Wayne Rooney has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner to replace Phillip Cocu at the helm of Derby County, with the Dutchman coming under pressure at Pride Park.
It has been a slow start to the season for Derby, who have managed to pick up three points from a possible 12 after their first four games of the Championship season.
The Rams did pick up their first league win of the season a fortnight ago, with Wayne Rooney’s free-kick securing a late 1-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Quiz: Do Nottingham Forest and Derby County have these 10 things in common?
The club will now be looking to kick on ahead of Friday night’s home clash with Watford – a game which could decide Cocu’s fate at Pride Park.
According to The Sun, a defeat to Watford on Friday night could spell the end of Cocu’s tenure at Pride Park, with Rooney being lined up as the Dutchman’s successor.
Former Derby manager John Gregory could also be set to join Rooney and become the former Manchester United man’s assistant, should he replace Cocu at the helm.
Here, we take a look at two pros and two cons to Derby making this surprise managerial decision…
Pro: Fresh ideas
It hasn’t been a good start to the season for Derby, and if it wasn’t for a piece of brilliance from Rooney against Norwich, they probably would have left Carrow Road with only a point.
We have seen the likes of Bristol City and Reading fly out of the traps, look really physically fit and capable of igniting promotion pushes this term, but that can’t be said for Derby.
A new manager at this stage of the season could bring fresh ideas to the table, which could help Derby climb up the table.
Con: The timing
It would be quite bizarre to see Cocu leave Derby after only four league games this season.
He has made a host of new signings, and those players will take time to learn how he wants his team to play, and they will also take time to learn how their teammates want to play too.
Getting rid of the Dutchman right now could destroy any sort of cohesion and team spirit that has already been built.
Pro: Rooney’s knowledge of the players
What would be different, and perhaps more beneficial about Derby appointing Rooney as Cocu’s successor is that the former Manchester United man already knows the players really well.
Bringing in a new manager could be slightly risky in that respect, as it could take time for him to get to know the players and work out the best tactics and system for the group.
Rooney, though, has spent the past year getting to know the players as his teammates, and in turn, he will know all their key strengths and what works at Pride Park.
Con: Lack of experience
Rooney is only relatively new to the coaching game, and going from a coach to a Championship manager is a major step-up.
Rooney would be coming up against managers who have plenty of years of experience under their belts, and it remains to be seen whether he’d cope with the transition.
Of course, Frank Lampard didn’t have experience before taking the job at Pride Park, but he had a whole pre-season to prepare, whereas Rooney would be being chucked in at an important time of the season.