It has been a major baptism of fire for Wayne Rooney in terms of his managerial career with Derby County and he has endured a very hectic first summer window in charge of the Rams.
There can be few managers that have had to contend with the off-the-field circumstances that Rooney has had to deal with at Derby in their first-ever summer transfer window as a manager.
The Rams faced the prospect of starting the campaign with a squad that was threadbare and not really large enough to navigate a way through a gruelling 46-game long Championship season.
However, the EFL eventually relaxed the transfer embargo placed on the Rams. That opened the door for them to make some crucial signings on free transfers to bolster the squad.
Since then, Derby have started to show some promising signs that they might be able to perform better than was anticipated of them at the start of the campaign.
That comes with the Rams having managed to record six points from their opening five Championship matches to leave them in mid-table at the first international break of the campaign.
So with all that has gone on at Derby during the summer and at the start of the season, we take a look at TWO things we have learned about Rooney the manager so far…
Rooney is maturing as a manager and has shown real battling qualities
Towards the end of last season, Rooney was a manager under major pressure with the Rams seemingly sleepwalking into League One with them on a dismal losing run that dragged them right back into relegation danger.
In the end, a 3-3 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday was enough to keep the Rams up on the final day of last term. However, it was far from a convincing end to the campaign for Rooney.
At a lot of other clubs, there might have been the feeling that a manager with that track record from the back end of last season would have been potentially let go over the summer.
Derby though were not in a position financially really to part ways with Rooney in the close season.
In truth, even if they did decide to sack their manager they would have struggled to attract anyone of any note to replace him with given the circumstances behind the scenes.
The start of Derby’s season this time around therefore shows that Rooney is maturing at a very fast pace in terms of his managerial abilities.
He has guided the Rams to three draws, one win and just one defeat in their opening five Championship matches. All with a squad that is amongst the weakest in terms of numbers in the division.
That is not something that anyone expected probably when the campaign began.
Rooney’s willingness to stick by Derby during the terrible period over the summer when he did not even know if he would be able to make a signal addition to his squad has shown his battling qualities.
The Rams boss looks completely different to how he did at the end of last term. He has learned so much in such a short space of time and is showing signs he can be the right person to lead Derby through this uncertain period.
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Rooney’s pulling power is a major plus point for Derby
There were few clubs in the Championship that would have appeared to be as unconvincing places to move to as Derby were this summer.
However, despite that Rooney did manage to bolster his squad with the likes of Richard Stearman, Ryan Allsop, Sam Baldock, Ravel Morrison and Phil Jagielka.
While at one stage or another he had convinced the likes of Sone Aluko and Tom Carroll to train with the Rams ahead of potentially joining on a free transfer.
Some of those players were sought after by other clubs during the summer transfer and, in Morrison in particular, probably could have found themselves a move to a more stable club if they had been prepared to wait a little while longer for a move.
Therefore it shows that Rooney’s standing in the game from his excellent career with Manchester United and England at the highest level still has some weight in terms of convincing players to play under him now.
Given the financial constraints around Derby at the moment, they need all the help they can get in terms of attracting players to the club.
The longer their current issues go on for the more important Rooney’s presence will be with regards to their recruitment.