d never really seen anything like him before, and I doubt very much I ever will again.

Cocky, confident, tough and fearless. He was a street fighter, willing to mix it up with anyone who stood in his way.

He was probably one of, if not, the best footballers of his generation. He was a versatile attacker, capable of playing anywhere along the front line.

He shined at Everton when he burst onto the scene at just 16 years old and excelled at Manchester United. Winning everything a player possibly could.

I actually grew up not a million miles from where Rooney lived before hitting the big time. Not being disrespectful to my home city in any way, shape or form, but you certainly need to have your wits about you. And Wayne did.

This week, he became manager of Birmingham City, and I must admit, I was a little surprised at the appointment.

As good a player as he was, and believe me, he really was, since moving into management things haven’t exactly been brilliant.

His first managerial job at Derby County started quite well. Especially considering the points deduction they were given.

By mid-February 2021, Derby had accrued 31 points from a possible 54 in his 18 games in sole charge, taking Derby up to 18th in the league and eight points clear of the relegation zone.

But their form faltered, and Derby won just one of the next 14 games and only just managed to survive relegation.

The next season, with financial troubles plaguing Derby, they were eventually relegated and Rooney resigned.

In July of 2022, Rooney returned to the US to manage MLS side DC United, where he played for two seasons after finishing football in the UK.

But his spell in charge was short-lived, and Wayne was relieved of his managerial duties after United failed to qualify for the playoffs for a second straight season.

And now he’s back in Blighty, taking charge of Birmingham, who currently sit a respectable sixth in the EFL Championship.

It’s also worth noting that former American Football quarter-back Tom Brady was recently announced as a minority owner of Birmingham.

Rooney will be helped in his new job by his former England teammate Ashley Cole, and his former Manchester United teammate John O’Shea.

Birmingham City Co-Owner and Chairman of the Board, Tom Wagner said this week: “Wayne is a born winner. We believe, with the support of his coaching staff, the Club, and our supporters, he will take Blues forward on the next stage of our journey. His playing philosophy will help to realise the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City.”

He is a born winner, no doubt, but he has a tough task ahead of him taking charge of a squad of players who are quite simply, nowhere near as good at football as Wayne was.

Theo Vietnamnews