Could An All-Time Great Lead Us Back To The Promise Land?
Wayne Rooney opened up this week regarding a potential managerial return to Old Trafford. Rooney stated in an article with The Sun that his whole motive behind entering into management was to one day take the reigns at United. He openly admitted that he isn’t ready now but has a plan in play to make sure one day it will happen.
Wayne was believed to be the top candidate for the Everton job where he burst onto the scene at the age of 16 years old. When Rafa Benitez was sacked, Wayne’s agent was approached by Everton but Wayne ultimately turned them down in favor of accomplishing his mission at Derby County.
Mission Impossible: Staying Alive
Wayne’s 2021/2022 campaign almost failed to get underway before the season began. The team was in crisis as early as July/August 2021 where Derby County could barely field a squad. The team found themselves under a transfer embargo and were only allowed to sign players after applying for special dispensation. To make matters worse, the team started the season with a 21 point reduction. They were assessed a 12 point deduction for entering administration with the EFL due to financial crisis and another 9 points for breaching the EFL’s financial regulations.
With all of the pressures against him, Wayne has gotten his team up to perform and fight for their lives. They have 11 wins, 13 draws and 15 team losses on the season which, without deductions, would have them tired for 17th placed with Cardiff. At the time of this article, Derby finds themselves in last place in the EFL with 25 points. They are only 1 point off of Peterborough for 23rd and 3 points off of Barnsley for 22nd but hold a game in hand over both teams. In order to avoid the drop, Derby would need to catch and surpass Reading who sits in 21st place with 33 points.
Is Wayne The Man For The Job?
Any club that brings a perennial fan favorite back into the fold, there is a risk that it might blow up in your face. You could find yourself with a manager like Guardiola, Enrique and Zidane or end up like Lampard, Shearer or Gattuso. Wayne has shown his fight and determination while at Derby and that is something that this club has lacked recently. The other side to Wayne that the managerial role has desperately needed is the ability to speak his mind without caring with what the Glazers say. He loves the club through and through so he is more likely to tell it how it is rather than what the board wants to hear.
While its easy to romanticize about the return of The White Pele to the Theatre of Dreams, you have to approach this thought with skepticism. We all remember how great it was, initially, to have Ole return but you can’t forget the breakup the followed. Whichever direction the club decides to move in, the appointment of the next manager needs to be a bonafide pick. If that is Wayne, so be it but we shouldn’t select a manager solely on the fondness of past memories.