One of the most loved players in the history of the Premier League and a certified legend who goes by the name of Wayne Mark Rooney has been managing Derby County Football Club for over a year now. Rooney’s career as a player is as illustrious as they come. He is the highest goal scorer for Manchester United and England and won 16 trophies. Before moving to Manchester United, he stamped his presence at Everton F.C. But let’s not go there for now because we will be discussing him as a manager here.
Derby County initially appointed Rooney as the caretaker manager (a part of 4 man-team) while still playing for the club. The management then handed him the sole responsibility 2 months later when he retired. The Rams escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, finishing at 21 – a point above Wycombe Wanderers on the final day of the season. But things haven’t been easy in the next season either. EFL initially handed Derby County a 12-point deduction in September for entering the administration and a further 9 points in November, owing to their historical breaches of the English Football League (EFL) rules. That makes a total of 21 points. And as a result of that, Derby County sits currently at 23 with 18 points. To put things in perspective, they would have been sitting at 16th position – clearly away from danger. And to add to that, the transfer restrictions. This results in a nightmare for any manager, let alone for someone whose managerial career is still in infancy. But Rooney is not giving up, not just yet.
Rooney has had to make the best of what is at his avail because of the transfer embargo. This is not always easy because managers require players that fit their style of play. However, Rooney isn’t the one to complain. He has managed to instill character and nerves in his players despite the obvious adversity inflicted on the team. Rooney has gradually learned to inculcate his instincts and learnings as a player to his managerial approach. He has tried to take learnings from the managers he played under; man-management from the great Sir Alex Ferguson, defensive ploy from Louis van Gaal and winning mentality from Mourinho, which he has attested himself. As a result, Wazza is slowly coming into his own steadily increasing the win percentage to 29 (20 wins in 69 matches). The defensive, as well as the offensive game, has improved considerably since his appointment.
Up for the Challenge
Just when things were starting to get better, the potential of Derby County being deducted a minimum of 15 points in the next season is giving them a scare. This hinges upon their potential buyer(s) agreeing to pay unsecured football creditors at least 25% of what they are owed. And that is why Derby County must manage to stay in the Championship for the next season. They can potentially be relegated this season and the deduction can be imposed. If that happens, it becomes more challenging for them to promote back to the Championship the next season. And this is precisely why Rooney declined a potential offer to manage Everton after the sacking of Rafa Benitez. He had a chance to sneak out of the mess Derby County is in but that’s not him. He’s not the one to back down from a challenge and fight till the end he will.