'Aggressive' Rooney is 'total opposite' as a manager, says Ferdinand

Wayne Rooney could be ‘aggressive, loud and brash’ as a player but is the ‘total opposite’ as a manager and he’s successfully proven himself to his Derby squad, claims Rio Ferdinand

  • Rio Ferdinand believes Wayne Rooney has changed since his playing days 
  • Ferdinand said his former team-mate could be aggressive, loud and brash 
  • But the former Manchester United man says the Derby boss is now calmer
  • He also praised the job Rooney has done at the Rams since taking over 

Rio Ferdinand insists Wayne Rooney the manager is the ‘total opposite’ to Wayne Rooney the player, who could be ‘aggressive, loud and brash’ during his Manchester United days.

Rooney took over as manager of the Derby in November last year after Phillip Cocu was sacked and was able to guide the club to safety on the final day of the season. 

The ex-England striker then decided to stay at the club despite their financial difficulties. The Rams were put under a transfer embargo, meaning they were unable to sign any players for a fee and were limited to a squad size of 25.

Rio Ferdinand insists Wayne Rooney the manager is the ‘total opposite’ to Wayne Rooney the player

The pundit said Rooney could be aggressive as a player but is calm as Derby manager

However, they have taken seven points from their first seven Championship games and have lost just once.

Ferdinand went to watch Rooney in action at one of Derby’s training sessions for his FIVE Youtube channel and was impressed by what he saw.

‘As a player, he was quiet sometimes, can be loud sometimes, can be brash, can be aggressive,’ Ferdinand said of Rooney.

‘He’s the total opposite. It’s mad, he’s the total opposite as a manager. There’s a respect level with the players, I think immediately you get that from these players as it’s Wayne Rooney.


Ferdinand has been impressed by the way his former United team-mate has handled the situation he has found himself in at Derby

‘But then you’ve got to prove yourself, and I think every player I’ve spoken to here, whether that be Curtis Davies, Ravel [Morrison], etc, they’ve all said like “He’s good you know.”

‘Because they didn’t know what to expect like anyone new through the door, but he’s brought them together, there’s definitely a more close-knit group now and they’re really young.

‘And he’s been through some hardships already in his young, early start as a manager, but when I listen to him in the meeting, him and Liam Rosenior, his coach, they were positive, they were clear, their messages were really bang on point.

‘We got a group that we chat into, a WhatsApp group with all the old Man Utd players. Listen, the first thing I’m going to be saying in there is ‘wow’.

‘The thing that does come out of it is he absolutely loves it – tactically as well.’

Ferdinand also praised the 35-year-old for the way he has handled the club’s off-the-field problems and said nobody would have blamed him for walking away from the club in the summer. 

Derby players Curtis Davies (second left) and Ravel Morrison (second right) have both spoken highly of Rooney’s coaching

‘I’m impressed by how he’s dealt with all of the things outside of the pitch,’ Ferdinand continued.

‘End of last season, they stay up with the last kick of the game, everyone thought they were down, his first job.

‘He would have been well within his rights and people would have said ‘Do you know what? Well done to you,’ if he would have gone ‘Do you know what guys, thanks, but I’m going to leave now’.

‘Probably the hardest job, one of the hardest jobs about at the moment, but he stayed on, and I said to him, ‘I probably would have walked,’ because his reputation would have been intact.

‘Everyone would have still said, ‘Do you know what? I’ll give him a job. He kept them up last year,’ but he’s took it on again this year and he’s playing a risky game, but he’s passionate about it and he believes in himself.’

Derby are currently 14th in the Championship with one win and four draws. 

Derby have taken seven points from seven games despite their financial difficulties

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