Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomesportsNot an easy task for Rooney to create 'no fear' playing style

Not an easy task for Rooney to create 'no fear' playing style

The October international break is a time when football managers in England, whose teams have been underperforming, look nervously over their shoulders.

The two-week gap before the next match is an opportune moment for the owners, possibly influenced by disgruntled fans, to decide if it’s time they changed the man at the helm.

They are of course hoping for a “new manager bounce” but it doesn’t always work.

Although at the time of writing there have been no sackings in the Premier League there are a few managers looking decidedly uncomfortable.

However, there has been considerable activity in the lower divisions particularly the Championship where two famous clubs have disposed of their manager.

The biggest news comes from Birmingham City where Wayne Rooney has taken over the reins from John Eustace who was abruptly sacked on Monday despite the Blues being in a handy sixth place.

Eustace had also helped Birmingham fight off relegation last season when they had looked doomed.

Rooney had become available when the former England and Manchester United star last week parted company with DC United in Washington after failing to take the US club to the play-offs.

It looks like Birmingham’s new American owners, which include NFL quarterback legend Tom Brady as a minority shareholder, wanted a “name” personality in charge of their team.

Rooney fits the bill in that respect and is highly regarded in the US from his playing days.

The club owners had earlier announced that whoever was appointed new manager “will be responsible for creating a clear ‘no fear’ playing style that all Birmingham City teams will adopt and embrace.” That has a Hollywood feel to it.

Whether Rooney can deliver is open to debate. He has a mixed record as a manager.

In the Championship, he did a decent job at Derby who were already doomed after a massive points deduction for financial irregularities.

He couldn’t stop them being relegated but it was recognised that he instilled spirit in the Rams and made them competitive.

Those are the qualities that will be expected from him by his new bosses.

It won’t be easy. From 2017, Birmingham have finished 19th, 19th, 17th, 20th, 18th, 20th and 17th. That is not exactly knocking at the promotion door.

The news has not been well received by some Blues’ supporters who feel Eustace has been treated shabbily.

Among the earlier fan reactions: “We have pressed the self-destruct button again”; “Unbelievably stupid decision”; and “Can’t help but feel Birmingham will regret this.”

Whatever happens at St Andrew’s you can be sure the tabloids will be following Rooney’s every move, especially if things go badly.

Another famous club getting attention in the Championship for all the wrong reasons are Sheffield Wednesday, currently bottom of the division.

Manager Xisco Munoz was sacked earlier this month and as yet hasn’t been replaced.

Adding to the tense situation Thai owner Dejphon Chansiri has been so upset by criticism from Owls fans he recently announced he wouldn’t be putting additional money into the club.

Even in League Two, there has been drama with former Manchester United and Wales star Mark Hughes being sacked by Bradford City.

The club had begun the season as one of the title favourites but after a poor start Hughes was removed with the Bantams in 18th place.

When Hughes joined the Yorkshire side in February 2022, it was the first time he had managed a club not in the Premier League.

At the end of the 2-1 loss to Tranmere Rovers last week, Hughes was greeted by chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning.”

Unfortunately for Hughes, the fans were right.

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