How will Wayne Rooney fair in his second spell in England ?

Published on 21 October 2023 at 14:00

The ex-England and Manchester United record goal scorer has returned to England after his second spell at MLS team DC United. Rooney embarks on a tough mission at The Blues, with the expectation being play offs come the end of the season, especially with the team currently sitting eighth in the EFL Championship.

Rooney left his role at MLS outfit DC United after failing to help his team qualify for the playoffs – a disappointing ending for the Englishman in the states. Rooney led DC to ten wins, ten draws and a grim fourteen losses this term, resulting in a ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. So far, despite Rooney’s poor managerial record, the English ace is sticking at it and has now ventured back to England to ply his trade in the midlands, where he isn’t going to get too much room for error. Rooney, as he so often showed during his playing career, has a stubborn, never say die mentality, which he is certainly bringing to his management strategy, unlike his compatriot Gary Neville did when managing Valencia.

Manchester United’s record goal scorer had been with DC United for just over a year, and it is fair to say his time in Washington was overwhelmingly mediocre. Rooney himself knew it was time to move on, saying in an interview “it’s the right time, I have done everything I can to get this club into the play offs. It’s about timing”. The former England international hinted that he had done everything he could for the American club, with it essentially not being good enough for them – so a mutual agreement was penned with the CEO and co-chairman Jason Levein for Wazza and DC to part ways. The Blues fans will be hoping Wazza can get more out of his team than he did in America.

Thus, on the 11th of October 2023, Rooney made his return to his home country England, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with Birmingham City. Rooney has brought experience with him to his role in the midlands in the form of former international teammate Ashley Cole and former teammate John O’Shea as well as other former professionals such as Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth. It is fair to say everything is set up for Rooney to excel in his position at Birmingham, with them sitting comfortably in sixth in the league, as well as various big new signings in the summer performing well, the club certainly has visions for the play offs this term. 

Rooney is eager to get going with City, saying how he wants to “create a winning culture at the Blues, which will get the fans off their seat”. Rooney, more than anyone will know about how passionate and connected the fans are to The Blues, having played at St Andrews many a time, he is aware of the club’s dynamic culture.

The Blues face Middlesborough at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, where Rooney will come up against former teammate and friend Michael Carrick, manager of The Smoggies. Wayne will be hoping for three points in his first game in the City hot seat as he brings his team to the north-west for what will be a tough game, with Middlesbrough having won all of their last four games under Carrick. The cameras will certainly be on the game at the Riverside, with two huge names in the dugouts, Rooney will be hoping his team can pull rank so that he can go one up against his former colleague, Carrick. 


Written by Carrick Galbraith

Twitter - @carrickgalb123

Instagram - @carrick.426_

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