Clarke: Rooney could be a top manager

The defender still calls him 'Wazz', but admits that will change over time.

By Charlie Hanson • 23 December 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Matt Clarke is part of a Derby County side who have turned around their form in recent weeks.

Matt Clarke believes the signs are that interim Derby boss Wayne Rooney could become a successful manager.

The 24-year-old, who is on a season-long loan at  Pride Park, has been one of the first names on the team sheet since the former Manchester United and England striker took over at Pride Park, and has been impressed by Rooney.

“Wayne has tried to make it so we enjoy coming into training every day and he has simplified the message, which has worked so far.

“It's a bit of a strange dynamic because we have all been in the dressing room with him as a player, and he still is one really.

“It wasn't long ago he was in the dressing room as one of the lads. He's now the one taking control and having difficult conversations with players that he has played alongside. We understand it's not an easy process going from being a player to a manager.

By Kieran Cleeves
Wayne Rooney's last England appearance was against the USA in 2018, the same match in which Lewis Dunk made his international debut.

“I still call him Wazz as I did when he was playing! But I think as time goes on he will start to be gaffer.”

Rooney is yet to taste defeat since taking sole charge, winning two and drawing four of his six matches.

“We're seeing signs that he could be a really good manager. You get the sense that his level of understanding of the game was always going to put him in good stead to be a top manager.

“What we have all seen from him so far is really positive, but we want to back it up with more wins.”

The 35-year-old has still got it in training though according to Clarke.

“You still see glimpses and moments of pure quality. He's not picking it up and running through people like he might have done at one stage, but he gets on top of opponents in a different way. He is two steps ahead.

“There have been times I have given him the ball and he has played a pass I didn't even think were possible.”


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