Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Paul Jewell has suggested that Wayne Rooney will have found his first role in senior management difficult at Derby County.
Rooney, along with Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker, made up part of four-man managerial team that took charge of the Rams following the sacking of Philip Cocu in November.
The Manchester United and England record scorer eventually took sole charge of the side, announcing his retirement from playing in January to focus on his playing career.
Under Rooney, Derby continued to battle relegation from the Championship throughout the course of the season, and despite winning just one of their last 15 games, a final day 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday was enough to secure the Rams’ second-tier status for next season.
Now it seems as though Jewell believes that the events of the past few months will not exactly have been easy for Rooney.
Asked if Rooney will have found his first managerial experience tougher than expected, Jewell – who managed Derby between November 2007 and December 2008 – told Football League World: “Well yeah, I don’t know. He’s got Liam Rosenior with him, who’s helping, and I think he and Liam found it a bit tougher than sitting on the television talking about it, they’re finding out what it’s really about now.
“It’s difficult. It’s easy when you’re sat there in a studio and I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I know what’s more difficult.
“But I think when he first took over full time I think he did ok, and he made them hard to beat, but they haven’t scored a lot of goal this year.
“Football management isn’t easy, football coaching isn’t easy, despite everyone thinking we can all do a better job when we’re not involved.”
Indeed, it also seems that Jewell believes the players Rooney has had at his disposal at Pride Park may have offered him something of a wake-up call, adding: “Wayne Rooney’s been a top top player in the world, not just in England, and the fact that he wants to do it shows how much he loves the game.
“But it is difficult, when you haven’t got players that are the calibre that he’s probably used to playing with over the years, so that’s when you find out whether you can do a job or not.”