Derby County have announced that they have parted company with manager Phillip Cocu.
The Rams have just six points in the Championship this season and are rooted at the bottom of the table.
After Cocu’s sacking, attention now turns to the Brazilian’s replacement and there is every chance Wayne Rooney could be about to be given his first opportunity in management.
Rooney, Manchester United’s leading all-time goalscorer, has taken temporary charge alongside Liam Rosenior and Shay Given and is hotly tipped to be given the permanent role.
Chance to impress
When Rooney made the surprise switch to the Midlands from the MLS in January on a player-coach basis, it was clear that his main focus wasn’t playing Championship football.
Rooney has a desire to manage and the player/coach role has given him the perfect stepping stone into his first role.
Now in charge on an interim basis, Rooney can now prove his worth with results against Bristol City and Middlesbrough after the international break.
Derby not afraid of inexperience
Derby’s appointment of Frank Lampard in 2018 proved they are not reluctant to hire managers with little to no experience.
It was a strategy that largely worked as well, with the Rams unfortunate to miss out on Premier League promotion under the now-Chelsea manager when they were defeated by Aston Villa in the play-off final.
Cocu is a manager with a much more extensive managerial background but that experiment has failed and there will be a temptation to revert back to a young, fresh-faced man in charge.
Like Lampard, Rooney would warrant complete respect from his squad for his brilliance on the field.
He has also played in the team for almost a year so will know first hand what the problems are and how to go about fixing them.
At 35-years-old, this could be the ideal moment for Rooney to hang up his boots and completely focus solely on his first venture into management.
Learned from the best
Rooney has been plotting a route into management for a number of years now, and he has certainly learned from the very best in his illustrious career.
The United great played under Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford, a revolutionary trio of managers who have all been hugely successful with different styles of coaching.
Of course, there are no guarantees that a top ex-player can transform into an adept manager, but he can have no complaints about his tutelage.
Derby County Football Club have parted company with manager Phillip Cocu, Chris van der Weerden and Twan Scheepers by mutual agreement and immediate effect.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) November 14, 2020