The King Is Dead, Long Live ….

11 Oct 2023 | 7 comments


Welcome Wayne Rooney and co!

As was widely expected, Blues today announced the appointment of Wayne Rooney as first team manager. He has agreed terms on a three and a half year contract, and will be assisted by Ashley Cole, John O’Shea, Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth. Maik Taylor will remain at the club as goalkeeping coach.

Rooney has previously managed clubs who were in difficulties. Derby County, as a football club, was a financial basket case when he was in charge. And D.C. United in Washington, USA, was one of the least well funded Major League Soccer teams. So it is a bit difficult to assess his potential as a manager given his work so far.

What is clear is that reports from several sources indicate that he was very popular and well respected in the dressing room at both clubs. He is also joining a club who are clearly on the up, now have a stable boardroom and with real ambition to progress. It is a big opportunity for him.

Both Cole and O’Shea are currently international coaches, with Cole assisting with England Under 21’s and O’Shea being assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland. Like Rooney, both were also outstanding and highly experienced international footballers each with over 100 caps for their countries. Shuttleworth has worked with Rooney at both Derby County and D.C.United, and was previously at Blues for five years leading the analysis department. Robinson was an assistant to Rooney at D.C. United.

The coaching team would therefore seem to have a wealth of playing experience, some local knowledge and plenty of potential. They also come with international renown and the ability to get the club more noticed and, potentially at least, make it more attractive as a destination for other players.

What are the expectations of the new coaching team? Despite the fact that Blues are currently sixth in the Championship, the table is still fairly embryonic with only 5 points covering 3rd to 15th positions. Indeed, Blues were 12th only two games ago.

It would be ludicrous to suppose that success this season is a position of sixth or higher. Instead, the new hierarchy at St. Andrew’s have constantly emphasised that the goal is not overnight success but building something that leads to long term sustainable achievement. Based on what the club has been saying over the last few days it would appear that we can perhaps expect an improved playing style, with the team being on the front foot more away from home, and increasing confidence that the team is growing into something that can start to meaningfully challenge for promotion in the future.

This will, almost certainly, take time. In the Trust’s view it is therefore important that both the club and Blues supporters get behind the manager from the off, and give the new coaching regime time to build the team as they see fit. The Trust wishes them well.

Today’s announcement from the club can be read in full here

Welcome Wayne and co!

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  1. Tracey Tyler

    Ironically the playing style was improving under Eustace and with some of the injured like Hall,Laird and Buchanan ready to come back it could have only improved.My only fear is that to play like ManCity you need players who can play like that and we do not have them,our players apart from a few are good honest Championship players so do not expect much change.

    • Bill

      Tracy you are quite right. As Gary Rowett said before he was sacked you can only play winning attacking football if you have players that are better than your opposition. This is the reality of Blues situation ….we have some decent players now
      but can they be consistently better than our opponents?
      We are about to find out.

  2. Darren

    Football eh?

    We struggle through all the bad times and then Knighthead arrive to offer us a glimpse of a bright future…

    Then they blow it all by choosing a “celebrity” coach.
    And I hate to contradict the writer, but by all accounts DC were amongst the highest spenders this season, if not usually.
    They were expected to obtain a playoff position which is the top nine out of fifteen…hardly a mammoth task, yet seemingly too hard for Mr Rooney!

  3. Ed Truman

    Even by Blues standards this has been a manic week. And it’s still only Wednesday! I’ve expressed concerns about Mr Rooney on this site already. I was also disappointed to see John Eustace leave. But those decisions have been made and it’s time for us to move on now and give him a chance with our full backing and support.

    In my view, Tom Wagner and Garry Cook have not put a foot wrong so far and that gives me confidence that this is the right decision for the club at this point in its regeneration. Time alone will be the judge of course, but I for one am already excited at the prospect of what the new coaching regime might bring in the weeks, months and seasons ahead.

  4. Peter Bates

    I don’t know who the hierarchy at blues are trying to convince about Wayne Rooney’s credentials as a manager,his appointment is all about promoting the club worldwide,I hope it works out for us supporters we’ve waited long enough for decent owners and I still believe we can be successful with Tom Wagner in charge but I still think the job should have been advertised if they were going to sack John Eustace,but what do we know we are only supporters after all ,but it’s still our club kro .

  5. Mitchell

    Whatever finally emerges from this week of surprises and fanciful future thinking, a brief period of settling down will be needed. Indeed a prescription maybe to calm the hype .Exciting yes and why not as we tired and weary supporters deserve a bit of joy. However, reality and sense must quickly set in as the razzmatazz we are witnessing doesn’t produce Championship points, which ultimately is the name of the game. Wayne Rooney and his entourage are very welcome and support from us all will be there in bucket loads. My hope however is after the next few days we as Blues are not considered to be a daily circus drama with Netflix type category. Everyone I am sure will get my gist. We are still a humble club with humble supporters in the main, and being in this surreal bubble that nobody saw coming months ago, means feet on the ground as always.

    • Mark R

      I am gutted to lose John Eustace, and he can count himself extremely hard done by to lose a job he was doing so well.
      However, as Blues fans we have no option but to support Rooney and his coaching team, along with the whole squad that they are lucky to inherit.
      If things don’t go to plan we know who to blame, that’s for sure, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that and Wayne Rooney finishes the job that John Eustace has started.
      If we are successful under Wayne Rooney we can thank Eustace for building the foundations, if we aren’t then we need to ask Garry Cook why he was so determined to bring in his friend, rather than conduct a proper recruitment process, like all decent businesses do when it comes to significant management appointments.


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