Wayne Rooney outlines Manchester United manager ambition

Wayne Rooney has outlined his desire to manage Manchester United and believes the club has turned to a ‘professor type’ coach in Ralf Rangnick.

Rooney is earning plaudits for his work as manager of Derby, who could improbably survive relegation from the Championship despite an 11-point deduction. Derby are second from bottom and just five points away from safety with 16 games left.

Everton were eager to interview Rooney about their managerial post but the 36-year-old declined out of loyalty to Derby and Everton appointed Frank Lampard.

United suffered another setback in the 1-1 draw with Burnley on Tuesday night and have dropped down to fifth in the Premier League table, while they trail leaders Manchester City by a gargantuan 21 points.

In the film, Rooneythe United great reflects on his transfer request in 2010 that was prompted by concerns about Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad rebuild following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in 2009.

“Actually, if you look five years down the line from that meeting, Alex Ferguson knew where the club was going and he got out of there as quick as he could and they’re still picking up the pieces now,” Rooney says.

Rooney was managing Derby to a 3-1 win over Hull while United dropped more points at Burnley and believes his reservations about the direction of the club 11-and-a-half years ago were prescient.

“I obviously haven’t seen the game (against Burnley) but I’ve seen the result,” Rooney told the MEN. “I think they’re going through a tough period, obviously, you can see a few things off the pitch, it’s a tough one. It’s been going on for a while if I’m being honest. These are things I brought up in 2010.

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“Yeah, I am (surprised at how far United have fallen). To be fair, they’ve tried everything. They’ve tried very experienced managers in Louis van Gaal, they’ve tried Jose Mourinho, David Moyes, Ole, one of their own, and now they’ve tried a more professor type in the new manager.

“I really do think they need to bring someone in and give them time, give them an opportunity to build a squad and let them compete and get back to the levels we all feel they should be at.”

Rooney confronted Ferguson about United's squad rebuild in 2010
Rooney confronted Ferguson about United’s squad rebuild in 2010

When asked if he fancied it, Rooney laughed: “No, listen, Manchester United and Everton are both clubs I’d love to manage one day but I’ve got a commitment to Derby County, I’m fighting for them, so my focus has to be on Derby.”

Rooney has advised Harry Maguire on how to handle the pressure of captaining at United amid more criticism of the centre-back’s form.

Maguire has endured a chastening season after a flawless European Championship for England and he was guilty for Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser.

The £80million defender was appointed United skipper less than six months after joining the club and was arrested on the Greek island of Mykonos in August 2020. Rooney, who has been involved in unwanted incidents during his career and captained United for three years, is represented by the same agency as Maguire and spoke with him about the ordeal in Mykonos.

“Yeah, I’ve spoken to Harry a lot, a very good conversation with him, obviously with the incident in Greece, things on football as well,” Rooney explained. “I speak to Harry on things and try and help him and give him advice, of course.

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“But he’s his own person, he’s Manchester United captain in his own right and sometimes you have to go through these moments to improve yourself.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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