Alex Ferguson says Wayne Rooney has a “presence about him” and is optimistic that after announcing his retirement from playing, the iconic forward will excel in management.
On Friday, two months after replacing Phillip Cocu as interim coach, Rooney was officially appointed as Derby County manager.
The 35-year-old enjoyed an impressive playing career spanning almost two decades, during which time at Manchester United he collected 16 trophies, most of them under Ferguson.
He retires as the all-time leading goal scorer of United and England, and although Ferguson believes that Rooney would benefit, he cautioned that all that mattered as a coach was the previous forward outcomes.
He is the top goalscorer for England, he is the top goalscorer for Manchester United and he has had a great career as a player and it will give him a starting point, “He is England’s top goalscorer, he is Manchester United’s top goalscorer and he has had a fantastic career as a player and it will give him a starting point,”
But it’s a successful business like everyone else, and you need to get results. He’ll know that better than anybody else.
He got off to a good start… and he knows the game, he has a personality, and I hope he does well.
For him, it’s a huge move. He’s quite a successful young man with his football career now, so he probably doesn’t have to go into management to take care of his family, but he wants to do it, and that’s essential.
“Because someone asks you to be, there’s no point being a manager. He went there as a player-coach, then he became a player-manager, and now he has the job of the manager, and that’s what he wanted. He’s hopefully doing well.”
Boss Gareth Southgate of England was also excited to see Rooney taking the helm at Derby.
Rooney is joining the management of former England team-mates Steven Gerrard (Rangers), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), and Scott Parker (Fulham).
“He had an unbelievable career. We don’t want so many [Jamie] Carragher’s sitting on the sofa because those strong football minds are gone from the game,’ Southgate said.
“I’m glad we have the likes of Wayne, Steven, Frank, and Scott Parker.”